Module SXL-2210:
Public Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 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 the individual.

The aims of this module are:

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.

The module will enable students to explain and analyse the key principles of public law whilst drawing on relevant academic scholarship. It will also enable students to relate United Kingdom public law to the particular circumstances in which it developed and in which it currently operates (including the law pertaining to human rights, devolution, constitutional reform, and Brexit).

Course content

The module comprises two distinct areas of law: constitutional law and administrative law. In addition, it provides students with an introduction to human rights law and the key provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998. Lectures on constitutional law include the sources of constitutional law, constitutional doctrines, the institutions of the Constitution and the influence of human rights law and EU Law on the Constitution. The section of the course devoted to administrative law provides an introduction to this area of law and focuses on the role of the judiciary and the workings of judicial review.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

Comprehensive knowledge - Detailed understanding
- Extensive background study - Highly focussed answer and well structured - Logically presented and defended arguments - No factual/computational errors - Original interpretation
- New links between topics are developed - New approach to a problem - Excellent presentation with very accurate communication

good

  • Strong knowledge
  • Understands most but not all
  • Evidence of background study
  • Focussed answer with good structure
  • Arguments presented coherently
  • Mostly free from factual/computational errors
  • Some limited original interpretation
  • Well known links between topics are described
  • Problems addressed by existing methods/approaches
  • Good presentation with accurate communication

C- to C+

  • Knowledge of key areas/principles
  • Understands main areas
  • Limited evidence of background study
  • Answer focussed on question but also with some irrelevant material and weaknesses in structure
  • Arguments presented but lack coherence
  • Has several factual/computational errors
  • No original interpretation
  • Only major links between topics are described
  • Limited problem solving
  • Some weaknesses in presentation and accuracy

threshold

Knowledge of key areas/principles only

Weaknesses in understanding of main areas

Limited evidence of background study

Answer only poorly focussed on question and with some irrelevant material and poor structure

Arguments presented but lack coherence

Several factual/computational errors

No original interpretation

Only major links between topics are described

Limited problem solving

Many weaknesses in presentation and accuracy

Learning outcomes

  1. Have an increasing familiarity with the research and literature related to the major constitutional doctrines (including parliamentary supremacy, the rule of law, and the separation of powers), the institutions of the Constitution and sources of constitutional law.

  2. Have a solid understanding of the constitutional arrangements for Wales and compare these arrangements with those in other devolved administrations in the UK.

  3. Show an awareness and appreciation of the contexts (historical, political) in which constitutional law operates and in which recent constitutional reform has taken place.

  4. Describe and illustrate from case law the procedural and substantive characteristics of judicial review and be able to apply knowledge of administrative law to actual or hypothetical factual scenarios.

  5. Be aware of the influence of EU law and human rights law (European and domestic) on the Constitution.

  6. Describe the workings of the Human Rights Act 1998 and its impact on the workings of public authorities.

  7. Undertake independent legal research in relation to debates surrounding public law issues.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Summative Assignment 33
Semester 1 Take Home Exam 22
Semester 2 Exam 45

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 156
Lecture

The module will be taught by means of 36 hours of lectures and 8 hours of tutorials, both taught over the course of two semesters.

36
Tutorial

The module will be taught by means of 36 hours of lectures and 8 hours of tutorials, both taught over the course of two semesters. Tutorials will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in acquiring, commenting upon, critically evaluating and applying the principles and details of the subject under the guidance and instruction of the tutor.

8

Transferable skills

  • 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

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: