LLM Specialisms 2012/13

Legal Theory


[please note: links below are to the 2011/12 course guides; they will be updated when new guides are made available during the summer vacation]


The Law Department is at the forefront of research in legal theory, with experts teaching in the areas of traditional jurisprudence, law and social theory, law and political theory, feminist legal theory, the philosophy of punishment and criminal justice, intellectual history and the theory of international law and human rights. Individual subjects are generally taught by teams of teachers so as to draw on their particular expertise. This offers an intellectually rich and varied field of study, in which students may develop their own conceptual and analytic skills and interests. Students also benefit from the unique LSE environment that constantly attracts speakers from around the world, thus enriching the intellectual resources available within the Department.

Advanced Issues of European Union Law (LL4B2): study of the central themes and challenges posed by the development of European Union citizenship, governance and constitutionalism.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (LL402): methods of resolving disputes by negotiation and mediation, studied through theoretical analyses and practical exercises.

Climate Change and International Law (H) (LL4A6): the goal of this course is to explore the international law dealing with climate change with a view to assessing how risks and uncertainties caused by climate change are governed and allocated. Projected seminars include: climate change science; politics; ethics; theory of international law; international environmental law; trade and investment law; human rights law; international development; energy security; food security.

Comparative Constitutional Law (LL4F7): builds on knowledge students have acquired from having taken courses such as public law, administrative law, EU law and public international law at undergraduate level. This full unit course is formed from the MT half unit LL4Z6 Comparative Constitutional Law: Institutions and the LT half LL4Z7 Comparative Constitutional Law: Rights; please see these Course Guides for course content.

Comparative Constitutional Law: Institutions (H) (LL4Z6): builds on knowledge students have acquired from having taken courses such as public law, administrative law, EU law and public international law at undergraduate level. This course examines the central issues in comparative constitutional law across a range of jurisdictions and from a variety of perspectives. Although precise topics to be covered may vary from year to year, the main sections of the course will deal with: constitution-making, constitutional forms, constitutional adjudication, and constitutional borrowings. The overarching objectives of the course will be to analyse the  methodological and conceptual challenges posed by comparative study of constitutions, and to reflect on the cultural, ideological and transformative dimensions of contemporary constitutional discourse (in relation to methodology, legislative change, and institutional design).

Comparative Constitutional Law: Rights (H) (LL4Z7): this course examines a range of important and controversial topics in constitutional rights law from a comparative perspective. The topics to be discussed include: abortion; euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide; gay sex and sodomy; religion in the public sphere; non-discrimination; affirmative action; hate speech and denial of the holocaust; obscenity. The materials come from a broad range of jurisdictions, including but not limited to the U.S., Canada, South Africa, the European Convention on Human Rights, the U.K. and Germany.

Constitutional Theory (LL444): an inquiry into the nature, functions and significance of constitutions. [not offered 2012/13]

Constitutional Theory (H) (LL4H1): an inquiry into the nature, functions and significance of constitutions.

Cyberlaw (H) (LL4S1): this course examines and discusses topical issues in relation to the law of the internet and other digital information devices (Smartphones, Tablets etc.). It opens by examining the issues relating to network regulation or control by addressing questions such as “can the internet be regulated?” and “who is competent to police online content and activity?” It concludes its examination of structural controls by examining the highly topical and politically charged issue of enshrined network neutrality: by asking the question: should Internet Service Providers be allowed to vary service conditions by types of content? Students taking the course will be expected to develop knowledge and understanding of the different values brought to bear in the regulation of ICT and communities and the factors leading towards choices of particular values, regulatory institutions and process. Such knowledge and understanding will operate both at the theoretical level and the level of particular examples of regulatory regimes.

European Human Rights Law (H) (LL468): this course provides a comprehensive analysis of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, together with an appraisal of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.  It locates the Convention in its regional and international context.

Jurisprudence and Legal Theory (LL400): mainstream and alternative theoretical approaches to understanding the phenomenon of law, with particular emphasis on the work of important schools and individual theorists.

Law and the Holocaust (H) (LL4L4): this course investigates key concepts of law and legal thought by reference to the concrete events that marked the Nazi persecution of the Jews. Students study such topics as the lessons for legal theory and practice arising from Hitler’s rise to power, the legislation of the Nazi racial-biological worldview, the challenge to our conceptions of legal and moral responsibility that is presented by the idea of ‘administrative massacre’, and how the Nazi legal era has been represented in debates of legal philosophy. [not offered 2012/13]

Law and Social Theory (LL465): an introduction to the study of law through the perspective of modern social theory with particular emphasis on contemporary critical European thought.

Law in Society: A Joint Course in Law and Anthropology (LL4E8): the anthropological analysis of political, cultural and legal institutions as revealed in relevant theoretical debates and with reference to selected ethnography.

Modern Legal History (LL474): developments in English law in the period 1750-1950 in their social, economic and political context.

Regulation: Legal and Political Aspects (LL446): theories and case studies of regulation encountered in public policy, administration, legal literature, examining the origins, development and reform of regulation; the styles and processes of regulation; the issues surrounding enforcement; the inter-organizational and international aspects of regulation; and questions of evaluation and accountability. 

Regulating New Medical Technologies (LL416): the course addresses regulatory responses to new medical technologies. It focuses upon the legal and ethical dilemmas which arise as a result of novel and/or controversial medical practices. [not offered 2012/13]

Rethinking International Law (LL423): an advanced level general course in Public International Law, studying the discipline as a whole from distinctively theoretical, historical and practical perspectives.

Socio-legal theory and Practice (H) (LL4L5): a theoretical and historical introduction to socio-legal approaches to the study of law and legal phenomena.  The course will look at the history of the socio-legal studies movement , its methodological orientations and the transformation of  theory into the practice of data collection and analysis in a number of seminal socio-legal studies,

Terrorism and the Rule of Law (H) (LL475): a theoretical and historical introduction to the concept of terrorism. It will critically consider definitions of terrorism, and analyse the relationship between terrorism and the right to rebel, and the right to engage in civil disobedience. The role of international law generally and international human rights law in particular in the context of terrorism and anti-terrorism action will be considered in detail.

Theories of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (H) (LL4Z8): the principal theoretical paradigms in interdisciplinary criminal justice studies, and the contribution of criminological, criminal justice and criminal law scholarship to an understanding of the social process of criminalisation. [not offered 2012/13]

Theory of Human Rights Law (H) (LL4L6): the course will provide an introduction to the philosophy of human rights and theoretical issues in human rights law. The emphasis is on a combination of law and theory; to this end, each seminar will rely on a mixture of cases from various jurisdictions and theoretical and philosophical materials.



Law Home Page