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Legal Theory - JURD7431
 Landscape with Library

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011 and Corequisite: LAWS2311; Prerequisite: JURD7101 and JURD7111 and Corequisite: JURD7211
Excluded: JURD7223, LAWS2320, LAWS3331
Fee Band: 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


The course is composed of two parts. In part one we discuss a number of basic notions associated with contemporary legal philosophy. These include - the nature of legal analysis, the separation of law from other areas of social life, the character of legal positivism, the role of the legal decision-maker, legal practice as an interpretive activity, the character of moral judgment, the difference in moral theory between the right and the good, liberalism as a political theory and its opponents, and liberalism's attitude to rights and to cultural difference. In part two we apply some of these ideas to a number of 'problems' in contemporary legal practice. Just which problems varies from semester to semester but typical areas of study would be - human rights in East Asia, the legal response to cultural diversity, feminism and difference, legal responsibility, punishment, rights and judicial power, citizenship, the character of legal decision-making.

Note: If taken as a compulsory course, it is JURD7223 (6 UOC)

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

  • To help you think of law as a phenomenon which may usefully be investigated from viewpoints other than that of the practitioner – that of the philosopher, the historian, the sociologist, the anthropologist, the political scientist, the economist, etc.
  • To acquaint you with the vocabulary of philosophical reflection on law
  • To develop your skills in applying legal principles in the appropriate context
  • To encourage a critical approach in considering social and legal institutions
  • To explore the relationship between law on the one hand and personal and public morality on the other


5,000 word essay (50%)
1 exam (50%)


Refer to Course Outline provided by lecturer.

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