The main objective of the module is to introduce students to the most important theoretical and conceptual frameworks developed in legal and non-legal scholarship regarding the operation of legal institutions and law as a system, the relationship between law and values, and the interplay between law and its socio-economic context. Understanding the role of (legal) reasoning in law as a discipline will be given a special emphasis. The module will cover a selection of the most relevant legal thinkers (Radbruch, Fuller, Hart, Dworkin, Posner, Kennedy, Fineman, Jasanoff).
The module will be taught in a seminar format which will combine limited frontal teaching, individual work and group discussions. Students will work with primary (e.g., legal provisions, judicial decisions) and secondary legal resources (i.e., legal scholarship). These will be made available in advance through Canvas. Teaching sessions will be organised to ensure that students are able to develop some basic legal skills, such as understanding and interpreting (complex) legal texts and developing coherent (coherently argued) responses to legal problems.
Students are expected to participate in the tutor- or student-led discussions.
Students are expected to prepare in advance for each teaching session. The minimum requirement is to read the material provided. Please, follow the precise instructions given for each reading material.
For purposes of feedback on student progress, and as part of the assessment framework of the module, students will be required to complete an online quiz on each of the compulsory reading materials.
The course is mainly intended for students who are interested in law/legal studies, politics and public policy, and international relations or international law.