Jurisprudence

Course code LAWS4006Units 10Level 4000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Law School

This course is a mandatory program component for all students enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws program.

This course is different from all the other courses that make up the LLB program. It is designed to facilitate students thinking about the law rather than learning detailed analysis of the legislation and cases consigned to a particular area of law. It will require the student to critically consider the nature of law, its role in society, and various perspectives and critiques on law. In essence, the study of jurisprudence is a study of the philosophy of law. A student can expect to be confronted with new and at times difficult approaches that challenge his/her thinking and assumptions about law. In encountering these situations students will be required to do the additional work to master the approaches and deal effectively with the material being presented.

This course provides an introduction and elaboration of contemporary theories of law and an overview of the institutions and processes of law in Western liberal societies. It examines selected critiques of western liberal legal thought including naturalism, positivism, realism, law and economics, critical legal studies feminist jurisprudence and critical legal studies. In addition the course investigates and juxtaposes major non-Western theories of law, their dynamics and influence in the overall development of legal philosophy. This critical and analytical investigation and evaluation is done against the broad landscape of arguments about the operation of law in society.

Not available in 2014

Previously offered in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
ObjectivesThe goal is to promote and develop a critical understanding of the following:
1. Law and societal values - plurality in modern Western liberal-democracies.
2. Modern scientific and extra-scientific frames of reference constructed in the English-speaking world within which official prescriptions and pronouncements, and processes of legal decision-making, can be characterised as societal images of law.
3. Authoritative judicial reasonings and their modalities in Common Law traditions.

On successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:
1. demonstrate a critical understanding of major schools of legal theory
2. evaluate multiple and conflicting perspectives on law and engage in open-minded academic discussion on them in an applied context.
Content1. JURISPRUDENCE AND ITS FUNCTIONS

2. LAW , TRADITIONS, AND LIBERAL DEMOCRACY: 'RULE OF LAW'

3. IMAGES OF LAW
A. POSITIVISM
(1) Common Law and the Rise of Classical Positivism
(2) Modern Modified Positivism

B. 'PURE' THEORY OF LAW

C. TWO PERSPECTIVES BEYOND POSITIVISM
(1) Natural Law
(2) American Realism

4. THEORY AND ADJUCTICATION
A. CONTEMPORARY ASSAULT ON POSITIVISM: DWORKIN, POSITIVISM AND ADJUDICATION

B. MODES OF REASONING AND JUDICIAL RHETORIC
Replacing Course(s)n/a
Transitionn/a
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeLAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1002A, LAWS1002B, LAWS2003A, LAWS2003B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS3005
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Seminar
Assessment Items
Essays / Written Assignments
Examination: Take Home
Contact HoursLecture: for 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Requisite by EnrolmentThis course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs.