Year of entry: 2024
- View tabs
- View full page
Course unit details:
|Available as a free choice unit?
This course unit aims to equip students with the ability to analyse UK Public Law, and to understand the role of Public Law (both Constitutional and Administrative Law) within its wider social, political, and moral context.
By the end of the course, students will be able to show knowledge and understanding of the Public Law facets of the UK legal system, including the major concepts and principles of that system and its main legal institutions, sources and procedures, developments, and an awareness of similarities and differences in other legal systems. Along this vein, the unit will introduce foundational legal knowledge which is a prerequisite for engaging with other modules (e.g. the operation of Human Rights within the domestic legal framework) and enable students to practise and develop the analytical, presentational and digital skills necessary for their future studies and careers.
The course aims to enable learners to develop a critical understanding of the general objectives, values, and principles of Public Law and to build both a knowledge based and critical thinking skills which can be applied to real world situations. It will introduce students to key concepts in ethics and social justice and enable them to develop awareness of social responsibility in the context of Constitutional and Administrative Law. The workshop materials engage with questions about access to justice and discussions of case law and political issues in which individuals and groups have sought to protect and assert fundamental rights for themselves or others.
- General Introduction; Constitutions and Constitutional Law; the nature of the UK Constitution
- Sources of Law in the United Kingdom
- Constitutional Principles
- Institutional Framework
- The Government
- Parliamentary Scrutiny of the Government
- The Judiciary
- The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998
- Judicial Review: Grounds and Remedies
- Delegated legislation
Teaching and learning methods
All Level 1 and Level 2 Law course units use a combination of lectures and 2 hour workshops as the scheduled teaching and learning activities.
Lectures will introduce the content and skills taught on this course and will be taught by a team of colleagues, including guest lecturers. Some lectures may include interactive elements or may require students to do individual or group preparation in advance.
Workshops will enable students to participate in a range of activities in small groups and will be led by the workshop leader. Workshops will support active approaches to learning and encourage students to socially construct knowledge using active group work both within, and in preparation for, workshops. Students will have individual reading and group tasks to prepare before workshops and opportunities for formal/informal and tutor-led/peer-to-peer feedback will be embedded in workshop design. This will include student presentations as well as an assessment & feedback focused workshop.
This course unit has a Blackboard page which will be used to deliver the range of course materials and information about teaching, learning and assessment for that course unit. It may also be used to provide online learning activities such as MCQs and quizzes to consolidate knowledge, support learning and provide feedback on progress and development.
Knowledge and understanding
- Analyse the structure and operation of the United Kingdom Constitution, including its social and cultural context.
- Analyse and evaluate the main concepts, values, rules, principles and doctrine of Public Law in England and Wales
- Analyse and evaluate the constitutional pillars and leading theories about the same: (the Rule of Law, Parliamentary Sovereignty, Checks and Balances and Human Rights)
- Analyse and evaluate why Constitutional Law is the vessel within which other aspects of the legal framework must be contained, and why its basic principles are foundational requirements for other legal disciplines.
- Analyse and evaluate the role of the three branches of State: Legislature; Judiciary and Executive.
- Analyse the law relating to the composition, functions and control of the administration (the practical, non-political and political executive) (administrative law).
- Analyse and evaluate the methods by which the powers and duties of the executive may be controlled by the courts (i.e. judicial review) or by other bodies (e.g., Parliament, Ombudsman).
- Identify the part played by citizens in the operation of the Constitution.
- Analyse and evaluate how Constitutional and Administrative Law operate to protect the rights of all members of society, and provide a particularly important safeguard for vulnerable and marginalised groups.
- Understand how citizens can use the mechanisms of Constitutional and Administrative Law to further justice, inclusion and social responsibility.
- Apply legal and non-legal knowledge, sources and reasoning to reach conclusions, identifying where there is ambiguity or uncertainty.
- Identify, interpret and evaluate relevant primary and secondary legal sources and, where appropriate, non-legal sources, when undertaking research tasks.
- Critically analyse different perspectives on core elements of the British Constitution e.g. the operation of Parliamentary Sovereignty
- Apply the main principles and rules of Public Law in relation to questions raised in assessment, to develop a coherent thesis.
- Demonstrate independent learning and critical thinking in addressing constitutional debates and challenges.
- Advocate for a preferred intellectual position in a context in which there is no single necessary or correct answer through considering the strengths and weaknesses of law, evidence and arguments.
- Be able to formulate and present arguments, synthesising doctrinal and policy issues, and demonstrating awareness of context and using legal methodology where appropriate.
- Communicate effectively in writing and orally.
- Present structured arguments and counter-arguments
- Select appropriate language for communication depending on the context and audience
- Demonstrate the principles of good academic practice in research including finding, referencing and reading academic materials
- Locate, navigate and correctly reference primary and secondary sources of Constitutional and Administrative Law including cases, statutes and relevant sources from other legal jurisdictions, and other non-legal sources as appropriate.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Demonstrate an awareness of justice and the principle of social responsibility in the context of constitutional and political debates.
- Reflect upon the responsibilities which individuals have towards groups of which they are a part, including at a societal and constitutional level.
- Demonstrate an ability to engage respectfully and constructively with those with opposing views in ideological debates.
- Effectively communicate in writing and orally in different contexts.
- Work independently, with structured support on time management and organisation.
- Evaluate their own performance and progress constructively with staff and peer support, making effective use of feedback and identifying areas for improvement and demonstrating awareness of graduate and professional legal skills
Individual and cohort feedback on summative assessment.
Formative exam and presentation.
Additional feedback on workshop tasks and in office hours.
|Scheduled activity hours
|Independent study hours