Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

DROI1262 - Law and literature

Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 30 hours of theory.

Timetable :
Second term
Tuesday from 15:15 to 17:15 at 119 Marais 1100

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
- study questions of theory and philosophy of law from an original point of view. The course aims to renew and deepen these issues based on literature;
- maintain or create a taste for literature;
- favour interdisciplinarity in the broadest sense of dialogue between cultures (literary culture/legal culture/culture specific to human sciences including philosophy);
- encourage the students' intellectual creativity while maintaining the discipline of reading and analysing.

Prerequisites :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The aim of the course is to find the answers to some of the more fundamental questions asked by law, justice, and power through major literary works. The following subjects, among others, will be studied: the opposition between natural law and positive law (Antigone by Sophocles), civil disobedience (Crito by Plato, and Antigone again), the transition from vengeance to justice (The Eumenides by Aeschylus), the law donation (biblical episode of the Sinai, Protagoras by Plato), the juridical relation between man and nature (Robinson Crusoe by D. Defoe compared with Friday, or The Other Island by M. Tournier), the exploration of before the law (Kafka), the abuse of rights issue (The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare), the strengths and limitations of contractual engagement (Faust's pact), the effectiveness of law (Measure for Measure by Shakespeare), etc.
In all these cases, if literature has the effect of subverting the established divisions between good and evil, right and wrong, legal and illegal, it could also lead to a deepening of the values on which the established powers and positive laws claim to base themselves.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
As an optional course, this lecture should enable interaction with the students. A book containing all the presentations will be available for the students a the beginning of the course (François OST, Raconter la loi. Aux sources de l'imaginaire juridique, Paris, Editions Odile Jacob, 2004).

Assessment methods and criteria :
The assessment is an oral examination. The students have the option of presenting a personal question. The examination consists of two or three questions designed to evaluate the degree of appropriation of knowledge by the student as well as the understanding of the studied subjects. The students are encouraged to have a creative and imaginative approach to research while maintaining the discipline required for reading texts. The students are requested to read one of the literary texts discussed in class.

Recommended or required reading :
See François OST, Raconter la loi. Aux sources de l'imaginaire juridique, Paris, Editions Odile Jacob, 2004

Other information :
Reference work containing all the presentations.