SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHM222661
Module Leader William Henderson
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Public Law, Business Law, EU Law or other suitable equivalent legal underpinning.

Summary of Content

This module provides the student with an understanding of the concept of public interest law, whereby the promotion of collective justice and individual rights are advanced and protected by law. It examines the potential for law to provide an avenue of redress in areas such as human rights and civil liberties, protection of minorities, environmental and development concerns and primarily the protection of the most vulnerable in society. The module explores the foundations of areas of international law and human rights within international regional and domestic legal systems. This module provides a focus on developments at Scottish, European and International levels to enable the student to obtain a holistic approach to understanding the public interest. The syllabus is covered in a manner ensuring global issues are related to a local context, dealing with elements from a number of areas of law. The role of lawyers in society is changing - lawyers are increasingly expected to be pro-active in the prediction and prevention of unethical as well as unlawful behaviour across all areas of society. The delivery of the module will embed PRME principles including: developing graduates who care about social responsibility; developing learning and teaching which enables graduates to become responsible leaders and practitioners; and developing graduates who will advise businesses and other stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial responses to social and legal challenges.


1. Introduction to 'the public interest' 2. Sources of public interest law 3. Judicial Review: Grounds 4. Judicial Review: Standing and Scope 5. Human Rights in Europe 6. European Court of Human Rights 7. European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 8. International Human Rights Protection 9. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) 10. Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 11. Overview of international criminal law 12. The International Criminal Court

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate a comprehension of the foundations of public interest law.2. Critically evaluate the legal framework provided at a domestic and international level for pursuing public interest litigation.3. Analyse a given set of facts so as to identify the relevant legal issues arising therefrom and explain the relevant provisions.4. Evaluate the relevance of particular factual information, synthesise case law and legislation to reinforce legal points and synthesise different points of law when reaching a reasoned conclusion.5. Identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information, using paper and electronic sources; use primary and secondary legal sources relevant to the topic under study; present knowledge in written form in a way which is comprehensible to others and which is directed at their concerns; read and discuss legal materials which are written in technical and complex language.6. PRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of the law of obligations.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching of the module will be delivered via a combination of lectures and seminars. Students will have 44 hours of class contact in total. This class contact will alternate between lectures and seminars, with students also being required to engage in directed and independent learning. The structured seminar and directed studies programme of learning to be undertaken will encourage active, student-centered learning which will enable students to access and analyse a variety of primary and secondary source material available on-line in order to continuously engage with the subject in both seminars and through online work. Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. Feedback will be provided to students as follows: -360 1. Students will be provided with feedback within three weeks of submission of all summative assessments providing information on strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for corrective action to be applied in future submissions. The tutor will also provide generic feedback at the seminars where coursework will be handed back. Students may also discuss any points with their lecturer or tutor. -360 2. The virtual learning environment site will be used to feedback overall performance by students on all summative assessments highlighting overall strengths and weaknesses. -360 3. Discussion boards will be used to encourage teacher and peer-to-peer dialogue on certain topic areas where this form of communication would be regarded as effective. Student feedback on teaching, learning and assessment will be sought at the end of the semester through a module evaluation questionnaire. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

This is only a general selection of background reading. Students will be referred to current articles, press releases, and government publications, etc during the course of the module. Craig, Administrative Law, 4th edition, Sweet & Maxwell, 1999 McEldowney, Public Law, 2nd edition, Sweet & Maxwell, 1998 Bantekas and Oette, International Human Rights Law and Practice, Cambridge University Press, 2013 Bradley & Ewing, Constitutional and Administrative Law, 13th edition, Longman, 2001 De Smith, Woolf & Towell, Principles of Judicial Review, Sweet & Maxwell, 1999 White and Ovey, European Convention on Human Rights, 5th edition, Oxford University Press, 2010 Bingham, The Rule of Law, Allen Lane, 2010 Michelon, Clunie, McCorkindale & Psarras, The Public in Law, Ashgate, 2012 Reed & Murdoch, Human Rights Law in Scotland, 3rd edition, Bloomsbury, 2011 Brownlie & Goodwin-Gill: Basic Documents on Human Rights, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, 2002 Janis, Kay & Bradley: European Human Rights Law (Texts and Materials), 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2008 Miller, Human Rights - A Modern Agenda, T & T Clark, 2000 Reed and Murdoch, Human Rights in Scotland, Bloomsbury, 3 rd edition, 2011 Reid: A Practitioner's Guide to the European Convention on Human Rights, 2nd edition, Sweet and Maxwell, 2004 Alston & Goodman, International Human Rights, Oxford University Press, 2013 Wadham and Mountfield: Human Rights Act 1998, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2003 Wallace, International Human Rights (Texts and Materials), 2nd edition, Sweet and Maxwell, 2001 Mowbray, Cases and Materials on the European Convention on Human Rights, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2012 Harris, O'Boyle & Warbrick: Law of the European Convention on Human Rights, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2009 Cassese, International Law, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2005 Dixon, McCorquodale & Williams, Cases and Materials on International Law, 5th edition, Oxford University Press, 2011

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation The ability to identify issues, assimilate, 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. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Solving well defined ( typically hypothetical)problems through essay, and seminars b7 Managing, analysing and rating a large volume of legal sources in essay, online and seminar b7 work b7 Preparing two detailed assessments - one domestic and one international involving a large b7 variety of legal sources b7 Application of law from a variety of jurisdictions and problem-solving in a legal context Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Meeting deadlines for assessment: online and two essay b7 Preparing presentation in seminars to set time period b7 Preparing analyses of problem questions for weekly seminars b7 Access materials via the GCU Learn site b7 Access and complete on-line assessment b7 Require students to identify and access primary and secondary source materials Communication and Literacy The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic within 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. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Creating work in a permanent format which is understandable by the intended audience b7 Create an essay which is analytical, descriptive and inquisitive b7 Using appropriate legal terminology in all work - answer to seminar questions, exam and on-line exercise b7 Giving face-to-face presentations with seminar leaders which addresses the allocated question within the prescribed time frame. b7 Listening and questioning effectively. b7 Giving and receiving feedback and responding effectively to others within seminar group and in discussion on presentations. b7 Ensuring that all communications (either face-to-face or in permanent form) are succinct without losing focus on key issues or information. -360b7 Communicating in plain English, with legal terminology only as needed b7 Contributing effectively to group work in class and assessment b7 Using recognised methods of citation and reference which will be used in coursework b7 Preparing for seminars b7 Engaging in individual presentation in seminar Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by E-mail. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Word processed essays b7 Use of Internet - general and specific - to research legal materials for seminar, essay and exam preparation -360b7 Completion of online assessment b7 Seminar tasks requiring retrieval of information using electronic legal databases from variety of legal jurisdictions (eg Westlaw, government, international organisation websites) -360b7 Communication with module team via email Participation in seminar discussions

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 22.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Independent Learning (FT) 96.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 03 n/a 20.00 35% Online workbook - contribution to ongoing online project
Course Work 02 n/a 40.00 35% Essay on international law subject matter - 2000 words (week 14)
Course Work 01 n/a 40.00 35% Essay on domestic law subject matter - 2000 words (week 8)