LLB International Law and Globalisation first year modules

Legal Skills and Methods

Legal Skills & Methods will introduce students to key legal skills as well as developing their study skills in transitioning from school/college to University. Students will be introduced to the Law School and University, to the assessment regime and to the pastoral care available to them. This module will also allow students to begin to develop their employability skills and attributes. 

This module will use a combination of plenary lectures alongside practical seminars. Indicative content is as follows:

  • Introduction to Legal Study
  • The English Legal System
  • Cases and Precedent
  • Legislation
  • Solving Legal Problems
  • European Legal Frameworks
  • Presenting Legal Arguments
  • International Law and Human Rights
  • Law and Justice in the Real World
  • Writing about the Law
  • Life in the Law School (including orientation of personnel, differing types of assessments, welfare services, personal tutoring, inclusivity, academic skills)
  • Self-reflection skills
  • Careers; employability skills including writing a CV

Criminal Law 

The module provides an exploration of substantive criminal law (ie, how the law defines and applies offences and defences). The following topics will be covered in a typical year: introduction to theories of criminalisation and punishment; actus reus; mens rea; homicide; offences against the person; sexual offences; property offences; denials of offending; and defences. 

Public Law

This module examines core public law principles, and seeks to enable students to further develop within the context of a substantive law subject, the academic and legal skills which they will have learned in the Legal Skills and Methods module in the first semester.

The substantive material covered in the module involves two components (each of which may involve the following topics): 

Section A examines foundational constitutional principles and issues including: the purpose of constitutions and the sources of constitutional rules; the evolution of the UK constitution including reference to international law, the European Union, devolution and the Human Rights Act 1998; and the distribution, use and control of legislative, judicial and executive powers in the UK. 

Section B is concerned with the grounds, procedure, remedies and constitutional foundations of judicial review in England and Wales.

Contract Law

The course covers a range of core issues in contract law, which may include the following areas: the nature of contract law and key ideas; contract formation (offer and acceptance, consideration, intention to create legal relations, certainty); contents and scope of the agreement; setting the contract aside; variation including promissory estoppel; performance, discharge and remedies for breach of contract.

The module discusses the development of contract law in some of its wider social, historical and economic context. Aspects of the module explore the theories and critiques about contract law.

Foundations of International Law

This introductory module will provide students with a sound understanding of key international law concepts, instruments and institutions, preparing students to fully engage with the more specific subjects covered in second and third-year core-modules. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Subjects of international law (e.g. international legal personality, statehood and ‘recognition’).
  • Sources of international law (e.g. treaties, customary international law, general principles).
  • The relationship between national and international law (e.g. monism and dualism).
  • Jurisdiction, state responsibility and sovereignty - exploring the extent and nature of international legal obligations and their relationship with state sovereignty.
  • International organisations – exploring the structure and nature of key international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation.

In addition to these essential foundations, throughout the course of the module students shall be further introduced to specific areas of international law which may include: international economic law, international human rights law, international refugee law, international environmental law, counter-terrorism law.

Global Law and Globalisation

The module will explore and evaluate various conceptualisations of Global Law and will focus on a range of contemporary global legal issues.

In particular, the module will outline the concepts, sources, subjects, rights and events which shape and challenge existing understandings of International Law and/or processes of globalisation, and which can be said to constitute a new field of Global Law.

Topics covered include:

  • The various theories and conceptualisations of “Global Law” advanced by various leading global legal theorists (i.e. Morag Goodwin, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Eve Darian-Smith, Upendra Baxi, Neil Walker, and others).
  • Global legal history – colonialism and imperialism, classical theories of positivism and natural law, the origin of state sovereignty, the League of Nations, and the development of international law-making.
  • Different global actors (including individuals, corporations, the Global South/Third World, and global governance institutions).
  • Different global law events (e.g. independence, decolonisation, revolution, self-determination, crises, war).
  • Prescient contemporary global issues – such as the Global North-South gap, human rights and migration; international criminal law; gender, and armed conflict; transitional justice; media, war and global justice.
  • A range of critical perspectives on global law (for example, Kantian cosmopolitanism, Marxism, Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), Positivism, Natural Law Theory, Feminism).

The aim of this course is to introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches to Global and International Law and to develop critical legal thinking skills about global issues, events and developments.