Overview of the Law course structure at Oxford:
|Phase 1 – Law Moderations|
|Courses Four courses are taken:
||Assessment First University examinations: Three written papers;|
|Phase 2 – Final Honours School|
|Courses Core material, including courses on:
||Assessment Includes the third term of the 1st year, & all three terms of the 2nd year.|
|Phase 3 – Final year|
||Assessment Includes the First & Second Term of the Final Year; Final Examinations are held in 3rd term of the Final Year.|
CIVIL LAW I
- Sources of law. Legal development through the grant of new remedies: praetor and iudex under the formulary system. The jurists. The revival of Roman law.
- Persons. An outline of the legal position of the household and of marriage in Roman Law.
- Property. Categories of things in Roman law. Dominium, possession and bonitary ownership. Acquisition of ownership: delivery, usucapion, occupation, accession, specification. Rights in another’s property: servitudes, usufructs, real security.
- Obligations. Contracts, quasi-contracts, and delicts in Roman law.
- Succession. An outline of intestate and testamentary succession in Roman law; Roman inheritance and heirship; freedom of testation. Particular emphasis will be placed on property and obligations.
The Roman law with which the course is principally concerned is the law of the classical period, but significant later developments will be noted. Comparisons with other legal systems will be drawn where appropriate.
- Crook, The Law and Life of Rome
- Stein, Roman Law in European History (1998)
A. The allocation of powers
- Sources and foundations of the constitution: (a) nature and sources of constitutional law; (b) constitutional conventions; (c) the separation of powers; (d) the rule of law; (e) principal organs of government, including the judiciary, the executive (including the Crown) and the royal prerogative; (f) nature and sources of EU law.
- Legislative authority in the United Kingdom: (a) Parliament: its composition and functions, including the role of the House of Lords; (b) parliamentary sovereignty; (c) the principal institutions of the EU; (d) the status of EU law within national law; (e) devolution of power; (f) delegated legislation; (g) introductory matters concerning the Human Rights Act 1998 with particular reference to its implications for the enactment and interpretation of legislation (and including horizontal effect).
B. The control of powers
- Political accountability of the executive: (a) relationship between the executive and Parliament, including ministerial responsibility (collective and individual); (b) mechanisms for parliamentary accountability, including parliamentary questions, select committees, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration; (c) political accountability in local government in England, especially Labour’s reform programme.
- Accountability to the judiciary: (a) the nature, scope and constitutional legitimacy of judicial review of administrative action; (b) justiciability, including review of prerogative powers; (c) standing; (d) grounds for review; (e) procedural issues and remedies.
- The use of civil liberties and human rights standards in the control of power: (a) protecting civil liberties in the UK; (b) obligations imposed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 in international and municipal law; (c) freedom of expression and national security: official secrecy, freedom of information and breach of confidence; (d) freedom of assembly: protest and public order. 36
- Tomkins, Public Law (2003)
- Leyland, The Constitution of the United Kingdom: A Contextual Analysis (2007)
- General character of English criminal law, including the burden of proof. Principles underpinning the criminal law. Relationship of statute and common law. Reform and codification.
- The external and fault elements of crimes; strict liability; defences.
- Complicity. Inchoate crimes. The liability of mentally disordered persons.
- Homicide (including corporate manslaughter); the principal offences against the person; the principal sexual offences (ss 1-13, 61-63); the principal offences under the Theft Acts (theft, robbery, burglary, handling, making off without payment); offences of fraud; criminal damage.
A knowledge of the law of particular offences (other than those specified in (4) above, which will be listed on lecture outlines) is required only insofar as it is necessary to illustrate the application of the general principles of liability ((2) and (3) above).
- Herring, Criminal Law (5th ed 2007)
- Padfield, Criminal Law (7th ed 2010)
LAW OF TORT
- Liability for intentional harm and for harm resulting from intentional conduct (overview).
- Causation and remoteness of damage.
- Remedies, especially damages for personal injury and death, and with reference to the effect of benefits under concurrent systems of alleviation.
