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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Civil Law (LAWS10067)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
Summary"Rome's greatest legacy to the modern world is undoubtedly its private law. Roman law forms the basis of all the legal systems of Western Europe with the exception of England (but not Scotland) and Scandinavia. Outside Europe, the law of places as diverse as Louisiana and Ceylon, Quebec and Japan, Ethiopia and South Africa, Turkey and Chile, is based firmly on Roman law. Even in England and the countries of Anglo- American law in general, the influence of Roman law is considerable and much greater than often admitted." - Alan Watson Roman law and comparative law (Georgia 1991) 3 ff. This quote by Alan Watson provides some indication of the true value and extent of the civilian influence in modern legal systems. Legal systems are too complex to be studied in detail, but by studying the historical principles on which European law is founded, the student will gain a unique insight into the working of civil-law systems. The aim of this course is to explain in depth some key aspects of early Roman Law, the various methods of law-making in the later Roman Republic and finally examine the development of the Roman Law on damage to property from the Twelve Tables (450 BC) until the time of Justinian (527 - 565 AD). By means of a detailed study of the original texts in translation it seeks to provide some understanding of the Roman - and by comparison the modern legal mind at work. Teaching will be based on primary materials with reference to extensive secondary literature. There is no particular prescribed textbook, but students will be required to do some research in the library.

Students need not have taken Civil Law Ordinary and knowledge of Latin is not required.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 38, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 351 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One Exam - 70%
One Essay - 30%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)3:15
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. This course is designed to provide students with:
  2. Further insights into the historical origins of law in Western Europe while focusing on selected topics in Roman law;
  3. A working knowledge of the sources and methodology of legal history;
  4. An overview of the civilian tradition and its contemporary relevance in a mixed jurisdiction such as Scotland.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsCivil hons
Course organiserProf P Du Plessis
Tel: (0131 6)50 9701
Course secretaryMiss Lauren McCrory-Irving
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