University of London Jurisprudence Subject Guide

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Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

This is a distance learning course to prepare students on the University of London International Programmes LLB for the exam in this subject. Jurisprudence and Legal Theory is a compulsory finals subject in Schemes A and B and an elective finals subject in the Graduate Schemes. Studying this academically demanding subject with CILEx Law School will increase your chances of exam success.

What benefit will I gain from enrolling on this course?

You will gain experience in writing exam-style questions which will prepare you for the exams set by the University. To achieve success in the exam it is essential that you can demonstrate your understanding of the legal concepts by applying your knowledge in written answers.

This course includes seven study exercises each including a number of exam-type questions for you to answer. These are meaty exercises with a word allowance of 2,500 words, designed to help you to work through the syllabus and understand the concepts. You will send your exercises to your tutor for marking as you complete them. Our tutors undertake to mark and return your study exercises within a maximum of 21 days, but these are usually returned in a shorter period. The comments you receive will help you to improve your techniques in answering exam-style questions and will give you an increased chance of passing when you come to sit your University exam.

The course materials also include a mock exam for you to prepare in your own time against the clock and submit to your tutor for marking. As well as the tutor’s feedback  a model suggested solution covering all the questions is provided.

What will I learn?

The following subject synopsis is taken from the University of London’s website:

“The nature of jurisprudence: methodology, analysis, theory and the idea of definition, the relevance of language and ideology.

Legal positivism and its critics: the command theory, Hart-Fuller debate, Dworkin’s criticism of positivism, Kelsen (including the use of Kelsenian principles in revolution cases), Raz’s theory of law.

Moral theory and the law: the history of natural law, Finnis’s natural law theory, liberalism and the Hart-Devlin debate, moral rights, utilitarianism and its critics, utilitarianism and the economic analysis of law.

Legal reasoning: Dworkin’s theory of law as integrity, Dworkin’s methodology, practical reasoning, Hohfeld’s /> analysis of legal rights.

Social theory and critical accounts of law, including the American Critical Legal Studies movement, Marxist theories of law and state, feminist jurisprudence.

A study in depth of a text prescribed by the examiners on which there will be one compulsory question in the examination.”

CILEx Law School sets study exercises specifically relating to the syllabus content. You will also receive a CILEx Law School course manual as further background reading to complement the University of London Study Guide. This covers the topics included in the University syllabus in an accessible way which will aid your understanding. Chapter headings are:

Chapter 1: What is Jurisprudence?
Chapter 2: Natural Law
Chapter 3: Imperative Theories of Bentham and Austin
Chapter 4: Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law
Chapter 5: The New Positivism: HLA Hart
Chapter 6: Raz on the Authority of Law
Chapter 7: Judicial Discretion
Chapter 8: Dworkin’s Legal Theory
Chapter 9: The 20th Century Revival of Natural Law
Chapter 10: Normative Law
Chapter 11: Introduction to Justice: Natural Law, Utility and Economic Theory
Chapter 12: Contemporary Theories of Justice
Chapter 13: Rights
Chapter 14: Conflict Theory of Law: Marxism
Chapter 15: Law After Capitalism
Chapter 16: American Realism
Chapter 17: Critical Legal Studies
Chapter 18: Feminist Legal Theory
Chapter 19: Critical Race Theory
Chapter 20: The Sociology of Law: Durkheim and Weber