Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

DROI1350 - Seminar of legal theory (philosophy, political science, criminology, multidisc. orientation)

Credits : 6

Lecturers :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first and second term, 30 hours of theory.

Language of instruction :
French (w. some sources in EN of NL)

Learning outcomes :
At the end of the seminar, the student should :

o have opened his/her mind to the fundamental questions and to a critical reflection on law and legal theory ;
o have acquired the capacity to understand texts of legal theory, to summarise them and to discuss them during group debates ;
o have analysed a legal issue extensively and from a critical point of view, through the use of positive law and legal theory ;
o have written, on that issue, an essay based on personal research and extended bibliography, providing a critical analysis of the question ;
o have orally presented the result of his/her research to his/her fellow students;

Prerequisites :
Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The seminars focus on various themes and issues, depending on teachers. However, they are all characterized by following basic structure :

First, six reading sessions will involve a discussion and analysis of texts read and summarised by the students. Texts might vary from general issues of legal theory to more specific writings related to the specific topic of the seminar.

Secondly, each student will be asked to choose a specific issue to reasearch in depth, while using legal theoretical literature. Subject to prior approval, students may choose their own research question. Students must provide a table of contents, to be discussed with the professor. Furthermore, they will be required to give a 15-20' oral presentation of their results.

Thirdly, for the end of the second term, each student must hand in a 20p research essay.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Mandatory readings are made available to the students at the ‘reprographie' or on moodle. A brief summary of the scheduled texts is to be submitted by students at every session. Attendance to and participation in every session (oral presentation day incl.) is compulsory.

Assessment methods and criteria :
The overall course mark is most heavily determined by the quality of the essay, the assessment of which will be based on the following criteria:
¥ Significance of the research (diversity and quantity of sources);
¥ General understanding of the topic and of the relevant literature;
¥ Structure of the essay (introduction, division of the text in chapters and sections, conclusion, summary);
¥ Accurateness (using the right words, avoiding preconceived judgments and hasty generalisations…);
¥ Discernment (ability to carry out a critical and insightful analysis of a legal issue);
¥ Intellectual honesty (referring to all sources in text and bibliography);
¥ Writing skills (grammar, misspellings, expression…).

This mark may be slightly altered in the light of:
-The attendance to and participation in the reading sessions;
-The quality of the oral presentation;
-The quality of the reading summaries.

Recommended or required reading :
Provided with the textbook/on moodle

Other information :
See textbook/moodle