SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3M122827
Module Leader James Connolly
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The module is two parts. Firstly, student is introduced to jurisprudence as a branch of philosophy generally, tracing the history of the philosophy of law paying particular attention to key figures in the development from ancient times to the present day. In the second part, student is introduced to economic and social theories of law and justice in a modern and postmodern perspective. Lawyers are increasingly expected to be pro-active in the prediction and prevention of unethical | unlawful behaviour across society. The module shall teach PRME principle including: developing graduate that cares about social responsibility; developing learning and teaching which lets graduates become responsible leaders and practitioners; and developing graduate that will advise businesses and other stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial responses to social | legal challenges.


Part A 1) Introduction to jurisprudence; Law in Antiquity; 2) Socrates on law; Plato's Republic 3) Aristotle; Cicero and Roman Stoics; St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and Scholasticism 4) Secularisation of law and historic social contractarian theories 5) Descartes and modern philosophy, Kant, Hume, late 19 th and 20th century philosophy, 6) Finnis and neo-Thomism; Fuller and procedural naturalism; Bingham and the rule of law 7) Bentham, Austin and classical positivism; Modern positivism - the meta- legal: Kelsen's grundnorm 8) Agamben and The State of Exception; 9) Hart's Concept of Law; Raz's Authority thesis; 10) Dworkin on Law and Ethics 11) Overview of legal philosophy. Part B 1) Freedom and Anarchy - Adam Smith, Nozick, Anarchist theory. 2) Egalitarian justice: Rawls, Sen, Cohen. 3) Rights theories; Sandel and Communitarian Ethics; Scanlon and Contractualism 4) Law and moral theory 5) Dialectical social theories: Hegel and Marx; Sociological pioneers (Weber, Durkheim); Luhmann and Autopoesis 6) Frankfurt School and Habermas; The American Legal Realists;Critical Legal Studies; 7) The Scandinavian Legal Realists; Authoritarian Psychologies and Law 8) Economic Analysis of Law 9) Feminist and Postmodern Legal Theories; Derrida; Foucault. 10) Bourdieu; Twining; Globalisation of Law 11) Overview of law and social theory.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of module, the student should:1) Be able to identify, distinguish and compare the theoretical philosophical type arguments2) Be able to develop and compose arguments based upon the various theories presented with respect to current and hypothetical issues.3) Be able to appraise and assess the meaning and significance of law in society with reference to existing theories.PRME Learning Outcome: 4) Be aware of research and theoretical underpinnings that advances their understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of institutions of law in the creation of values of social justice, including multi-national legal practices.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Traditional strategy of lectures supported by handouts and directed reading, augmented with audio visual materials via GCU-Learn. Weekly seminars reinforce lecture material by engendering class discussion on preset questions related to lecture material. In order to encourage contribution by student in seminars there shall be a max of 10% to be gained in 1% increments per seminar, which counts towards the summative module mark. Internationalisation: Teaching of the module shall set Scots, UK and EU law in an appropriate structure in an international context. Feedback for coursework will be carried out by on-line marking and personalised comments through the Turnitin facility. Feedback will be given on the spot as regards seminar contribution, recognising such facets as preparedness, relevant engagement with seminar leader and students, intelligent and critical legal thought as regards conceptual issues.

Indicative Reading

-567 Highly Recommended 1. Riddall, Jurisprudence , 2nd edition, Butterworths, 1999 2. McCoubrey, Textbook on Jurisprudence , (4th ed), Oxford, 2008. 3. Banakar, Law and Social Theory, (2 nd ed.) Oxford, 2013. 4. Travers, Understanding Law and Society, Routledge, 2010. Other recommended: Brooke, Q & A Jurisprudence, Routledge, 2011, 5 th ed. Cotterrell, The Politics of Jurisprudence , 2 nd ed. LexisNexis 2003 Davies & Holdcroft, Jurisprudence Texts and Commentaries, Butterworths, 1991 (not in print anymore) Harris, Legal Philosophies , 2nd edition, Butterworths, 1997 Kelly, A Short History of Western Legal Theory, Oxford, 1991. Letwin, Shirley On the History of the Idea of Law, Cambridge, 2008. Twining, How to Do Things With Rules. Butterworths, 1999, 4 th Ed. Twining, Globalisation and Legal Theory, Butterworths, 2000. Veitch, Christodoulidis, Farmer, Jurisprudence- Themes and Concepts (2 nd ed) Routledge, 2012. Ward, An Introduction to Critical Legal Theory , Cavendish Publishing,1998. Online sources: -567 <http://www2.law.ox.ac.uk/jurisprudence/> <http://www2.law.ox.ac.uk/jurisprudence/news.htm> Also the Oxford Jurisprudence discussion group <http://www.oxford-jdg.net/> <http://sydney.edu.au/law/jurisprudence/address.shtml> <http://www.icj.org/default.asp> International Commission of Jurists. <http://www.legaltheory.eu/index> <http://ivronline.org/home.html> . Very interesting Legal theory Blog with Rss feed by Laurence B. Solum. <http://lsolum.typepad.com/legaltheory/> <http://leiterlegalphilosophy.typepad.com/> <http://www2.law.ed.ac.uk/legaltheory/> <http://www.justiceharvard.org/watch/> Journals Ratio Juris, Legal Theory, Journal of Law and Society, American Journal of Jurisprudence, Feminist Legal Studies, Journal of Legal Studies, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Jurisprudence

Transferrable Skills

By the end of the module students should have gained competence in the following key areas: Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation The ability to identify issues, evaluate and analyse information to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Communication and Literacy The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices via an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus upon key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic in the prescribed time frame. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. Numeracy, Information, and Technology Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to then present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to then produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 95.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Lectures (FT) 44.00
Seminars (FT) 11.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% Exam Unseen(Trimester A - Exam period) (3 from 8)
Seminar Contribution 10.00 10.00 35% Seminarcontribution
Coursework 2 n/a 40.00 35% Coursework Week 7 2,000 words.