Foundations of Law
Full course description
This course will introduce students to the historical, philosophical, and economic foundations of law, a thorough understanding of which being indispensable in order to arrive at a true comprehension of the positive law. Through the lens of three meta-juridical disciplines, students will be confronted with questions regarding the nature of the law and its (ideal) role in society. First, the law will be examined from a legal-historical perspective to make students aware of the main political, social, and cultural events throughout history that shaped the (Western) European legal systems of today. The second discipline of philosophy of law will guide students through the normative foundations of law, comparing legal norms with those of a social, political, or moral nature and whilst dealing with questions concerning the justification and enforceability of state law. Third, students will be introduced to the multidisciplinary study of law and economics, to raise awareness of the economic reasoning behind – as well as the economic consequences of – legislative and contractual decisions. The course will employ a chronological approach that guides students – in the form of both lectures and tutorials – through the main events and the most influential actors which constitute the Foundations of (European) law.
Following successful completion of this course, students will:
- understand the main theories and developments of legal history, legal philosophy, and law & economics.
- be able to explain key concepts of legal history, legal philosophy, and law & economics.
- be able to make connections between legal and meta-legal knowledge.
- be able to describe the historical context and the developments throughout history of key legal concepts in order to interpret the changes they underwent.
- be able to analyse and critically reflect on the role of law as an instrument for both societal control and societal change, that is, the law as a tool for reproducing economic, political, racial, and gendered structures of domination, and the law as a source of social emancipation.
- be able to construct the pathways and contingencies of legal developments in Europe and beyond, based on normative, and other societal factors.
- be able to formulate explicit normative standards, based on different legal-philosophical, legal-historical, and economical approaches.
- be able to evaluate possible legal solutions for contentious issues in current political debates that require a resolution through the law as a form of practical reason and place them against explicit normative standards.
None, other than that students were admitted to the bachelor European Law School.
See Canvas for more information