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LAW4137 - Legal philosophy 406

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Law


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Topics include: legal positivism - classical and contemporary, inclusive and exclusive; natural law theory; Dworkin's legal theory; perspectives on law - liberalism, feminism, critical legal studies; the obligation to obey the law.


Students will acquire a basic understanding of the major contemporary philosophies of law and legal reasoning, and the main lines of debate between them. In particular, students will

  1. acquire an understanding of how each philosophy regards the relationships between law and justice, and legal and moral reasoning; and
  2. develop an appreciation of how the debates between these philosophies illuminate actual controversies in the practical administration of legal systems.


Research assignment (3000 words): 40%
Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 60%

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2200 or LAW2201 and LAW2202