Contemporary Issues in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

Module code: LLBP3041

Module description

Jurisprudence can be described as a critical investigation into the theories, nature and philosophy of law. It addresses questions arising from the advancement of doctrinal law, such as, what is law and why does it matter? Are there unjust laws? What are the appropriate limits and justifications for law? What is the relationship between law, morality and justice? Do judges make law or do they find it? Does law in effect do something other than what it purports to do? What considerations determine one legal argument as making more sense than another? Such questions form the starting point for much inquiry and debate. Other disciplines such as philosophy, sociology, economics, history, literature and psychology are used in investigating the legitimacy and appropriateness of key legal doctrines.

Much of the module will be spent on systematically questioning attitudes, beliefs, values and presuppositions about law and legal practice. The module is library-based; a range of interdisciplinary materials will be used to subject legal 'facts' or 'truths' to critical analysis within the contexts in which they arise. The first half of the course introduces key legal theories and theorists. The second semester encourages the exploration of legal theories within the context of contemporary issues, themes and events.

Contact hours per student per year

  • Seminars: 44 hours


  • Essay 1: 50%
  • Essay 2: 40%
  • Presentation: 10%

Additional costs: No extra costs other than purchase of books

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