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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Advanced Legal Reasoning (LAWS10229)

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 Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will cover a diverse range of topics each year, leading students to think critically about the standard picture of legal reasoning and to continue their education in legal reasoning by investigating new trends and directions in the field.
Course description The specific topics to be discussed in this course will vary from year to year. Examples include
visual legal reasoning
the relevance of virtue and character to legal argument
data-driven legal argumentation,
exemplary reasoning in law,
the role of imagination in legal reasoning,
emotion and legal argument,
explanatory legal reasoning,
evidential reasoning in law,
new logics and legal reasoning,
specificatory reasoning in law,
the ethics of legal argumentation,
legislation and legal reasoning,
comparative legal reasoning,
collective legal reasoning.

Thus, the course will investigate the role of some concepts that do not typically figure in standard theories of legal reasoning (such as emotion, imagination and virtue), the relevance of non-traditional forms of arguments (data-driven, visual-spatial, specificatory, and exemplary), argumentative contexts other than the judicial context (that remains central in mainstream theories of legal reasoning) such as policy-making, legislative production and fact-finding) and problems of legal reasoning that emerge at the interface between law and other disciplines (such as cognitive science, ethics, logic, and artificial intelligence).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will broaden and deepen their knowledge of legal reasoning.
  2. They will have an understanding of diverse paradigms and recent trends in the field of legal reasoning.
  3. Students will learn about different tools and methodologies that may be applied to study legal argument.
  4. They will be able to analyse and evaluate different positions in contemporary debates in legal reasoning.
  5. Students will learn to examine topics in legal argumentation from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will learn to critically read and analyse philosophical and legal texts, evaluate arguments about a range of legal problems and develop their own views about these topics. The course will also develop skills necessary to successfully engage in interdisciplinary research.

The course aims to instil in students a critical attitude towards the way in which the main problems in a field of research are selected and its boundaries drawn, thereby enhancing their intellectual autonomy. Exposure to topics that are at the core of contemporary debates in legal reasoning will also promote the students┬┐ intellectual autonomy, for they will be asked to evaluate different viewpoints and develop their own views about these topics.

The course will enhance students┬┐ ability to present and argue for their views both orally and in writing.

Students will develop abilities to actively participate in discussions about legally relevant topics and to
critically engage with scholarly work in their writing.

Students will develop critical, analytical, argumentative, and writing skills.
Keywordslegal reasoning,theories of legal reasoning,law
Course organiserProf Amalia Amaya Navarro
Tel: (0131 6) 51 4790
Course secretaryMr Ryan McGuire
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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