LL427E      Half Unit
Constitutional Law and Theory

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Thomas Poole NAB 7.20


This course is available on the Executive LLM. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course will be offered on the Executive LLM during the four year degree period. The Department of Law will not offer all Executive LLM courses every year, although some of the more popular courses may be offered in each year, or more than once each year. Please note that whilst it is the Department of Law's intention to offer all Executive LLM courses, its ability to do so will depend on the availability of the staff member in question. For more information please refer to the Department of Law website.

Course content

This course examines the role of constitutions and the nature of constitutional discourse. It considers the ways in which theorists have advanced understanding of constitutions and devised solutions to a range of constitutional questions. The course deals with the following topics: the scope of constitutional theory; the constitution of government; constitutional politics; representation; sovereignty; constituent power; constitutional rights; the rule of law; liberalism and republicanism; constitutional adjudication; cultural pluralism; theories of federalism; the cosmopolitan polity.


24-26 hours of contact time.

Formative coursework

Students will have the option of producing a formative exam question of 2000 words to be delivered one month from the end of the module’s teaching session by email.

Indicative reading

Much of the reading for the course consists of classic texts in political thought. Many are available online and the course is delivered through Moodle. Indicative reading includes: Hobbes, Leviathan; Rousseau, The Social Contract; Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws; Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Tocqueville, Democracy in America; Schmitt, Constitutional Theory; Oakeshott, On Human Conduct; Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty.


Either a take-home examination or 8,000 word assessed essay (100%).

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills