LL109      Half Unit
Introduction to the Legal System

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Meredith Rossner, Ms Insa Koch and Prof Nicola Lacey


This course is compulsory on the BA in Anthropology and Law and LLB in Laws. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content


The course is designed as a foundation course to familiarise law students with the basic characteristics and functioning of legal systems.

The course will include:

1. What is law?

2. Reading Law: Statutory interpretation

3. Reading Law: Common law and judicial precedent

4. Legal pluralism

5.  The vanishing trial and adjudication

6. Alternative dispute resolution

7. Restorative Justice

8. Punishment and democracy

9. The Legal profession and judicial diversity

10. Lay justice


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

This is a Moodle course, with the course materials, lecture outlines, class reading and suggestions for further reading set out through links to relevant sites. The main background book for the course is Carl F Stychin and Linda Mulcahy (eds), Legal Methods and Systems: Text and Materials, 4th ed (2010) Thomson (Sweet and Maxwell).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2017/18: 184

Average class size 2017/18: 11

Capped 2017/18: Yes (234)

Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills