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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: The Law of Promise (LAWS10158)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will examine the role which the idea of the promise has played in European, especially Scottish, legal thought. Beginning with an historical examination of promise in Graeco-Roman culture, the Bible, and Canon law, we shall continue by examining the development of a discrete obligation of promise in Scots law and its relationship to contract, donation and other legal institutions. In the latter half of the course we shall set the modern obligation of promise in its wider European and global legal setting, and consider what role it might play in a future harmonised EU law and a possible European civil code.
Course description The course may include seminars addressing the following topics:

1. The concept of promise - its definition and core elements in the law and other disciplines.
2. The history of the role played by promise in European legal thought.
3. An outline of the law of promise in modern Scots law.
4. The relationship between contract and promise in the modern law.
5. The relationship between contract and donation in the modern law.
6. The legal requirements of promise in the modern law.
7. Uses of promise in explaining aspects of obligations law (pre-contractual liability; third party rights; renunciations of rights; etc.).
8. The role of the promise in other legal systems.
9. The role of promise/unilateral undertakings in draft harmonisation/codification instruments.
10. The future of promise?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Contract and Unjustified Enrichment (LAWS08127) OR Contract and Unjustified Enrichment (LAWS08094)) OR Contract (LAWS10078)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. Knowledge and Sources of Law: - An advanced understanding of the idea of promise across a range of disciplines. - An advanced understanding of the history of the development of the promise in a legal context. - An advanced understanding of the current law of promise in Scotland, and its relationship to contract law. - A deeper knowledge of the role of promise in the legal systems of other countries. - A deeper knowledge of promissory aspects of proposed instruments of European civil law harmonisation, such as the Draft Common Frame of Reference.
  2. 2. Subject-specific Skills: - An ability to analyse, evaluate and interpret relevant source material. - An ability to identify the material legal issue under discussion. - The development of an advanced approach to addressing critically complex legal Questions. - An ability to apply knowledge of legal rules/concepts/principles to solve legal problems. - An ability to critique conventional legal rules and doctrines. - An ability to understand legal doctrines within a wider historical and inter-disciplinary context - The further development of an awareness of the need to provide evidence for assertions and in argument, in particular appropriate legal authority. - The further development of an ability to critique possible avenues for legal development, and to assess the merits of such.
  3. 3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills: The course aims to provide students with skills in:- - developing complex evaluative and critical reasoning; - developing creative thinking; - developing an ability to apply knowledge outcomes to complex questions in written and oral form; - developing an advanced ability to present arguments for and against a proposition in a dispassionate manner; - developing the faculty of assessing and presenting the relative weight to be accorded to arguments; - developing doctrinal and taxonomical skills in a logical manner; and - using electronic legal and other disciplinary resources at an advanced level.
  4. 4. Key Personal Skills: The course aims to provide students with skills in:- - developing advanced written communication by way of formative assessment and examination, including the ability to compose written work in conformity with a prescribed format; - formatting and presentation skills by virtue of word processing; - oral communication skills developed in seminar discussions; - group work, including the importance of appreciating different dynamics within a group and learning to respect the opinions of other people even if there is disagreement.
  5. 5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values: The course aims to provide students with: - an awareness of the moral and philosophical questions posed by the course; - an appreciation of the way in which philosophical and moral concepts can become imbedded in law - provide students with a space to reflect on their view of the implementation of moral values in the law, and the extent to which the law should reflect such values.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsThe Law of Promises
Course organiserProf Martin Hogg
Tel: (0131 6)50 2071
Course secretaryMs Krystal Hanley
Tel: (0131 6)50 2056
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