Specialisation: Legal theory and history

Human rights of women

Module A [LWM19A]

Is the theory underlying human rights law male?

Introduction to Human Rights, what is Human Rights law?

Analysis of the history and philosophy of Human Rights discourse.

Who is included in the “human” of Human Rights?

Module B [LWM19B]

Feminist critiques of human rights

Feminist theories and critiques of Human Rights law.

The problems and/or virtues of Human Rights law for women on a global scale.

Feminist reconstructions of Human Rights, aiming to ensure the inclusion of women.

Module C [LWM19C]

Institutional framework, institutions and documents relating to the human rights of women

Examination of Human Rights documents and their institutional framework, including: the UN Charter, the “three Generations of Rights”, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

International Courts, human rights and humanitarian law.

Module D [LWM19D]

Sovereign governments, non-state actors and individual responsibility for human rights violations: linking theory to practice

Consideration of the work of non-governmental organisations set up for/by women.

Interrelationship between sovereign governments, non-state actors and a developing international jurisprudence on Human Rights law investigating how these impact on the lives of women.

Case studies on sexual violence and rape including the International War Crimes Tribunals at The Hague.

Reconnecting feminist legal theory to the Human Rights of women.

Students are advised to attempt the modules in order but may, if they wish, attempt modules in the following order:
Module C, module A, module B and module D or
Module C, module D, module A and module B.

Hilary Charlesworth and Christine Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law: A Feminist Analysis (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), ISBN: 9780719037399

Rebecca J. Cook (ed), Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), ISBN: 9780812215380

Jurisprudence and legal theory

Students are not required to have taken an undergraduate course in Jurisprudence, but it will be assumed that they will have some familiarity with standard works in the field up to LLB standard.

The double modules can be attempted in either order.

Double section A/B: [LWM7AB]

Modern legal theory

Selected topics in the development of Anglo-American legal philosophy from the origins of utilitarianism to the present day, including contemporary debates on philosophical method and the nature of law.

Double section C/D: [LWM7CD]

Liberty, equality and law

Selected topics in the development of liberalism, including the ideas of liberty and equality and their relevance in the present day to our understanding of community, economics, cultural diversity and feminism.

Either first.

Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire new edition (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 1998), ISBN: 9781841130415

Legislation and statutory interpretation

Module A: [LWM79A]

Introduction to legislation

Legislation as a tool for regulation

Nature and types of legislation

Geographical extent of legislation

Temporal extent of legislation

Supranational legislation

Module B: [LWM79B]

Making legislation

Policy process

Legislative process

Drafting process

Legislative impact assessment

Module C: [LWM79C]

Statutory interpretation

Interpretation of legislation

Literal rule

Mischief rule

Purposive rule

Presumptions and maxims of interpretation

Module D: [LWM79D]

Tests for quality of legislation

Rule of law test

Human rights and constitutionality test

Good law test

Functionality test – effectiveness

Module A must be attempted before Module B

Helen Xanthaki, Thornton’s Legislative Drafting 5th rev. ed. (Bloomsbury Professional, 2013), ISBN: 978-1780432090

Helen Xanthaki, Drafting legislation: art and technology of rules for regulation. (Oxford: Hart Publishers, 2014), ISBN: 9781849464284

Medical law and ethics

Please note that the modules of this course are no longer available for new registrations. Students currently registered on these modules are able to enter for examinations up to the end of 2017.

Module A: [LWM56A]

Basic concepts in medical law





Module B: [LWM56B]

Access to treatment and malpractice litigation

Resource allocation

Malpractice litigation

Product liability and the regulation of medicines

Liability for occurrences before birth

Module C: [LWM56C]

Legal and ethical issues in medical practice

Mental health law

Clinical research

Organ transplantation

End of life decisions

Module D: [LWM56D]

Legal and ethical issues in reproduction


Embryo and stem cell research

Assisted conception


Module A first, Module D last.

Emily Jackson, Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), ISBN: 9781859414385

Russian law and legal institutions

Module A [LWM44A]

Russian legal system in context


Russian legal system in context of comparative legal studies

Legal terminology, legal translation, and Russian Law

Russian legal heritage

Module B [LWM44B]

Foundations of Russian law

Jurisprudential foundations of Russian law

Towards a rule of law state

Sources of Russian law

Legal profession (advocates, jurisconsults)

Module C [LWM44C]

Administration of Russian legality

The Administration of Russian legality

Ministries of justice

Judicial system




Administrative tribunals

Registry for acts of civil stats

Law enforcement agencies

Role of non-state entities in the administration of legality

Module D [LWM44D]

State structure of Russia

Concepts of Russian federalism




The role of judges

Subjects of the Russian federation

Municipal government

Module A first.

William E. Butler, Russian Law 2nd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003),
ISBN: 9780199254002

William E. Butler, Russian Public Law: The Fooundations of a Rule-of-Law State – Legislation and Documents (London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2005), ISBN: 9781898029724

V.S. Neresiants, The Civilism Manifesto: The National Idea of Russia in the Historical Quest for Equality, Freedom and Justness (London: Wildy, Simmonds & Hill, 2000),
ISBN: 9781898029533

William Burnham, Peter Maggs and Gennady Danilenko, Law and Legal System of the Russian Federation 3rd ed (Huntington, NY: Juris Publishing, 2005), ISBN: 9781578231973

Western European legal history

Module A [LWM50A]

The Foundation: Roman and Canon law 500-1100

The Corpus Juris Civilis and its survival until the eleventh century

Roman law outside the Justinianic tradition: Visigothic and Frankish law

The Canon law in the West: Canon law collections before Gratian

Feudal law and Roman law in Italy

The revival of the study of Roman law

Module B [LWM50B]

Interactions of Roman and local law: twelfth-sixteenth centuries

Gratian and the formation of the learned Canon law

The consolidation of Roman law: the Glossators

The expansion of Roman law: the Commentators

Canon law scholarship, practice and influence

Roman law and political thought

Module C [LWM50C]

National laws and codification: sixteenth-nineteenth centuries

The renaissance of Roman law: humanism in Rome and France

The droit écrit and droit coutumier in France

Mos italicus and mos gallicus

The reception in Germany

The Dutch elegant school and the Natural Law movement

Module D [LWM50D]

Modern perspectives on the Ius Commune

Early Natural law codifications

Codification in France and its empire

German romanticism: Savigny vs Thibault

Pandektenrecht and Mommsen: German codification and scholarly reaction in Roman law

Survival and continuity
-Andorra, San Marino and the Channel Islands
-Scottish amalgam of feudal and Roman law
-South African blend of Common law procedure and Roman law substance

Module A first.