Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.
224.24 sec. 001 - Law, Public Health, and Police Use of Force (Spring 2022)
Instructor: Osagie Kingsley Obasogie (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person
Th 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 115
From January 13, 2022
To April 22, 2022
Course End: April 22, 2022
Class Number: 32585
Enroll Limit: 30
As of: 07/19 11:58 AM
Public health is often juxtaposed to medicine. Rather than tying health outcomes to individual behaviors, choices, or predispositions, public health examines the social conditions that determine the positive or negative health outcomes for populations. There are similar opportunities to juxtapose a public health approach to traditional doctrinal analyses that, akin to medicine, focus heavily on individualist dynamics. In this seminar, we will apply this social determinist approach to a pressing legal problem with significant implications for human well-being: police use of force. Excessive force by law enforcement is often described as a function of individual officers making bad decisions driven by malice -- the proverbial bad apple. A public health approach invites us to ask whether the inequities that we see regarding police use of force are determined by social and legal structures rather than simplistic ideations concerning expired fruit.
This course places public health law -- i.e. how law often shapes health outcomes and can create incentives to reduce health harms and disparities -- in conversation with relevant aspects of criminal procedure and constitutional torts to have a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of excessive force by law enforcement and develop possible strategies for change. Specific topics will include the history of police use of force, doctrinal evolutions and limitations, community impacts of policing, and imagining a better future with law and other tools. No prior courses are required.
Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.
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