News

Associate Dean Randy Kozel develops a theory of precedent in new book

In the American legal system, it’s a generally accepted view that judges should not disrupt the decisions of their predecessors unless they have a compelling reason to do so. The principle is known by the Latin phrase stare decisis – “to stand by things decided.” The goal is to preserve the law’s core without permanently entrenching every judicial mistake.

The key question is: When should judges break from precedent? After all, even Supreme Court justices disagree about the role of precedent in particular cases.

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NDLS LL.M. Students Win Regional Moot Court Competition and Advance to International Finals

Four Notre Dame Law School students from the LL.M. program in International Human Rights Law recently won the Americas regional round of the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition.

The team of Martins Birgelis (Latvia), Rachana Chhin (United States), Ruth Cormican (Ireland), and Jodi-Ann Quarrie (Jamaica) competed at Cardozo School of Law against several teams from across the Western Hemisphere on Jan. 25-29. They will move on to the final international round in April at Oxford University.

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In Memoriam: Judge Thomas William (“Tom”) O’Toole

Rsz Hi Res Mr Mrs Otoole14

By Nell Jessup Newton, Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law

I am very sorry to announce that one of our most cherished alumni, Judge Tom O’Toole, passed away on October 13, 2016.

A member of the NDLS Advisory Council since 2011, Tom and his wife Elaine generously endowed the O’Toole Professorship of Constitutional Law, a chair now held by Professor A.J. Bellia. Tom’s generosity went beyond financial support to include the kind of advice and wise counsel that are so important to the functioning of a great law school.…

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Judge Amul Thapar to Speak at NDLS for Constitution Day

U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar will speak at Notre Dame Law School on Sept. 16, in celebration of Constitution Day.

Sponsored by the NDLS Program on Constitutional Structure and the Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies, Judge Thapar’s lecture is entitled, “Can Judges Speak? The First Amendment and the Courts.” During his visit, he will hold the James J. Clynes, Jr. Visiting Chair in the Ethics of Litigation Within the Judicial Process.…

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Notre Dame LL.M. Grads Lead in South Africa

Twenty years since the birth of South Africa’s democracy, graduates of Notre Dame’s LL.M program in International Human Rights Law with the Center for Civil and Human Rights returned to Notre Dame to discuss their efforts to maintain and improve the country’s developing constitutionalism.

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South Africa Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga Joins Notre Dame Law School as a Visiting Scholar

Madlanga

Mbuyiseli Madlanga, LL.M. ’90, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa will teach and participate in several events in April as the Judge James J. Clynes, Jr., Visiting Chair. Madlanga, will teach a course on the ethics of litigation within the judicial process and co-teach a course on comparative constitutional law. He will also participate in a lecture series organized in conjunction with the Center for Civil and Human Rights.…

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ND Law Professors and Constitutional Law Scholars Discuss Constitutional Interpretation at London Roundtable

The Notre Dame Law School Program on Constitutional Structure is hosting a roundtable discussion on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Notre Dame London Law Centre. The roundtable will bring leading American constitutional law scholars with counterparts from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand for a thought-provoking discussion on Comparative Perspectives in Constitutional Interpretation.   

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Supreme Court could improve on its selection of cases, law scholars argue

U.S. Supreme Court

In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court decided some 150 cases a year, nearly twice the number it annually decides these days. Legal scholars and practitioners of law have criticized, lamented and even denounced this “docket shrinkage,” but while much attention has been paid to how the Supreme Court decides its cases, far less attention has been paid to the question of which cases the Court chooses to decide — and which cases it chooses not to.

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to Visit Notre Dame Law School

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., will visit Notre Dame Law School on Nov. 19. One highlight of his visit will be a conversation with Notre Dame law students on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Patrick F. McCartan Courtroom, followed by a reception in Eck Commons.

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Course Spotlight: Federalism

The Notre Dame Law School has long pursued excellence in Constitutional Law, and more broadly, in the field public law—the law that regulates the structure of government and its relations with individuals and foreign nations.  The Law School’s Program of Study in Public Law provides a foundational course of study for students interested in government lawyering, judicial clerkships, criminal justice, constitutional litigation, administrative regulation and adjudication, public policy, and many other public law fields.

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Notre Dame Law Professor to Lead One of University’s Inaugural On-Line Courses

This spring, the University of Notre Dame launched inaugural online courses with edXD.org, a non-profit platform for online education.  The interactive massive open online courses (MOOCS) are designed to offer and enrich education for all. Program faculty member, Tricia Bellia, will be teaching one of the inaugural courses, “Understanding Wireless:  Technology, Economics, and Policy.” 

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Preparing for Federal Judicial Clerkships at Notre Dame

Each year, a number of Notre Dame Law School graduates serve as judicial clerks in federal and state courts across the nation.  Among the most prestigious employment opportunities for a new or recent law school graduate, clerkships provide lawyers with the rare opportunity to participate in the judicial decision-making process from inside the court system.

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