SMNR: Policing the Police

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
FRI 10:30 am - 12:20 pm JON 6.203

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This is a writing seminar designed to explore various mechanisms by which law enforcement actors are regulated. Primary emphasis will be placed on relevant legal doctrines and remedial schemes available within criminal and constitutional adjudication, however the readings will also explore non- litigation avenues of oversight, including but not limited to internal agency oversight, independent auditing mechanisms, and administrative regulatory schemes. Topics will include the role of constitutional criminal procedure in generating regulatory incentives for law enforcement; civil rights litigation surrounding the criminal justice system; criminal prosecutions of law enforcement actors; and the dynamics surrounding independent oversight commissions in the arenas of policing and criminal justice. Approximately two- thirds of the semester will be devoted to readings that will include judicial opinions, scholarly articles, as well as less traditional materials including briefs and other filings from past and ongoing criminal and civil litigation, and investigative reports, and proposed and enacted legislation. In addition to discussion of assigned reading, class meetings will also include the opportunity to meet and question guest speakers with direct experience in a variety of aspects of criminal justice oversight -- including litigation, law enforcement administration, or other through other oversight methods or bodies. The final third of the semester's class meetings will be devoted to students presentations of their seminar papers. There will be several weeks where, in lieu of class meetings, students will have time to work on their papers and meet with Professor Laurin to discuss their progress. Students' grades for the course will be based upon class participation (including weekely short discussion papers), as well as their performance in completing and presenting a paper(minimum 30 double-spaced pages, inclusive of footnotes). Students' papers may examine any issue concerning oversight of actors in the criminal justice system, so long as a substantial focus of the paper is examination of doctrinal, theoretical, and/or policy-based facets of a legal problem in this arena.