- Death in relation to tort.
- Defences (consent; illegality; disclaimers; contributory negligence) including justifications for trespasses and defamation, but NOT including the details of the law of limitation or time-bar.
- Vicarious liability and ‘non-delegable duties’. Employers’ liability.
- Joint and several liability, and contribution between tortfeasors.
- Occupiers’ liability.
- Liability for defective products.
- Tortious liability for criminal acts (including misfeasance in public office and public nuisance) and tortious liability for breach of statutory duty.
- Private nuisance, trespass to land and liability under the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher.
- Trespass to the person, including false imprisonment and related matters.
- Liability for animals.
- Defamation and privacy. Malicious falsehood and deceit.
- Aims and adequacy of the law of tort.
Outline knowledge of the following topics is expected, but detailed knowledge of them is not required: the calculation of the measure of damages; the Defective Premises Act 1972; claims against public bodies under the Human Rights Act; police powers of arrest and search; the Crown Proceedings Act 1947.
The following topics are NOT included in the syllabus: passing-off and other forms of unfair competition; intentional economic torts; conversion and trespass to chattels; abuse of legal process and malicious prosecution; the procedural aspects of tort claims.
- Hedley, Tort (6th ed 2008)
- Weir, An Introduction to Tort Law (2nd ed)
LAW OF CONTRACT
- Formation of a contract: offer and acceptance and contractual negotiations; certainty; intention to create legal relations; consideration; promissory estoppel; third parties.
- Vitiating factors: duress; undue influence; unconscionability; misrepresentation; non-disclosure; mistake.
- Contents of a contract: express and implied terms; interpretation; rectification; common law and statutory rules on exemption clauses and unfair terms.
- Discharge of contracts: performance; agreement; breach; frustration.
- Remedies: damages, specific remedies (actions for the price, specific performance, injunctions), account of profits following breach, recovery of money paid and recompense for goods and services. 40
Questions will not be set on: assignment of contractual rights; negotiability; agency; incapacity; gaming, wagering and illegality; legislation concerning ‘formalities’.
- Brownsword, Contract Law: Themes for the Twenty-First Century (2000)
- Cartwright, Contract Law: An Introduction to the English Law of Contract for the Civil Lawyer (2007
- Introduction: The definition of land (including fixtures). Alienability of land and fragmentation of benefit. Freehold and leasehold estates. Law and equity. Trusts and the doctrine of notice. Historical overview of the property legislation 1925-2002. Adverse possession (in both registered and unregistered land). Human rights and property law.
- Registration of title: Registrable interests. Notices and restrictions. Dispositions. Interests that override registered dispositions. Alteration and indemnity.
- Trusts and co-ownership: Concurrent interests. Trusts of land. Acquisition of beneficial interests. Overreaching. Joint tenancy and tenancy in common. Termination of co-ownership: severance and survivorship.
- Mortgages: Creation and characteristics. Protection of the equity of redemption. Regulation of mortgage finance. Undue influence, duress, misrepresentation. Protection against third parties. Rights and remedies of mortgagees (excluding questions of priority between mortgagees). Judicial control of rights to possession.
- Easements: Creation (including prescription) and characteristics. Termination. Protection against third parties.
- Freehold covenants: Definition. Enforceability (transmission of benefit and burden). Termination.
- Leases: Creation and characteristics. Assignment of leases. Termination of leases. Protection against third parties. Enforceability of landlord and tenant covenants in post 1995 leases.
- Informally created interests in land: Licences. Proprietary estoppel. Protection against third parties.
Only outline knowledge will be required of the Land Charges Act 1972. Questions will not be set on incorporeal hereditaments other than easements, the statutory security of tenure of tenants, the interpretation of freehold or leasehold covenants, or other circumstances in which covenants may be implied into leases.
- Cooke, Land Law (2006)
- Gardner, An Introduction to Land Law (2nd ed 2009)
- Gray and Gray, Land Law Core Text (7th ed 2011)
- Lawson and Rudden, The Law of Property (3rd ed 2002)
- Introduction and Overview.
