Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Mr Stephen Clear
Overall aims and purpose
Public Law (sometimes called Constitutional and Administrative Law) is concerned with the law governing the institutions of the State, and the relationship between the State and individuals.
Public Law in the United Kingdom is a fast-moving subject, and this module will explore both historical and the latest Constitutional and Administrative Law developments in order to achieve the following aims:
To provide students with a comprehensive overview of the concepts and characteristics of Public Law in the United Kingdom, including Constitutional, Administrative and Human Rights Law.
To enable students to explain and analyse the key principles and debates within Public Law, whilst drawing on relevant academic scholarship.
To enable students to relate United Kingdom Public Law to the particular circumstances in which it developed and in which it currently operates.
This module comprises of eight units (four within semester one, and four within semester two) which broadly cover three distinct areas: Constitutional, Administrative and Human Rights Law. Within this module we explore the means by which Government is controlled and held to account, as well as the mechanisms by which individuals can secure the protection of their legal and human rights against Government.
Our sessions include, but are not limited to, exploration of the following themes: constitutional history, values, features and sources; the State institutions; the role of the Crown and the Royal Prerogative; principles of the UK Constitution (including the Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, and Parliamentary Sovereignty); Public Order Law; constitutional issues following Brexit; devolution in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England; Human Rights Law; as well as the role of the judiciary and the workings of Judicial Review.
A- to A* (70+%) An outstanding, possibly brilliant, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Evidence a critical understanding of the major constitutional principles, the State institutions, and sources of Constitutional Law.
Critically evaluate the historical and contemporary context in which the UK Constitution operates, and the constitutional arrangements for both the UK and its devolved Nations.
Analyse the role of Human Rights Law within the United Kingdom.
Employ advanced legal skills in critically applying knowledge of Administrative Law and Public Order Law to actual or hypothetical factual problem based scenario questions.
Undertake independent legal research in relation to debates surrounding Public Law issues.
|EXAM||Semester 2 Exam||
An exam paper consisting of a choice of two essay and two problem scenario questions coming from semester two topics. Students are required to answer one of each type of questions in their exam.
Students will be given a choice of two topics from semester one of Public Law, in order to write one 2,500 word essay.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Within the time for private study, students are encouraged to complete the Learn Before the Lecture podcasts and learning tool-kits produced by the Bangor Law School Public Law Teaching Team. Students are also encourage to complete the prescribed core and aim higher readings listed within the module syllabus guide.
This module will consist of 22 hours of interactive sessions, plus 2 additional hours of e-lectures within semester one; plus 22 hours of interactive sessions in semester two. Within these sessions the teaching team will cover the topics set out in the syllabus guide in order to achieve the learning outcomes.
Each of the eight units covered across this module has its own dedicated small group tutorial lasting one hour (approximately every three weeks). Within each of these one hour sessions students will discuss their pre-prepared answers to the questions listed within the syllabus guide with their allocated group tutor
At the start of semester two, following the transition from semester one to semester two topics, the Public Law teaching team will make themselves available for two additional hours of drop-in's in order to address any questions pertaining to the material/concepts covered to date.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- 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.
- 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
Resource implications for students
Students are encourage to purchase a copy of **Mark Elliott and Robert Thomas, *Public Law* (OUP)**, or one of the other alternatives featured on the list.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxl-2210.html
The recommended core text is:
• Mark Elliott and Robert Thomas, Public Law (OUP)
Aside from this core text, there are a range of very good textbooks on Constitutional and Administrative Law (see list below). One of these books may suit you better in terms of readability, style and price. You are therefore advised to examine the books either in the library or online before purchasing a text that suits your needs best.
Other recommended core texts:
• AW Bradley, KD Ewing, CJS Knight, Constitutional and Administrative Law (Pearson).
• A Le Sueur, M Sunkin and JE Khushal Murkens, Public Law: Text, Cases and Materials (OUP).
• L Webley and H Samuel, Complete Public Law (OUP).
Supplementary reading materials:
• K Syrett, The Foundations of Public Law: Principles and Problems of Power in the British Constitution (Palgrave Macmillan).
• A Lyon, Constitutional History of the United Kingdom (Cavendish Publishing).
• V Bogdanor, The New British Constitution (Hart Publishing).
• J Jowell, D Oliver and C O’Cinneide (eds) The Changing Constitution (OUP).
Students are also encouraged to conduct their own research and reading into the topics that are covered in class. Academic journals contain articles written by legal academics and others that examine, in-depth, particular aspects of the law. For law students, they are an essential resource. If you wish to score highly in your assessments, you must show that you have researched and read academic articles- it is not sufficient merely to consult textbooks. The following is a list of key authoritative journals that usually include substantial focus on Public Law…so they provide a good starting point (and are freely available to Bangor University students, via the Library Catalog):
▪ Public Law ▪ Modern Law Review ▪ International Journal of Constitutional Law ▪ Cambridge Law Journal ▪ Oxford Journal of Legal Studies ▪ Legal Studies
In addition to the key textbooks and journal articles listed above, students will be able to find a range of academic blogs discussing contemporary issues online. Whilst you are reminded to always check the academic credibility and authority of online resources, the thoughts of leading constitutional and administrative lawyers and academics can be found on the following websites:
- Public Law for Everyone, available online at: https://publiclawforeveryone.com
- The UK Constitutional Law Association, available online at: https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog/
- The Public Law Project, available online at: https://publiclawproject.org.uk
- The Constitutional Society, available online at: www.consoc.org.uk
- The UK Administrative Justice Institute, available online at: https://ukaji.org/what-isadministrative-justice
Bangor Public Law YouTube Channel
In addition to the above, the teaching team have put together a YouTube channel, which collates videos of guest seminars, debates and various universities’ public lectures:
The above electronic resources are intended to supplement your understanding of the concepts discussed in class, as well as keep you up-to-date with the latest developments within public law. Such should not be used as a substitute to reading the prescribed texts and recommended journal articles.