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Unit information: Introduction to Law (Erasmus) in 2016/17

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Unit name Introduction to Law (Erasmus)
Unit code LAWD10017
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Short
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description

(This unit is linked to LAWD10016)

This unit provides the foundation for new law students to develop the basic knowledge and skills required to study law at University.

Specifically,

  1. It introduces the key characteristics of the legal system of England and Wales (ELS) and the broader legal landscape in which the ELS operates. Students will be introduced to the main divisions of law and the legal processes and the remedies associated with those divisions; the nature and sources of law; the doctrine of precedent and the rules of statutory interpretation; and EU law and International Law
  2. It introduces differing perspectives on the function of law in society and also fundamental social concepts such as access to justice
  3. It develops basic legal skills including how to identify and find relevant legal sources and materials; how to reference and cite legal sources and materials; how to read a case; how to apply the rules of precedent and statutory interpretation; how to recognise the characteristics of a legal argument; and how to construct a basic legal argument both orally and in writing using clear, appropriate English

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, successful students should be able to:

  • Describe in outline the key characteristics of the legal system of England and Wales (ELS) and demonstrate an awareness of the broader legal landscape in which the ELS operates
  • Offer a basic account of the different perspectives on the function of law in society and illustrate that account through examples (such as debates on access to justice)
  • Identify and find relevant legal sources and materials made available by the library both in print and electronically
  • Reference and cite legal materials correctly
  • Appreciate how to read a case and be able to pick out its material facts and ratio, as well as distinguish this from obiter dicta
  • Recognise the characteristics of a legal argument; construct a basic legal argument demonstrating knowledge of how to apply the rules of precedent and statutory interpretation; present this argument both verbally and in writing using clear, appropriate English

Teaching details

This unit will be taught intensively over the latter part of introductory week and throughout weeks 0, 1 and 2 in a mixture of lectures and small groups. No other law unit will be taught at this time. This will amount to a total of 20 lectures, 4 two-hour seminars, a library/IT skills session, and a personal tutor meeting. Focused worksheets will be provided for each day providing students with a disciplined initial programme of reading and study on their arrival at university. All lectures will be recorded and classes supported by online materials. Following the summative assessment, there will be a one-hour feedback tutorial, during which students discuss their assessment feedback in their tutor groups.

Assessment Details

1 formative: 1 x 1,000 word coursework. The formative assessment for this unit is for feedback purposes only.

1 summative assessment: 1 x 3,000 word coursework.

The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

  • Martin Partington, Introduction to the English Legal System: 2016-2017 published by Oxford University Press (2016, 11th edition).
  • James Holland and Julian Webb, Learning Legal Rules (OUP 2016, 9th Edition)
  • John Adams and Roger Brownsword, Understanding Law, (Sweet and Maxwell, 2006)
  • Fiona Cownie, Anthony Bradney, Mandy Burton, English Legal System in Context (OUP, 2013)
  • Alisdair Gillespie, The English Legal System (OUP, 2015)

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