- The Law of Treaties.
- International Responsibility.
- Legal Regulation of the Use of Force.
- Personality, Statehood and Government.
- Title to Territory.
- Human Rights.
- Jurisdiction and State Immunity.
- Sources of International Law (revisited).
- International law and English law
- Settlement of Disputes, with special emphasis on the International Court of Justice.
- Shaw, International Law (6th ed 2008)
- Dixon, Textbook on International Law (6th ed 2007)
- Students may also find the following introductory texts useful:
- Lowe, International Law (2007)
- Malanczuk, Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International
CIVIL LAW II
The paper is divided into two parts.
1. European Legal History. The revival of Roman law and the formation of the canon law; glossators and commentators; humanists. Roman law in England and practice in the Courts of the Church and Admiralty. Developments in France (natural law, national laws, codification, the emergence of public law), in Germany (the historical school, codification) and elsewhere.
2. The Lex Aquilia, with particular reference to Digest IX.2. The main areas covered are the origins and early history of the lex; the scope of chapters 1 and 3; iniuria and culpa; causation; damages; and praetorian extensions to liability under the lex. The course will also consider the later development of the Civil law tradition of Aquilian liability.
- Introduction: statutory interpretation; the role of the judiciary; appeal and review; the ambit and scope of review; the ultra vires rule; the constitutional foundations and legitimacy of judicial review.
- Jurisdictional Control: error of fact; error of law. Collateral challenge and nullity.
- Control of Discretionary Power: retention of discretion (including dictation, delegation, over-rigid policies and fettering by contract).
- Control of Discretionary Power: abuse of discretion (including unreasonableness, bad faith, irrelevant considerations, improper purposes and proportionality).
- Procedural Requirements: fairness and the rules of natural justice.
- The Nature and Scope of the Doctrines of Legitimate Expectations and Estoppel.
- Remedies: restrictions on review (including standing, exclusion of review and discretion to withhold).
- Remedies: the public/private distinction; remedies available in judicial review proceedings (including damages). 45
- Cane, An Introduction to Administrative Law (4th ed 2004)
- Craig, Administrative Law (6th ed 2008)
- Elliott, Beatson, Matthews and Elliott’s Administrative Law: Text and Materials (3rd ed 2005)
- Wade and Forsyth, Administrative Law (10th ed 2009)
- Introduction: the meaning of ‘family’ in family law; marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation and other family arrangements; family proceedings, family decision-making; human rights and family law; reform of family law.
- Marriage, civil partnership and divorce/dissolution: the formation of marriage and civil partnership. Divorce/Dissolution and Separation, including special procedure; reconciliation and mediation; presumption of death.
- Property and families: ascertainment of beneficial ownership; trusts; financial relief during marriage/civil partnership and on/or after divorce/dissolution or nullity; financial support of children; occupation of the home and remedies for domestic violence. Effects on a will of marriage or divorce; intestate succession; family provision on death.
- Children: parentage (including assisted reproduction and the acquisition of parentage through surrogacy) and parental responsibility; children’s rights and capacities; The Private Law: resolution of disputes over residence, contact and other issues; social parenthood. The Public Law: the role of local authorities in the care and protection of children; support for children in need; emergency protection; compulsory care and supervision; wardship and the inherent jurisdiction; adoption, and special guardianship; assisted reproduction and surrogacy.
Questions will not be set on the formalities of marriage; evidentiary privilege; social security law; taxation.
For introductory reading and/or revision:
- Douglas, An Introduction to Family Law (2nd ed 2004)
- Probert, Cretney’s Family Law (7th ed 2009)
- Standley, Family Law (7th ed 2010)
The Legal History paper provides a general survey of changes in English legal institutions, principles and ideas from 1066. The law is rooted in historical sources, such as decided cases and statutes, and it has never stood still; therefore all lawyers, whether they know it or not, are constantly confronted by legal history.
