|Module Title||LEGAL THEORY|
|Co-ordinator||Mr Richard W Ireland|
|Other staff||Miss Nkiruka Ahiauzu|
|Course delivery||Lecture||16 Hours.|
|Seminars / Tutorials||3 Hours. Three one hour seminars.|
|Professional Exemptions||Not Required for Professional Purposes|
These are the types of issue which are addressed in the course entitled "legal theory". No prior acquaintance with philosophy is required nor do there exist any "prerequisites" for entry into the course. The aim is to provide all those involved with a grasp of the "larger questions" concerning their chosen subject of study - the seemingly autonomous discipline of law. If we do not have the "answers", at least we will all have a better grasp of the sense of our questions - "sense" as distinct from "non-sense".
1 Natural Law
What is the relationship, if any, between law and morality? Can we say that an unjust law is not really a law at all? We will look at a body of opinion, from St Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century to contemporary philosophers like John Finnis, who argue that law and morality have a necessary connection.
If law has no necessary moral content then what is it? An exercise of political power? A logical, scientific structure? A collection of social rules, rather like those of football?
3 The obligation to obey law
Linked to the above questions is the issue of obligation. Why should we obey the law? Because it is fair? Or necessary? Or morally right? When shouldn¿t we obey it?
What do we mean by this term which we all seem to use without explaining? What is it its connection with equality? With happiness?
Another term we use all the time (¿human rights¿ etc) but which we seldom bother to explain. Is it just an emotional claim to something we want, or is the substance of a right a different kind of thing? Where do these ¿rights¿ come from?
6 Theories of adjudication
Law involves people making decisions. How do they do this, and how should they? How do we fit the undecided bits of law into theories which tell us what the law is?
7 Comparative Legal Theory
Most legal theories which appear in the textbooks speak of universal truth about the nature of law, but are often the products of British (or American) academics. Would someone in Africa (for example) recognize such ideas or agree with them?
This module is at CQFW Level 6