A Critical Introduction to Law - LW313

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
4 30 (15) DR S Pethick




This module is only available to Law students



The module will introduce students to critical legal techniques grounded in critical legal and social theory, feminist and queer theory, postcolonial theory and law and the humanities. Throughout the course, concepts are introduced through socio-legal and critical investigation of selected case studies - such as new pieces of legislation, emerging political campaigns and prominent litigation - ensuring that the course maintains a focus on ‘law in action’. Particular attention will be paid to developments in foreign jurisdictions and in the international arena. Accordingly, case studies will alter from year to year, and draw heavily on research projects on-going in the Law School. The course has a heavy focus on primary legal materials and core critical texts, but will also draw on film, museum artefacts, art and literature as appropriate.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours 54.

Method of assessment

100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Griffiths, J.A.G. - 'The Politics of the Judiciary', 5th ed., Fontana, 1997
Grigg-Spall, I. & Ireland, P. - 'The Critical Lawyer’s Handbook', Pluto, 2002
Mansell, W., Meteyard, B. & Thomson, A. - 'A Critical Introduction to Law', 3rd ed., Cavendish, 2004
Ward, I. - 'Introduction to Critical Legal Theory', 2nd ed., Cavendish, 2004

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students who complete the module successfully will have the ability to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts and principles at issue in contemporary critical and analytical legal theory.
Demonstrate a capacity to apply basic critical legal concepts to contemporary contexts and debates
Demonstrate a sociological, historical and political perspective towards claims about law's objectivity and neutrality.
Understand law as an instrument of politics and ideology.

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