Comparative Law Final Exam

LAW 6250: Comparative Law (2-3 credits)
Professor Pedro A. Malavet

The University of Florida

Fredric G. Levin College of Law

C o m p a r a t i v e   L a w

S u m m e r  2 0 0 5 - Montpellier

Professor Pedro A. Malavet


Final Examination


The Exam GENERALLY. This exam is TAKE-HOME AND FULLY open-book. You may consult any materials you deem appropriate, PROVIDED HOWEVER THAT: your work must be original, you may not show your written answer or a draft thereof to anyone, nor may you receive any assistance from anyone in writing or otherwise crafting the answer; you may not coordinate your answers with any classmate. I will not answer questions about the examination after I hand out the exam on Thursday, July 21, 2005. However, should some important matter requiring clarification come up after the 21st, I will post a note about it in the website.

RULES. By turning in your answer, you certify that: (1) you have neither received nor given any aid beyond the allowed use of materials; (2) your work is original and is in no way improperly copied from or inappropriately influenced by any source; and (3) you have complied with all applicable instructions and rules, including, but not limited to, those set forth herein and in the University of Florida College of Law Student Handbook. Violation of the rules may result in a failing grade or a reduction thereof and in appropriate student disciplinary action.

DUE DATE. Your answer must be turned in on or before MONDAY, JULY 25, 2005, at 6:00 p.m. You may turn in your answer before the due date, at your discretion.  I will be in the computer/coffee area of the Citadines Antigone to receive exams on the due date.

WHAT MUST BE TURNED IN?: You must turn in a printed or handwritten copy of your exam answer. You can keep this exam, you only need to turn in your answer.

Print and Back-Up your work regularly. Because computers crash, disks get “fried,” and laptops get stolen, I urge you to be careful with your exam. Print drafts of your answers regularly and backup your work on a regular basis as well. One way to keep copies is to send e-mail to yourself with the exam attached.

Problems. If you have any problems, please speak to me or to Dean Dawson.

ANSWER FORMAT/LIMITED LENGTH. Your answer must be printed on European letter-sized (A4) paper, in double spaced lines, with at least a two-centimeter (about one inch) margins all around. Typeface should be 12-14 points.  You may also handwrite your answer, however, you must write legibly because if I cannot read your answer I cannot grade it (and that means you fail to earn points for unreadable material); you must write in a reasonably-sized letters (i.e., not tiny handwriting!). Your answer may not exceed ten (10) printed pages or twelve (12) handwritten pages.

ANSWERS GENERALLY. You are required to provide more comparative examples, details, and more analysis than would be required in a closed book, time-limited exam. This analysis should show your command of the material we addressed in class. In drafting your answers, please keep in mind that I want you to do at least four things:

  • 1)      Show that you have a command of the material we covered in class that is pertinent to your answer. To this end, provide references to our casebook, web postings, and to your notes of our class discussion. References should be simple and straight-forward. Page numbers for our casebook, accompanied by the prefix “CB-”, e.g., page 111 in our casebook is “CB-111”. The date of a class session is enough to identify your notes, the appropriate web-notes section may be identified as it is described in the syllabus.
  • 2) Appropriately identify your sources in your answer. All sources must be identified and textual citations must be properly set-off within quotation marks or in block indents. Footnotes and parentheticals are allowed, but you may not use endnotes. You may use a bibliography to identify sources outside of our class materials as well and the bibliography will not be included in the page-count.
  • 3)      Show that you can identify analogous American legal concepts and materials that are the proper subject of comparative analysis. This may require you to conduct some modest research outside our class materials. Please keep it simple. I believe that most research can be limited to simple web-based materials. However, you may use anything you deem appropriate.
  • 4)    Finally, you should discuss the factual or legal factors disclosed by your research in a thoughtful and original manner that shows your command of the material related to our course. This last part is especially important if you wish to earn a high grade.


            Like most civil law systems, France rejects the use of strict stare decisis rules regarding the effect of judicial decisions issued within its ordinary court system. But it nonetheless follows a system of de facto jurisprudence. Explain: (1) why France rejects the concept of stare decisis as it is practiced in the United States, (2) provide specific examples of how that rejection is reflected in law, and (3) explain how France’s system of de facto jurisprudence works in practice in its ordinary court system.