Civil Justice System
An accident, the purchase of a defective product, or the loss of a job can all involve using lawyers and the courts. The realities of using the system, along with theoretical questions about the basis of civil justice, will be explored in this module. It will also consider how judges interpret statutes and use particular cases.
Commercial law is about legal transactions involving goods. The most basic commercial transaction is a sale of goods. Sales vary widely in nature, from the purchase of a newspaper over a shop counter to an oil transaction worth many thousands of pounds. This module examines what can go wrong with such contracts and looks at the remedies that are available when things do go wrong. For example, what is the legal position if the goods are defective or unsuitable for the buyer's purposes, or they are destroyed before the buyer takes delivery, or if someone buys goods that the seller has no right to sell? These are just some of the questions we consider.
The formation, operation and dissolution of companies are subject to legal and extra-legal controls. Company law investigates such notions as limited liability, share capital and companies' ‘legal personality’. It explores the relationship between directors and shareholders, creditors and the company, and investors and the company.
Competition Law & Policy
Competition law examines the legal framework for regulating restrictive agreements, mergers, monopolies and anti-competitive practices in the United Kingdom and then considers how similar issues, together with public undertakings and the control of state intervention, are regulated by EU law.
Conflict of Laws
This module deals with the situation where there is an international element in the legal status or relationship of the parties. For example, a person from one country may marry, or enter into a contract with someone from another country. In the event of a dispute, which courts should have jurisdiction and what law should be applied to resolve the dispute? And, will a judgment obtained in one country be recognised and enforced in another? The conflict of laws provides an answer to these questions.
Constitutional & Administrative Law
This module is concerned with the structure, function and operation of the United Kingdom Constitution and the arrangements in place for political and legal accountability under the Constitution. In the first semester, the module provides a critical examination of the political accountability of government and appraises the protection of human rights, devolution, and House of Lords reform. In the second semester, the module focuses on the accountability of government action before courts and tribunals, at the level of both central and local government, and also considers alternative redress mechanisms, such as the Parliamentary Commissioner of Administration.
What are the legal rights of consumers, or businesses involved in multi-million pound deals? Is there an agreement that the courts will enforce? What legal remedies are available? By looking at case law and statutes, this module illuminates the principles, which answer these questions.
Criminal Justice System
Stop and search, arrest, bail and offending, jury trials, and miscarriages of justice continue to make newspaper headlines. This module looks at the law behind the headlines and asks fundamental questions about the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
Why does the law distinguish between murder and manslaughter? Why is it criminal to attempt to commit a crime? These and other central issues are examined and the main offences, such as rape, theft and homicide, are evaluated by reference to the overall purposes of the criminal law and punishment.
Criminology is the multi-disciplinary study of crime, criminals and the criminal justice system. It is informed by a wide variety of perspectives, helping students to develop a contextual understanding of the law. Specifically, the course focuses on: constructions of crime; discourses on punishment; women and the criminal justice system; drug policy; youth justice; and, race and the criminal justice system.
This module examines the role of law in regulating the employment relationship. On the one hand, the rights of individuals are considered, such as the protection against discrimination or unfair dismissal. On the other, the collective rights of workers are explored, with particular reference to the role of trade unions. In both areas, special attention is given to the impact of EU law and human rights principles in transforming employment law.
This module examines the legal and institutional structure of the European Union. It considers substantive areas of EU law, such as the free movement of persons, and explores the role of the European Court of Justice in shaping the pattern of European integration.
Equity & Trusts
When a person wishes to benefit others, whether they are individuals, charities or simply 'causes', he or she may use the machinery of a 'trust'. In this module we look at the making and breaking of trusts, and at the position and duties of trustees.
Family law issues have attracted much public debate and have increasingly been recognised as key areas for legal scholarship. Most students will have their own notion of what a family is or ought to be and this can make the subject more accessible. Family law clients account for a significant proportion of practitioners' caseloads. However, family law has also been acknowledged as being at the forefront of intellectual pursuit, in terms of the inter-disciplinary academic challenges that it raises. This module demonstrates that even the definition of what constitutes a ‘family’ is problematic and touches upon wider socio-legalistic perspectives. The module initially examines nullity, divorce, financial consequences of marital and non-marital breakdown, domestic violence, and family property on death. To be followed by the examination of private and public law and children, adoption law and international child abduction. Students are encouraged not only to comprehend the legal rules but also to read widely around each topic.
