AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH LAW
The aim of this course is to give students a basic introduction to English law and the English legal system. It is intended for students from Russia and other civil law jurisdictions. It gives a broad overview of the structure of the English legal system and its most important substantive fields of law. This course involves 24 contact hours. The structure for each session will vary – some will be primarily lecturer-driven, while others will take a more informal structure. One element, however, will be consistent: in every session, students will be encouraged to participate. This will not be ‘question and answer’ sessions; rather they will be a sincere attempt to help each member of the class to participate by sharing his or her knowledge and experience, insight and views.
Introductory sessions consider the historical origins of English law and attempt to explain its distinctive features. Key topics will include the law-making process; the main divisions of English law; the role of precedent as a source of law; ‘common law’ and ‘equity’; the relationship between English law and other legal systems in the common law tradition (eg Australia and Canada);parliamentary procedure and the difference between primary and secondary legislation; and the process of law reform. The main challenges of these sessions will be to understand how and why English law differs from civil law jurisdictions.
As the course continues students will examine the England’s unique constitutional structure (England has no written constitution; yet is constitutional structure is complex and, usually, very effective) the role of the European Union, the Council of Europe and International law in English law, English contract law, the law of torts, trusts, company law, and the English legal profession. Also covered will be trade and competition law, human rights legislation, and the court system and procedural rules.
Readings from different sources will be distributed to students ahead of the session on the topic in question.
For more information please check with the Pericles office and ask to be emailed the full syllabus when it becomes available.