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Handbooks Courses Units

LAW7010 - Contemporary legal thought

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: T.B.A.


Not offered in 2008


Topics covered will vary to reflect new and emerging perspectives and to accommodate students interests. In the past the following topics have been covered: introduction to interdisciplinary scholarship; the death of law?; Luhmann's social systems theory of law; liberalism and the rule of law; Rawls' theory of justice; feminist critiques of law; law and economics; critical legal studies; Unger's transformative theory of law; Michel Foucault on disciplines and legal discourse; law and geography; Robert Cover and legal language; law and literature; interpretivism and legal practice; Stanley Fish and neo-progmatism.


On completion of this subject students will have acquired or developed

  1. a familiarity with a variety of theoretical approaches from the humanities and social sciences with relevance to legal questions and phenomena;
  2. an understanding of several substantive themes which connect the theoretical approaches surveyed;
  3. a capacity to formulate questions drawn from different theoretical perspectives and to apply these in class discussions and written assessment work;
  4. the ability to use the theoretical persectives to interrogate critically legal attitudes and practices;
  5. the ability to conduct independent interdisciplinary research and to produce written work which is analytical and critical and draws on one or more theoretical perspectives covered during the course; and
  6. an awareness of the research and analytical possibilities for dissertation and thesis work provided by the perspectives considered in class.


Research essay (3375 words): 45%
Take home examination (3375 words): 45%
Class participation: 10%

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

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