Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

DROI1221 - History of the institutions and of law II (contemporary period)

Credits : 6

Lecturers :
Teaching assistant :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first term, 45 hours of theory and 15 hours of exercises.

Timetable :
First term
Tuesday from 10:45 to 12:45 at 109 Marais 300
Tuesday from 10:45 to 12:45 at 109 Marais 301
Wednesday from 10:45 to 12:45 at 109 Marais 301
Wednesday from 10:45 to 12:45 at 109 Marais 300

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
At the end of the course on Legal and Institutional History II (contemporary period), the student must essentially:

(1) have understood and assimilated the main themes of the history of contemporary Belgium as seen during the course;
(2) be able to explain them by highlighting the causes and consequences of their evolution;
(3) understand the links between the historical account and legal developments; and the links between the different themes;
(4) make thematic and/or chronological links between the different themes covered;
(5) understand and assimilate the evolution of certain rules of Belgian positive law (in particular, to the extent that they have been seen during the course, the rules applicable in electoral matters, the use of languages, freedom of education, fundamental rights - including gender equality, social law, colonial law...) by placing them in their historical and political context;

The learning activities also aim to lead the student to apply the skills described above, to seek relevant sources of information and to cross-reference the information collected, and finally to return the information retained in a pedagogical way, to an uninformed audience (either other students, during an oral presentation during the course, or Internet users, through the drafting of a Wikipedia notice).

Ideally, this course should also encourage the student to explore the themes covered in the course, in particular through the bibliographic guidelines proposed at the beginning of each of the lessons covered.

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in Law :

For the Bachelor in History :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The course will focus on the legal and institutional history in contemporary Belgium, which is, in principle, from 1830 to the present day. Nevertheless, it will sometimes be necessary to go back in time and evoke the heritage of the Ancien Régime and the French and Dutch periods to understand the evolution of the themes addressed.

Political institutions, in the broadest sense, are privileged. This expression therefore goes beyond public law institutions, and also includes social, economic, cultural and educational institutions, trade union and other institutions. Everything that, in short, establishes a relationship between the private and public spheres. This relationship itself has undergone changes that will be explained. The history of these institutions will be addressed, as far as possible, in parallel with a set of legal rules whose evolution is directly linked to this "institutional" history.

The course consists of eight lessons:

Lesson 1. Policy frameworks
History of political parties and electoral law
Lesson 2. Religious and philosophical frameworks
Elements of the history of religions and secularism and school law
Lesson 3. Language frameworks
Elements of the history of the Flemish and Walloon movements and the law on the use of languages
Lesson 4. Economic and social frameworks
History of trade union and employer associations and social law
Lesson 5. European and international relations
Elements of the history of international organizations and public international law
Lesson 6. The foreigner in contemporary Belgium
Background on demographic developments and foreigners' rights
Lesson 7. Belgium and Congo
Elements of the history of colonization and colonial law
Lesson 8. Women's rights
Elements of the history of family relationships, feminism and civil law

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The course is partly lectured, and partly composed of the learning activities carried out by the students. Oral presentations made by students during the course are an integral part of the examination material.
Teachers also ensure that they offer at least one other activity related to the subject of the course (conference, study day, visit, exhibition, theatre,...).

Assessment methods and criteria :
The exam is evaluated on 80 points.

Twenty points out of 80 are awarded to a so-called participatory activity (or group work), supervised by the course teachers. When the participatory activity is a written work (Wikipedia notice), the failed work can be represented in the second session. When the participatory activity is an oral presentation, the failed presentation can be replaced by written work in the second session. If the student does not take any initiative to represent a work in the second session, he/she keeps the mark of the first session.

Twenty out of 80 points are awarded for a short 60-minute written exam. This one is composed of two questions:
- a first question concerns the knowledge of the essential dates and acronyms of the course: the dates are collected in the section "Chronological landmarks in the history of contemporary Belgium". They must be perfectly known. A single error in the questions asked results in the loss of all points related to the question. Important acronyms relevant to the review are indicated in bold in this syllabus.
- a second question is a brief casus, aimed at implementing and discussing the application of the legal rules of the past, as seen during the course.

Forty out of 80 points are awarded in an oral exam, which follows the written exam directly. It is composed of two questions (each of which is presented to a different teacher) and a preparation time. With regard to the dating of the answers, they must indicate (at least) the corresponding decades.

Recommended or required reading :
A large bibliography is provided in the syllabus.

Other information :
Course notes are the main support of the course, but can be usefully supplemented by the syllabus, a collection of legislation and the course's Moodle site, on which most of the documents seen during the course are posted.