Legal System of England & Wales
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Ms Omotolani Somoye
Overall aims and purpose
The aim of this module is to provide students with an overview of the key aspects of the English Legal System and an opportunity to develop a critical understanding of legal principles as they apply to the English and Welsh Legal System. The module will also allow students to study the key areas of the Legal System of England and Wales and to consider their importance.
The module introduces the student to the Legal System of England and Wales, providing a framework to study what is Law, how the system operates and the system in a social context. The module examines the court structure, both civil and criminal, the judiciary, lawyers and the role and significance of lay participation in the system (magistrates, juries and tribunal members), statutory interpretation and judicial precedent. Where relevant, comparisons will be drawn to the Welsh body of law that is emerging from the devolved administration. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical analysis of the system as it moves into the 21st century, in comparison with other countries and with attention to its history.
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
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.
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.
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.
Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the legal system of England and Wales.
Evaluate developments and reforms within the legal system of England and Wales.
Appraise particular distinctions between the legal system of England and Wales.
Demonstrate the ability to analyse cases and statutes, and apply the results to practical legal problems extracting and summarising key information from these materials.
Develop the ability to logically construct and present reasoned legal argument, exercising judgment informed by evaluation and analysis of relevant legal sources.
Students will sit a two hour exam on topics taken from both Semester One and Semester Two. Students will answer two questions; one essay format and one problem question format.
Students will complete a 2,500 word essay on a topic taken from Semester One.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
The module will be taught by means of 36 hours of lectures over the course of two semesters. Lectures are delivered weekly and are two-hours in length.
There will be 8x one-hour tutorials 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.
The module requires students to undertake private study in order to complete tutorial preparation, an essay and exam preparation. Students will be expected to engage with a range of academic sources to demonstrate further research.
- 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.
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- 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
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
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 will be expected to purchase the core textbook.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxl-2213.html
The recommended core text is: C Elliott and F Quinn, English Legal System (21st edn, Pearson 2020/21)
Other recommended core texts: S Wilson, H Rutherford, T Storey and N Wortley, English Legal System (4th edn, OUP 2020) A Bradney, F Cownie and J Masson, How to Study Law (8th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2017) G Rivlin, Understanding the Law (6th edn, OUP 2012) A Smith, Glanville Williams: Learning the Law (16th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2016)