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Public Corruption and the Law (University of Chicago Law School)

This seminar focuses on how governments use the law to prevent and catch public corruption, how the law is sometimes used to protect public corruption, and how one should determine the optimal response to corruption and its consequences.

This seminar, part of the JD program at the University of Chicago Law School, will focus on how governments use the law to prevent and catch public corruption, how the law is sometimes used to protect public corruption, and how one should determine the optimal response to corruption and its consequences. We will examine the substantive criminal laws and sentencing schemes used in the best public corruption prosecutions, ranging from RICO and "honest services" fraud to bribery and extortion laws.

We will also examine the laws that create, authorize, or prevent the most effective investigative tools used by law enforcement against public corruption, including wiretap laws and related privacy issues. We will study several key topics within public corruption law, including patronage, its effect on democratic institutions, and its status under the First Amendment; campaign finance reform and whether money in campaigns is protected speech or a corrupting influence (or both); and the relationship between transparency, online access to information, and corruption. We will also consider an economic analysis of public corruption, including questions about whether the level of democracy, and the pervasiveness of corruption in the culture, affect the cost-benefit analysis. Constitutional Law I and II are recommended pre-requisites.

 David Hoffman is a partner at Sidley Austin and served as the Inspector General for the City of Chicago from 2005 through 2009, in charge of an independent office that uncovered corruption, fraud, misconduct, and waste in city government.  In 2009, he also served on the Illinois Reform Commission, a body appointed by the Governor to recommend anti-corruption reforms for Illinois. 

For more information on the course, please see the following link: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/node/1568/courses

For more information on the University of Chicago Law School, please see the following link: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/


14 Nov 2013



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