University of London Undergraduate Laws Programme Course Descriptor

Title: Common Law Reasoning and Institutions [LA1021] Course Level: Four Credit Value: 30 Course Pre-requisites: None

Notional Student Study Time: 300 hours Course Overview
This introduction to the English legal system seeks to convey what is distinctive about the common law approach as a legal methodology as it reflects the history and politics research. of England and Wales. The course is vital in initiating students into the process of legal

Course Aims
To achieve an overview of the central institutions and processes of the English Legal System and to introduce students to techniques of legal interpretation and legal research.

Intended Learning Outcomes
1. 2. On successful completion of the course students should be able to: interpretation interpretation Understand the structure and operation of the central institutions and processes of the English legal system and to have a basic facility with techniques of legal Conduct of legal research using primary and secondary resources


Understand techniques of legal reasoning covering precedent and statutory

evaluation. in particular the Law Lords and the Supreme Court Explain the basic structures of civil and criminal justice Civil and Criminal Justice Explain the key concepts of Legal Aid Understand the role of due Process and the importance of Article 6 (ECHR) in Key skills 1. 3. 5. 4. reflect on their own learning and make Communication and literacy: demonstrate effective written communication skills in assessed work using legal terminology appropriately. Describe the role of judges. core text book and subject specific Study Pack which are supported by dedicated activities. legal principles to specific sets of facts based in Common Law and deduce likely Analysis. On successful completion of the course students should be able to: Application and problem solving: apply legal principles to a range of specific Sources and research: identify and retrieve primary and secondary sources of correctly cite and reference source materials outcomes Common Law based problems and present reasoned arguments and conclusions Common Law using hard copy and online databases and electronic sources. self-assessment exercises. resources contained in the Laws VLE which includes rich media. to us the internet and email: to use electronic retrieval IT Skills: produce word processed documents or text and present this in an Methods of Learning & Teaching Knowledge and understanding are acquired through the specially prepared Subject Guide. 6. demonstrate effective reading of legal sources systems appropriate form. online subject based .4. 5. critical judgement and synthesis: analyse and apply Autonomy and ability to learn: act independently in planning and managing use of feedback tasks in areas where they have studied. 6. the online library. 7. 2. optional f2f study support and internet-based legal research activities.

The Politics of The Common Law (London: Supplementary Reading James Holland and Julian Webb. and library use as well as more substantial questions on the research essay that a student is required to complete. The research essay must be submitted electronically via the VLE by 1 May in the academic year in which the course is being taken. . with the first part (Part A) being a compulsory question on legal research. complete the online legal research exercises. Wayne Morrison and Rob Jago. Indicative Reading Core text Routledge. A student must pay close attention to the relevant chapters in the subject guide. 2010) Simon Askey and Ian McLeod. citation of legal information. 2009) Adam Gearey. Learning Legal Rules (Oxford: Oxford University Press. The approved essay titles will be placed on the VLE. The assessment of this course by an unseen written paper will consist of two parts. Summative assessment is through a three hour unseen examination.Assessment Formative Assessment is conducted through interactive online activities. with particular reference to the use of the London online library and web based resources (d) The role and operation of courts (e) Judicial reasoning in relation to (i) cases. (h) The civil justice process (in outline) with particular attention to reform (i) Legal services and access to justice with particular attention to the legal profession and legal aid. and write a short research essay on one of the approved titles for the academic year in which they sit the examination. A student is required to use the online library. The compulsory question may contain short questions based on the exercises on legal research. and (ii) statutes (f) The judiciary and magistracy (g) The criminal justice process (in outline) and the role of rights in the process with particular attention to the jury and the impact of the Human Rights Act. Studying Law (London: Palgrave MacMillan. study pack and the learning objectives therein. 2011) Syllabus (a) The nature of the common law tradition (b) Sources of law and principles of legal research (c) Conduct of legal research and retrieval of legal information.