Human Rights & Civil Liberties
Matters relating to political terrorism, racial discrimination, obscenity, pornography, contempt of court and public order powers are often in the news. This module examines the law behind the headlines.
Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property L aw comprises the law dealing with creations of the human mind in a wide sense. Intellectual Property Rights are exclusive (property) rights which govern the use and protection of these creations, i.e. these rights regulate the creation, use, exploitation of mental and creative labour. The most important IP rights which this module examines are: Patents (protection of a new technical invention); Trade Marks (signs, names, logos, badges of trade etc, to protect the goodwill of the product/enterprise going with them); Copyright (primarily the protection of ‘cultural’ creations of the human mind, and especially of creations with some artistic aspect to it: literary and artistic works, music, but also films, broadcasts, computer programs); and Designs. Intellectual Property law has a great practical importance in the areas of the engineering and pharmaceutical sectors (patents) and the entertainment and computer/software industries, but also in virtually any commercial activity which typically involves issues of branding (trade marks), passing off and the use of the internet (copyright) for advertising and sales.
Do states have obligations to protect human rights, prevent pollution of the environment and to combat international terrorism? What is the legal status of the oceans, Antarctica and outer space? What role does the United Nations have in preventing international disputes and maintaining international peace and security? This module demonstrates the everyday importance of the international legal system.
Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning
Interactive learning situations are used in this module to allow students to gain personal experience of working with a wide range of legal materials. Students also have the opportunity to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills, and to explore legal writing. On line legal research skills are developed using a set of materials which are facilitated by academic staff, but which students work through individually in the computer lab. This module continues by exploring theory as an aid to understanding concrete legal problems in their social, political and philosophical context. This course consists of case law from various areas of law (e.g. contract law, health care law, family law, constitutional law, criminal law and tort law) together with some theoretical writings, which can help to explain some of the underlying ideas which are employed in these cases.
Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law. The nature of justice, the origins and authority of the state, and the legitimate extent of legal authority are some of the issues considered. The approach adopted is an historical one, and the module will examine in some detail the ideas of a number of philosophers from Plato to the present day.
One day you may want to own the house you live in. Or, should you merely rent it? What is the difference between an owner and a tenant? What will happen if you fail to make the mortgage repayments? Suppose your neighbour claims a right to cross your land, or wants to stop you building an extension. This module explores all these issues.
Law of Evidence
This module examines the rules that regulate the admissibility of evidence in a criminal or civil trial. Rules of evidence occupy a central role in the protection of a defendant's human rights within the criminal justice system. Students will be required to apply the rules that they have learnt to fictional problems, and will be taught to identify those areas where the current rules are inadequate.
Law and Political Theory
Should we obey the law? What is the relationship between law and power? This course looks at areas of political theory and considers the ways in which these raise questions about law. In the first semester, the course considers work influenced by contemporary continental philosophy, such as Michel Foucault and contemporary readings of Spinoza by Gilles Deleuze and Moira Gatens. The second semester starts with a detailed consideration of anarchism. Finally, the work of contemporary legal theorists is employed to continue the analysis of whether we should obey the law.
Law of Torts
Road accidents, noisy neighbours, untrue stories in the press and incorrect auditing can all cause harm. The law of tort is the mechanism by which the victims of harm can obtain compensation from the wrongdoer. This module looks at the legal rules and their implications.
English law has a long and rich history. This module focuses on the internal dynamic of the common law by looking at the development of certain key legal doctrines in land law and the law of obligations. It also examines the interaction between law and social change, focusing on the development of the criminal law and the welfare state in the modern period. By providing an historical perspective on these areas of law, the course aims to deepen students' understanding of their other subjects and to enhance their ability to critically appraise legal change and development.
From payments to surrogates to euthanasia, from genetic screening to reform of the laws regarding organ transplantation, health care law encompasses a range of topical and highly controversial legal and ethical issues. This module explores the legal regulation of health care today, the extent to which the law safeguards patients' rights in areas such as consent to treatment and confidentiality, medical negligence litigation, legal and ethical dilemmas at the beginning and end of life, organ transplantation and the use of human material for clinical research.