LL4053 - English Legal System (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||English Legal System|
|Module level||Certificate (04)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2020/21||
English Legal System is a core module for the LL.B. courses and the BA in Law, which introduces students to the workings of the English Legal System in its historical, contemporary and international context.
It includes the study of the sources of law; the law-making process; the institutional and court structure; and basic issues of procedure within the English Legal system.
It also enables students to start to acquire the fundamental academic and professional skills necessary for the undergraduate study of law. In this way, it provides a solid support both for the other Level 4 modules, and also for the remainder of the degree course and beyond into professional practice.
The aims of the module are to introduce the following to students:
1. Reflective thinking in the context of contemporary legal issues.
2. A working knowledge of legal language, sources of English law and legal procedure;
3. How to locate legal material;
4. How to read and understand primary and secondary sources of law (paper based and electronic);
5. How to recognise and develop at an introductory level the practical and professional legal skills of advocacy, legal research and legal writing.
Prior learning requirements
LEGAL LANGUAGE AND PROCEDURE
1 The Categories of Law
2 The Language of the Law
3 The Overlap of Criminal and Civil Law
4 The Hierarchy of the Criminal and Civil Courts
LO1 & LO2
THE SOURCES OF ENGLISH LAW
5 Statute Law
6 The Common Law: Introduction
7 The Common Law: The Operation of Judicial Precedent
8 The Doctrine of Equity
9 European Union Law
10 Subsidiary Sources of Law
11 Statutory Interpretation: The General Rules
12 Statutory Interpretation: Human Rights
LO2 & LO3
INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE
13 Sources of Criminal Law
14 Categories of Crime
15 The Police and the Crown Prosecution Service
16 The Magistrates’ Courts
17 The Crown Court
18 The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
19 The Supreme Court
20 Appeals by way of Case Stated
21 Elements of Criminal Procedure
INTRODUCTION TO CIVIL LAW AND PROCEDURE
22 Categories of Civil Law
24 Civil Litigation: Introduction
25 Civil Litigation: Alternative Dispute Resolution
26 Civil Litigation: Arbitration
27 Civil Litigation: Mediation and Conciliation
28 Civil Litigation: Going to Court
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Learning and Teaching Strategy
Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar.
The lecture will be used for:
Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
An introduction to relevant academic literature;
Guidance on learning strategies;
Use of Weblearn and IT resources;
Whole group questions and discussion.
The seminar will be used for:
Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases and statutes
All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on Weblearn for use in directed private study.
Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of Weblearn for access to all of the above materials.
There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research
Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp
Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be frequent feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto Weblearn.
Students’ Study Responsibilities
The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.
On successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:
1. Reflect on how legal principles affect contemporary society.
2. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the key elements of the English Legal System.
3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of primary and secondary source legal materials.
4. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the elements of criminal and civil litigation.
1. Learning Reflection (LO1) 500 words
A summative assessment given in the week 7 of the course by which the students will locate and report on a news story with a legal edge. This will enable them to consider, and to reflect upon, how the learning they have so far achieved in this module already enables them to apply legal principles within a real social context.
It will also be an early indication of the progress they are making on the course.
2. Multiple choice in-class test (LO2, LO3 and LO4) I hour
This will assess knowledge of a wide range of factual topics and situational judgment.