Statutory Analysis: Using Criminal Law to Highlight Issues in Statutory Interpretation

UC Irvine Law Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-15

16 Pages Posted: 27 May 2011 Last revised: 17 Dec 2012

See all articles by Jennifer M. Chacón

Jennifer M. Chacón

University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Oxford - Border Criminologies

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In the fall semester of 2009, I taught a course called “Statutory Analysis” to half of the students in the inaugural first year class at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. This article is my attempt to dissect and analyze the “Statutory Analysis” class that I created, and to make some preliminary assessments of its strengths and weaknesses. Part I of this essay offers an explanation of the ambitions and intentions of the founding faculty members who decided to include the course in the first year curriculum and who settled on the basic parameters of the course. Part II sets forth the basic parameters of my Statutory Analysis class. In Part III of the essay, I explore the benefits and limitations of this particular statutory analysis course. In Part III, Section A, I discuss the compromises I made in terms of the coverage of criminal law. Part III, Section B focuses on the cost this course design exacts from efforts to teach the history, theories and tools of statutory interpretation. Ultimately, I believe that the course I designed has expanded first year students’ understanding of and attention to issues of statutory interpretation without extracting too great a cost in terms of their knowledge of substantive criminal law. Nevertheless, anyone wishing to implement such a course should carefully consider both the benefits and the costs of doing so.

Suggested Citation

Chacón, Jennifer M., Statutory Analysis: Using Criminal Law to Highlight Issues in Statutory Interpretation (2011). UC Irvine Law Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1851885 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1851885

Jennifer M. Chacón (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
530-754-5700 (Phone)

University of Oxford - Border Criminologies ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Rd
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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