PRESBYTERIAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
FACULTY OF LAW
LL.B. YEAR 4
Course Code: PLAW 455
Course Lecturer: Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa
PLAW 455: Jurisprudence I 3 Credits
Aim/ About the Course:
Jurisprudence poses the fundamental questions about the nature of law, its place in society and how a legal system operates as a system of rules and as a social institution engaging with ideals of justice and often conflicting moral codes. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the wide spectrum of questions about the nature of law and its place in society, exploring the relationships between law, morals, ethics and politics, and critiquing the nature of legal institutions and legal reasoning.
· To introduce students to the fundamental questions of Jurisprudence
· To help students appreciate the different approaches these questions have been asked and answered
· To familiarise students with the particular approaches through which jurisprudential arguments are presented
· To place this diversity of answers within their social, political and historical context
· To encourage students to think critically and in depth about the nature of law and the role of the law in the organisation of society
· To enable students to discuss the standpoints of various theorists and engage critically with the central jurisprudential concerns and dilemmas.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
If you complete the module successfully you should be able to:
- Understand some of the most influential legal and political philosophies and their theses on law
- Understand a range of topics and debates in legal and political philosophy and especially the main methodological, ontological, and normative questions concerning law and its legitimacy
- Construct philosophical argument
- Critically assess legal and political theories and question their internal consistency and coherence as well as their foundational assumptions
- Apply abstract philosophical argument to real problems and contexts
- Present a sustained and well-constructed argument orally and in written form.
1. Introduction: The Nature of Jurisprudence, Philosophy of Law,
2. Natural Law Theories
3. Legal Positivism
4. Sociological Jurisprudence
5. Historical School of Jurisprudence,
6. Realism – American and Scandinavian.
7. Marxist Jurisprudence
Mode of delivery
2 hour Lecture and 1 hour Tutorial
· Barnett, H. (1998). Introduction to Feminist Jurisprudence. London; Cavendish
· Cotterell, R (1992). The Politics of Jurisprudence. London: Lexis Nexis.
· Finnis, J., Natural Law and Natural Rights, Part I
· Freeman Lloyds, M. D. A, (2001). Introduction to Jurisprudence. London: Sweet & Maxwell
· Harris, J.W. (1981). Can you believe in Natural Law, 44 MLR 729-735 Hart, Concept of Law
· Kelly, J.A. (1992). A Short History of Western Legal Theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1992
· MacCormick, N. (1981). “Natural Law Reconsidered,” Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 99-109
· Morrison, W. (1997). Jurisprudence: From the Greeks to Post-Modernism, London, Cavendish.
· Ward, I. (1998). An Introduction to Critical Legal Theory. London, Cavendish
Reading and Critical thinking.
Seminal Presentations – 10%
Assignments – 10%
Mid semester Exams – 20 %
End of Semester Examinations – 60%
Mode of delivery
2 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar