Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

DROI1211 - Constitutional Law + Exercises session with casus

Credits : 6

Lecturers :
Teaching assistants :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first term, 60 hours of theory and 9 hours of tutorials with cases.

Language of instruction :
French (and understanding of Dutch is recommended)

Learning activities :
Learning outcomes :
This course is the second part of the Constitutional Law course started in first year (see therefore “Objectives and methods of the Constitutional Law I course”).

Ideally, at the end of the “Constitutional Law II” course, students should essentially be able:
a) to understand and assimilate the meaning or meanings of the new legal concepts studied in class;
b) to show rigors and precision in the definition of these concepts;
c) to understand the links that connect these fundamental concepts to each other;
d) to understand and assimilate the rules of positive law studied in class and situate them in their historical and political context;
e) to read and understand the decisions of jurisprudence studied in class;
f) to handle the code containing the texts of positive law studied in class, identifying the relevant clauses and linking these to the rules that emerge from them;
g) to produce elements of political explanation and critical evaluation of the legal regimes studied in class, without confusing the registers of legal description and prescription, legal explanation, political explanation and ethical evaluation;
h) to analyse political news reported in the daily press in the light of the notions and rules studied in class.
Again, ideally, this course should prompt students to “think further”, which is exactly what the student is invited to do in the sections entitled: “to think further” as well as with the bibliographical references included in the syllabus.

The exercise sessions (tutorials) allow the students to learn how to find the solution to a legal issue of a practical nature. Therefore, they require a rigorous (a high degree of accuracy is expected) and critical (the students should consider the existing theses with a discerning mind) analysis.

The tutorials enable the mastery of the legal methodology: research and use of the sources of law, structuring of a text, correctness of quotations and bibliographical references.

These sessions also invite the students to discover the advantages and limitations of a collective approach. Indeed, although their written work has to be personal and original, the students are encouraged to work together, especially in the research of sources and the identification of given legal issues. These tutorials enable the students to develop their capacity to express themselves orally on a legal subject.

Finally, taking place over a period of around three months, these sessions allow the students to learn time-management, by meeting deadlines and external constraints such as typing, the number of pages…

Prerequisites :
Co-requisites :

Course contents :
The course is divided into four parts:
1° exercising power in the State and the democratic requirement
2° the organisation and functions of the federal authorities in Belgium
3° the organisation and functions of the federated authorities in Belgium
4° civil liberties

The practical work consists in writing an essay developing concrete issues on a given situation.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
- Ex cathedra lecture including theoretical developments and the analysis of cases taken from jurisprudence.
- The teacher will be receptive to answer any questions during breaks or after sessions;
- Tutorials will be organised during the first half of the year to introduce the students to techniques of case resolution involving constitutional law. Cf document “Objectives and methods of law course tutorials”.
- A question and answer session is held at the end of the semester

The sessions are organised in different stages in order to allow the professors to mark out the progression of the students. From the beginning of the course, the students have at their disposal the specifications manual, setting out the procedure to follow and providing bibliographical references.
An intermediate stage invites the students to hand in a status report (a review of the research that has already been done), which will enable the professor to adjust the direction taken by the student. Throughout the tutorial sessions, the probationary lecturer will be available each week to answer any relevant questions from the students and also for the teachers to assess the students' work.
Finally, the tutorials will end with a correction session, which allows a positive assessment of the work achieved.
The tutorials require the compliance with the instructions included in the specifications manual.

Assessment methods and criteria :
Oral examination with a preparation time.

When the practical work is finalised, the students are marked out of 20 points.
The evaluation criteria are: the quality of the intellectual approach and the resolution of the practical case, the structure of the written work, the rigor both in substance and in form, the bibliography and the correct use of sources, compliance with instructions, spelling and participation in class.

Recommended or required reading :
Bibliographic references available in the course syllabus.

See the specifications relating to the tutorials.

Other information :
Didactic supports proposed to the students: a syllabus to be completed by the students' notes. This syllabus includes bibliographical information, jurisprudential rulings and invitations “to think further”. Reference manuals are recommended;

The resolution of practical case implies the use of different sources: course syllabus, non-exhaustive bibliography of the specifications manual, library research (legislation, doctrine, jurisprudence)...