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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: The Rule of Law (LAWS11490)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course examines various dimensions of the idea and practice of the Rule of Law. In particular, it examines, first, its historical development from classical times to the present day; secondly, the philosophical arguments that can be made and have been made to defend the idea of the Rule of Law, and also to criticise it; and thirdly, key contemporary developments that challenge conventional understanding of the Rule of Law, including the development of notions of legality as a regional or global good, and attacks on the Rule of Law in the name of supposedly rival conceptions of authority, such as national or popular sovereignty. The core aim is to provide a rounded, critical overview of a topic that is fundamental to our understanding of the claims that law makes on us.
Course description History

1. History of Rule of Law: Classical Foundations
2. Developmental Questions: Rule of Law or Rule by Law?
3. Developmental Questions: Rechtsstaat versus the Rule of Law

Philosophical Questions

4 The Rule of Law and the idea of Constitutional Legitimacy
5 The legalism critique
6 The radical critique

Contemporary Challenges

7 The Rule of Law in global context
8 The Rule of Law in regional context : the case of the EU
9 Post-conflict Rule of Law
10 The Rule of Law and popular democracy
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) An essay of 6000 words (100%)
Feedback Each student will be asked to provide the ¿lead¿ oral presentation in one seminar, and also act as ¿first respondent¿ to the ¿lead¿ presentation in one other. Students will also be given the opportunity to submit a ¿practice¿ essay, normally based on their ¿lead¿ oral presentation
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
have a rounded understanding of a topic that is fundamental to our understanding of the claims law makes on us
Reading List
Brian Tamanaha , On the Rule of Law: History, Politics, Theory (CUP, 2004)
Gianluigi Palombella and Neil Walker (eds) Relocating the Rule of Law (CUP, 2009):
Jens Meierhenrich and Martin Loughlin (eds), The Cambridge Companion to the Rule of Law (CUP, 2021)
Fernanda Pirie, The Rule of Laws: A 4,000-year quest form order in the world (Profile Books, 2021)

All available both in print and online in library, apart from Pirie, which, was only published in November 2021; and is not yet in the library in any form.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Encourages wide-ranging research
Encourages autonomous conduct of research
Encourages this through class participation and oral formative assessments
Provides good measure of ability to apply skills effectively in pursuit of course
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Neil Walker
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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