Introduction to Law

Course NameIntroduction to Law
Course CodeLEG101/1
DescriptionThis course aims to introduce students to the basic concepts and rules of law. The main objective of the course is to equip students with a practical understanding of the law, not just to give them a theoretical knowledge. In other words, students should learn how a lawyer approaches legal problems, and become sufficiently familiar with the relevant rules so that they too can advise a hypothetical client of what his rights and liabilities are likely to be in a particular situation, for example, if he is charged with a crime, or considers that his private rights have been violated and wishes to sue the perpetrator. Students will become familiar with how law operates in different jurisdictions, but emphasis will be placed on laws in the US, UK and EU. The course surveys the principal rules governing civil and criminal actions, examines how courts operate, what sources of law are available to them, as well as alternative methods for resolving legal disputes. The class will evaluate and look in detail at typical legal problems and at some common crimes and civil wrongs which citizens and companies are likely to deal with. A selection of these rules is studied in reasonable depth. In the process, it is hoped that students will, as well as acquiring an overall knowledge of law, also gain a feel for “how law works in practice”. Students will have opportunities to put their knowledge into practice through mock negotiations, contract drafting and mock mediations. Furthermore, students will be expected to gain a better understand of real legal issues through evaluation of law in the news. Finally, students will explore advanced legal topics and present their research and findings through oral presentations and research papers.
Learning OutcomesUpon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
– Demonstrate a clear understanding of the main concepts of law, in particular the nature of legal rights and the remedies available to plaintiffs when their rights are breached (legal wrongs);
– Describe the structure, personnel (judges, lawyers and parties to the action) and function of courts and the particular rules governing the conduct of legal actions;
– Distinguish clearly between the concepts of public and private law, and between natural persons and legal persons;
– Understand and be able to illustrate how the jurisdiction of courts over places and persons operates;
– Describe the principal legal rules relating to the law of property, contract, tort, and criminal law, and be able to apply them effectively to particular day-to-day problems;
– Describe the principal sources of law and explain (in outline) how these have come into being;
– Make effective use of relevant cases and statutes in support of legal arguments;
– Use appropriate legal terminology and language with reasonable confidence and accuracy.
SchoolJohn H. Carey II School of Law
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS