Roman Law and Legal History
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr Gwilym Owen
Overall aims and purpose
The course examines the development of English law from the Norman Conquest to the nineteenth century, although in some instances developments are followed up to the present time. Throughout the module, legal developments will be related to political, economic, social and intellectual changes within England and Wales. The course also consists of an examination of the basic concepts and principles of the Roman legal order, and of its development as a system of law in the ancient world. Students will be encouraged to relate the development of Roman law to the social and intellectual development of the Roman people.
The main areas of Legal History will include but will not be limited to:
the origins of the common law;
the history of the legal system itself, in particular the development of the court structure and the forms of action;
the history of land law to include the development of the concept of the use, equity and the modern trust;
the development of the English law of obligations dealing principally with the history of the law of contract;
The module will also examine the main features of Roman law relating to:
status and citizenship;
obligations and actions, in each area seeking to compare the Roman legal principles with those of the English common law.
Excellent: A- to A* (70+%) An outstanding answer containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.
Threshold: D- to D+ (40-49%) An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable
C- to C+
C- to C+ (50-59%) An answer which, while always in the main accurate and correct, fails to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant material and is lacking in criticism. An answer which while reliable with regard to correctness is either not comprehensive or not entirely pertinent.
Good: B- to B+ (60-69%) High Standard: A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.
Demonstrate an understanding of the origins of the common law and of the court system in English legal history.
Demonstrate knowledge of the historical developments in the history of the English common law of contract.
Develop an understanding of the origins of the concepts of the trust, estates in land and the history of land law.
Demonstrate knowledge of the Roman Laws relating to persons and Roman concepts of ownership.
Develop an understanding of the Roman principles of the Law of Obligations.
Demonstrate knowledge of the sources of Roman Law and Roman litigation.
40% of the assessment for this module will consist of a 2,000 word essay. The word limit excludes footnotes and bibliography.
60% of the assessment for this module will consist of a 2 hour exam.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Students will be expected to carry out private study. During this time, students will carry out background reading and research.
There will be a 2 hour lecture per week.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
- Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
- Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxl-1118.html
Roman Law Core Text:
Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law, 6th edition, Paul J. du Plessis, 2020, OUP.
Legal History Core Text:
Introduction to Legal History, 5th edition, John Baker, 2019, OUP.
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- M100: LLB Law year 1 (LLB/L)
- M11B: LLB Law (4 year with Incorporated Foundation) year 1 (LLB/L1)
- M102: LLB Law (International Experience) year 1 (LLB/LI)
- M10P: LLB Law with Placement Year year 1 (LLB/LP)