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Course 2023-2024 a.y.

30611 - GENERAL JURISPRUDENCE

BGL
Department of Law

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 28

BGL (9 credits - I sem. - OB  |  IUS/20)
Course Director:
DAMIANO CANALE

Classes: 28 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 28: DAMIANO CANALE


Synchronous Blended: Lessons in synchronous mode in the classroom (for a maximum of one hour per credit in remote mode)

Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

The expression “General Jurisprudence” usually refers to theoretical study of law, which tries to answer questions such as “What is law?”, “What distinguishes law from other social phenomena?”, “How is it the case that laws provide guidance to human behavior?”, etc. Over the past two centuries, the answers to these questions have been sought by looking at state law and the characteristics it has taken on in Western countries. This perspective no longer has a satisfactory grip on reality. Although state law is still central to our lives, its regulatory function is intertwined with that of supra-national and international legal sources. At the same time, the forms of legal regulation and planning of social life appear highly diversified and cannot be reduced to traditional, black letter law. Not to mention that different legal traditions tend to provide different answers to the question “What is law?”, to the point of casting doubt on the very idea that legality can be reduced to a set of universal features common to all polities that ever existed and will exist in the future. The course aims to reconstruct these different constellations of problems in order to provide students with an introductory yet critical understanding of contemporary law, legal systems, and the forms of legality characterizing them.

CONTENT SUMMARY

General Part

- What is General Jurisprudence All About?

- Mapping the Law: Legal Families, Traditions and Concepts

- Legal Monism vs. Legal Pluralism

 

Special Part

- Hard and Soft Law: Blurring the Concept?

- Constitutional Democracy: An Analytical Framework


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

General Part:

- Provide a picture of the main problems of general jurisprudence, and explain the way in which they have been addressed over the past two centuries in the Western legal tradition.

- Recognize a legal family or tradition, and use fundamental legal concepts such as obligation, right, duty, power, legislation, adjudication, legal system.

- Address the problems that different basic conceptions of legal normativity can give rise to in the global scenario.

 

Special Part:

- Identify the different elements which traditionally are said to characterise law and distinguish it from so-called ‘soft law’ (and vice-versa)

- Describe the basic legal and political structure of modern constitutional democracies (including its main three principles of self-government, constitutionalism, and separation of powers)

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

General Part:

- use theoretical legal vocabulary and assess the different current standpoints on the nature of law.

- properly apply normative legal concepts and discuss their social cultural roots.

- argue in favor and against the pluralistic conceptions of legality.

 

Special Part:

- critically apply the concepts of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ law to real-life or hypothetical scenarios

- compare current constitutional arrangements around the world in light of normative models and principles


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  •   x x
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Assessment methods are based on three elements:

    Group Assignment and presentation 1: 20%

    Midterm exam: 30%

    Group assignment and presentation 2: 20%

    Final exam: 30%

     

    As for the first and second assignments, the attending students will be divided into groups and each group will be requested to present and discuss a case in class related to the content of the course. The case-study will be assigned to the groups at the beginning of each module of the course. The presentation and discussion of the cases will be used to verify the students' ability to apply the knowledge developed during the course, and to take a critical viewpoint with respect to the issues the considered case is about.

    Both the midterm and final exam will be held in written form. The midterm exam will be made up of 3 open-ended questions whereas the final exam will be composed by 2 open-ended questions. The written exams will be used to assess the comprehension of relevant legal concepts, the student’s ability to analyze a given theoretical subject, and to address real or hypothetical scenarios.

     

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The assessment of non-attending students will be based on a final written exam. The exam is made up by 5 open-ended questions which cover both the general and the special parts of the course. The exam will be used to assess the student’s understanding and knowledge of the textbook and teaching materials, the mastery of the relevant legal concepts, and the ability to analyze the theoretical and practical legal issues the course is about.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    W Twinning, General Jurisprudence: Understanding the Law from a Global Perspective (CUP 2009), Ch. 1-4.

    B Tamanaha, Legal Pluralism Explained: History, Theory, Consequences (OUP 2021), Ch. 4.

    P Sandro, The Making of Constitutional Democracy: From Creation to Application of Law (Hart Pub 2022), Ch. 1, 2, and 7.

    Case-studies (including articles and reports) discussed in class and uploaded on the Blackboard platform.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    W Twinning, General Jurisprudence: Understanding the Law from a Global Perspective (CUP 2009), Ch. 1-6.

    B Tamanaha, Legal Pluralism Explained: History, Theory, Consequences (OUP 2021), Ch. 4-5.

    P Sandro, The Making of Constitutional Democracy: From Creation to Application of Law (Hart Pub 2022), Ch. 1, 2, and 7.

    Last change 21/06/2023 08:11