20 credits at level HE5
The module introduces students to the major institutions and structures of the British constitution. Its aim is to provide knowledge and understanding of the interface between political and legal institutions in our system of law and government. It then continues by explaining the administrative law structure and the way the law deals with the relationship of individual and state. Its aim is to provide an analysis of the rules of substantive law and to facilitate skills development in the use of those rules. Policy implications are considered as is the effects of human rights jurisprudence.
This module also aims to develop the Bolton core value of Internationalisation by way of comparative reference to foreign constitutions.
1. Statutory sources of Constitutional Law in the United Kingdom.
General introduction to constitutionalism.
Definitions of a constitution. Particular features of the UK constitution: Unitary constitution; devolution; unwritten constitution; flexible constitution; constitutional or limited monarchy; responsible parliamentary government; no distinct system of administrative law. The varieties of constitution (eg codified/non-codified, rigid/flexible etc). Conventions of the Constitution; the rule of law, separation of powers
2. Sovereignty, Devolution and impact of EU membership
3. The High Court of Parliament: Historical introduction; The Meetings of Parliament; The Lords and Commons in conflict; the prerogative of Dissolution. A brief description of the nature, membership and function of the House of Commons and the House of Lords; Parliamentary procedure.
4. The executive: The continuing importance of the rôle of the monarchy. The evolution of the Cabinet system. The position and function of the Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. The Royal prerogative: The respective rôles of the Monarch, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
5. Protection by the courts :Judicial review: the supervisory role of the QBD. Scope of judicial review: jurisdiction and procedure
Public bodies Standing; justiciability sufficient interest
Limiting of judicial review: ouster.
6. Grounds for judicial review 1 Illegality and irrationality. Grounds for judicial review 2; Procedural impropriety; Grounds for judicial review 3: Human Rights Act 1998.
This module serves to emphasise employability skills for the following means.
(1). Communication Skills (D,A)
(2). Organisation and Planning (D,A)
(3). Problem Solving (T,D,A)
Subject knowledge and understanding.
Assessment Method(s) and Rationale
The learning outcomes for Public Law are assessed in the following manner:their is an unseen, law examination, three hours in length (70%). This approach encourages the development of problem-solving skills and organisation and planning. Application and analysis carry greater immediate weight in such a test than does research. This latter is tested by the viva that contributes the remaining 30% of the mark in Public Law. In the viva, the learner will be allowed to investigate, analyse and review a research issue of their choice. The format is designed to ensure that each learner has met the learning outcomes as stated. As well as testing literacy skills this will also test the ability of the student to communicate whilst illustrating.
Cognitive skills in the context of the subject.
Assessment Method(s) and Rationale
These learning outcomes will be assessed by both examination and assignment. The learner will be required to identify, retrieve and utilise a wide variety of legal sources and to investigate the relationship between primary and secondly legislation and codes of practice, charter rights and other methods of control on the executive and the public sector and to allow the learner to devise a research strategy into an area of topicality or current significance.
Subject Specific Practical/Professional Skills.
Assessment Method(s) and Rationale.
This outcome will be assessed by both examination and viva. The examination will test the student’s knowledge of the subject and at a standard to Level 2, test powers of synthesis and assimilation. The assignment will assess the ability of the learner to undertake research into subject matter in which a basic grounding has been given. Assignment two is designed to assess the learner’s ability to make a judgment on an issue to research and to bring together information in order to explain complex issues.
Other Skills (eg key/Transferrable)
Assessment Method(s) and Rationale
These outcomes will be assessed by both the examination and viva. The learner will be expected to achieve high standards of presentation and research and to demonstrate the effective use of information technology and information sources.
Use will be made of lectures for the formal dissemination of information. At levels HE5 lectures become more Socratic in nature, thereby requiring far greater participation by the students. This is to reflect the demands of the law benchmarks with regard to ‘levelness.’ For example, encouraging greater student autonomy and comprehension.
At level HE5 Seminars play an important part in encouraging students to think critically about the subject, to analyse theory and information in a systematic fashion, and to enhance understanding of conceptual issues. Seminars will be held each week which will allow students to examine the processes of law in greater detail and to consider the policy and practice involved. Seminars and workshops will also provide opportunities for students to develop further their understanding of legal materials and methodology by analysing a range of law problems and situations.
The lecturing hours for this module are made up or the following components:
Lectures = 28 hours
Seminars = 14 hours
Background reading = 100 hours
Preparation of seminars = 58 hours
Total = 200 hours
This module is assessed by two pieces of assessment. Each tests a different aspect of each learning outcome. You must pass both pieces of coursework in order to fully address the requirements of the learning outcomes and hence be successful in the module.
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||Generic Learning Outcomes
Subject Knowledge and understanding
Analyse and criticise Public Law in regard to administrative and constitutional law and in so doing develop communication skills and organisation and planning
|Have compared and contrasted different concepts, principles and rules relating to Public Law. This will assess the ability of the student's communication skills and organisation and planning.|
|2.||Identify and consider how Public Law seeks to engage with problematic substantive and procedural legal issue in relation to the citizen and the State||Have appraised and justified how Public Law seeks to address problematic substantive and procedural legal issues.|
|3.||Critically examine legal issues raised when researching scenario areas in Public Law, thereby developing problem solving skills.||Assess, through problem solving, the complexity associated with procedural and substantive legal issues raised when researching scenario areas in the Public Law and in the application of problem solving skills to reach a conclusion.|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||Viva||Unseen examination x 3 hours|
Before taking this module you must have successfully completed the following:
No restrictions apply.
Elliott, M. & Thomas, R. (2011) Public Law, Oxford: OUP
Barnett, H. (2009) Understanding Public Law, 7th edn. London: Roughtledge Cavendish
Bradley, AW. and Ewing, KD (2010) Constitutional abd Administrative Law, 15th edn. Harlow: Longman.
Giussani, E. (2008) Constitutional and Administrative Law, London: Sweet & Maxwell
Le Seur, A., Sunkin, M. & Murkens, JE (2010) Public Law: Text, Cases and Materials, Oxford: OUP
LeSuer, A. (2011) Public Law, London: Sweet & Maxwell
Loughlin, M. (2010) Foundations of Public Law, Oxford: OUP
Munro, J. (2007) Public Law, 2nd. edn. London: Sweet & Maxwell
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