units

LAW4647

Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

LevelUndergraduate
FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2014

Synopsis

This unit begins with a detailed discussion of several well-known cases from the common law of Contract. The goal is to notice the gaps between the rules and the ultimate decisions. The course continues with a discussion of Max Weber's classical statement of how legal questions are decided in the civil law and his suggestion that adjudication in the common law is irrational. The unit then attempts to respond to Weber's challenge by focusing on the classical discussion of this question by some of the great theorists of the common law, together with contemporary writers who contribute to the same discussion. Students will read and discuss chapters by several writers, including Blackstone, Holmes, Maitland, Cardozo, Llewellyn, Hart and Sachs, Gilmore, Posner, Unger, Frug, Williams, and Fisher. Emphasis will be on discussion both the discussion among the theorists themselves and our own discussion with the competing traditions that we discover in the reading.

Outcomes

On completion of this unit, a student should be able to:

  • understand the civil law critique of how cases are decided at common law

notice when there are gaps between the announced rules and the case results

  • understand the different conceptions of case adjudication elaborated by the great thinkers of the common law
  • use the differing conceptions productively when making legal argument
  • elaborate an original theory of how cases should be decided.

Assessment

Class participation: 10%
Presentation: 10%
Research paper (1,500 words): 30%
Take home examination: 50%.

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

9 hours per week

Prerequisites

None

Co-requisites

None

Prohibitions

None