Public Law 1 - LAWS5880

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 5 30 (15) Sebastian Payne checkmark-circle


• Constitutionalism: history, theories, principles and contemporary significance
• Models of Government at national, local and supra-national levels

• Human Rights – history and contemporary significance and deployment
• The scope of governmental authority and its limits
• Judicial review and other forms of citizen redress


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 56
Private Study Hours: 244
Total hours - 300
LAWS5880 offers additional drop in sessions


All single and joint honours law courses.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module will be assessed by examination (50%) and coursework (50%).
Coursework - writing task (2000 words) - 30%
Coursework - Multiple Choice Test (MCT) via Moodle- 20%
Examination (3 hours) -50%

Reassessment methods

The module will be reassessed by like-for-like reassessment of failed individual component(s) of assessment.

Indicative reading

• Thompson, Brian and Gordon, Michael (2017) Cases and Materials on Constitutional and Administrative Law 12th Edition, (Oxford University Press).
• Bradley A.W and Ewing K.D (2014) Constitutional and Administrative Law 16th Edition, (Longman).
• Held, David (2006) Models of Democracy 3rd Edition, (Policy Press).
• Jeffery Jowell, Dawn Oliver and Colm O'Cinneide (eds.) (2015), The Changing Constitution (8th edition) (Oxford University Press).
• Le Sueur, Sunkin and Murkens (2016), Public Law Text, Cases and Materials, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press).
• Loveland, Ian (2015) Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights: A Critical Introduction 7th Edition, (Oxford University Press).
• Partington, Martin (2008) English Legal System, (Oxford University Press).
• Sunkin, Maurice and Payne, Sebastian (1999) The Nature of The Crown, (Oxford University Press).
• Tomkins, Adam (2005) Our Republican Constitution, (Hart Publishing).
• Turpin, Colin and Tomkins Adam (2011) British Government and the Constitution 7th Edition, (Cambridge University Press).
• References to academic journals such as Public Law and The Modern Law Review and online sources.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students be able to demonstrate:

1. Knowledge and understanding, including an introduction to a range of critical and theoretical perspectives, of the structure and distribution
of public power
2. A knowledge and understanding of the legal and conventional constraints on government
3. An introduction to and understanding of Human Rights protection
4. A knowledge and understanding of judicial review and other administrative law remedies
5. An ability to identify the source of legal authority for government action
6. An ability to identify controlling institutional structures and identify their causal power in determining the way in which individuals can
respond within the public law sphere
7. An ability to evaluate the impact of a range of political texts on the emergence and development of:
- British constitutionalism
- Other examples of constitutionalism
- Human Rights
8. An ability to read and evaluate legal texts and cases and understand their relevance to the British Constitution and to the development of
administrative law and human rights law

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an ability to construct an argument based on authoritative sources and convey it in written form, with appropriate and
accurate use of language, referencing and citation
2. Analyse case law, identify the key concepts, the inter-relation between the facts and the legal arguments, and provide a coherent account
of the judgment
3. Advance coherent legal and constitutional arguments in written form
4. Demonstrate an ability to provide a sustained analysis properly researched and thought through in essay form
5. Make proper use of web based material and to distinguish good sources from inadequate ones
6. Make proper use of the library resources by way of law reports, articles and monographs and textbooks


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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