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Legal Systems


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 3
  • Convenor: Dr Bernard Keenan
  • Assessment: a case brief (30%) and an essay (70%)

Module description

In this Foundation Year module, we introduce you to the structure of the English legal system and current debates within it. We will provide you with a foundation for understanding how the legal system works, from identifying legal sources to learning about the principles of precedent, statutory interpretation, and how to identify the binding legal rules derived from cases.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to: 

  • locate, read and understand case law and statutory law
  • identify with guidance the key sources of law
  • understand principles of the common law and the English legal system, including: precedent, ratio decidendi, statutory interpretation
  • apply principles of the English legal system to defined topics and questions
  • convey an awareness that elements of the English legal system are subject to criticism and politicisation
  • assess your own ability and understanding of the English legal system via feedback.