|Module Title||LAW AND CULTURE|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Stephen J Skinner|
|Semester||Intended for use in future years|
|Next year offered||N/A|
|Next semester offered||N/A|
|Other staff||Mr Richard W Ireland|
|Course delivery||Lecture||20 Hours.|
|Seminars / Tutorials||4 Hours. Seminar.|
|Professional Exemptions||Not Required for Professional Purposes|
At the end of the day, it is hoped that members of the course will acquire both knowledge and awareness of the context within which positive laws function (or fail to function), and that they would also acquire the capacity for critical thought and the ability to conduct precise analyses of the contextual considerations that impinge upon the nature and function of law in a clear and precise manner both orally and in writing.
This course will concern itself with the theoretical analysis of the law in its social setting. It will promote investigation into social and critical theories which reveal a broad-ranging variety of perceptions of law. It will attempt to understand how the range of critical perspectives can be understood in developing theories of the law, and in promoting a better understanding of what law is, and what law can accomplish. Its object will be to promote a better understanding of law as part of social theory.
Unlike the legal theory course, which deals with internal definitions of law (as perceived by lawyers), this course will consider the standing of law and the way in which law is understood beyond the confines of the law and the legal system. The use of empirical evidence in the pursuit of 'law on the ground' will be considered, together with the role of ideology in determining what law is, and how it operates. The course will concern itself with the legal exercise of power, and the links which exist between the legal, political, moral, and other social systems. Although part of the course may be dedicated to the study of women in law, the course as a whole will seek to understand how any identifiable group of people might view the law, and might be affected by it. How their perspectives affect the definition of law (both internally - by lawyers - and externally - by others) will be considered critically in analysing law. In an analysis of law and literature the links between law and other cultural constructs are considered and the merits of the comparison critically assessed.
The course will also consider the effects that culture may have on legal regulation and legal understanding. It will be particularly interested to investigate what legal analysis and understanding in other, more remote societies, can teach us about general definitions of law, and of law's place in social theory.
1. American and Scandinavian Realism
Is law more than the logical (pure) application of rules to facts?
2. Feminist Jurisprudence
Does law support a patriarchal social structure? If so, how ought law to be analysed, and how could change be promoted?
3. Postmodern Jurisprudence
Is there a place for "grand theory" in contemporary jurisprudence and social theory?
4. Law and Morality
Should the law impose a sense of morality on people? Can it avoid doing that?
5. Law and Anthropology
What purposes can be served by observing law in practice in particular societies (historical and contemporary). How does culture change our understanding of what law is?
6. Law & Literature
Can a reading of other forms of written form (re-)invigorate jurisprudential/doctrinal debate?
This module is at CQFW Level 6