1. Institutions of the law; the types and sources of English law –
- The sources and literature of English law: mechanisms of law making; record, formularies, reports, treatises; precedent; legal education.
- The leading institutional and procedural developments in the common law: the rise of the common law; the courts of common law, their origin, personnel and jurisdiction; writs and the forms of action; modes of proof; pleading; motions in banc; the review of decisions.
- The conciliar courts, Chancery and Star Chamber; the growth of equity and its relation to the common law.
- The ecclesiastical courts.
- Forms of action: praecipe writs; trespass vi et armis; trespass on the case.
- Tort: customs of the realm; negligence, including an outline of developments to 1932.
- Contract: covenant and debt; assumpsit for misfeasance, non-feasance, and debt; consideration; privity; the emergence of contractual ideas in the nineteenth century.
3. Criminal law – The history of criminal liability: criminal procedure; punishment; development of substantive criminal law; homicide.
4. Property – The history of the law of real property: tenure and ‘feudalism’; services and incidents of tenure; inheritance; estates; the real actions; terms of years; copyhold; ejectment; settlements. The history of trusts: medieval uses; the Statute of Uses 1536; un-executed uses after the Statute.
CRIMINOLOGY, SENTENCING AND THE PENAL SYSTEM
- Historical Background: Recent developments in criminal justice and the penal system in England and Wales (excluding criminal trials and pre-trial procedure). Relationship of these developments to aspects of broader social change in late modernity.
- Patterns of crime, offending and victimisation (primarily in England and Wales, with international comparisons where appropriate). Strengths and weaknesses of data sources and the role of the media in shaping interpretation of data sources.
- Theories and findings on pathways into crime at individual, family and community levels of analysis, and evidence on what is known about the causes and prevention of crime, and desistance from offending.
- Theories of punishment, and the law of sentencing: justifications for penal measures, especially desert, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, restorative justice and reparation. The efficacy of penal measures.
- How the sentencing and penal system works: sentencing law: theory, policy and practice, the discretion to prosecute and alternative systems of intervention such as restorative justice.
- Sentencing provisions in practice: community penalties, prisons, parole.
- Dealing with identified groups of offenders: young offenders, dangerous and sex offenders, women offenders.
- Contemporary issues in criminal justice: race and gender issues relating to fairness and discrimination; the link between politics and sentencing policy and practice.
- Newburn, Criminology (2007)
- Easton and Piper, Sentencing and Punishment: The Quest for Justice (2nd ed 2008)
- Introduction: (a) History (b) Equity as a system and its relationship with the common law (c) Trusts: asset partitioning and asset management (d) The nature of beneficial rights (e) Examples of trusts, interests and practical applications (f) Comparison with other legal and equitable institutions
- Express trusts as bargains about ring-fenced assets (a) Examples and explanation of beneficial interests (b) Examples and explanation of dispositive powers and controls on their exercise (c) The law governing such interests: (i) Certainty in essential elements of the trust (intention, sham trusts, subject-matter and objects), and its relation to the exercise of trustees’ powers (ii) Standing and enforcement of trustees’ duties (including the beneficiary principle but excluding trusts of imperfect obligation) (iii) Limitations on discretion (iv) Constitution of trusts (including formalities for the declaration of trusts but excluding covenants to settle, the rule in Strong v. Bird, Re Ralli’s WT, and donatio mortis causa) (v) Formalities for the disposition of equitable interests (by direct assignment and by direction to an express trustee only) (vi) Perpetuities (in outline)
- The Administration of Trusts: (a) Trust funds and trusts of specific assets (including equitable rights in funds) (b) Trustees’ administrative powers, including trustees’ powers of investment (in outline) and delegation (c) Review of trustees’ discretion and access to information (d) Trustees’ duties of care, including in investment (e) Appointment and removal of trustees
- Trustees’ Personal Liabilities for Breach of Trust: (a) What is breach of trust (b) Personal remedies for breach (accounting for losses and gains) (c) Contribution (d) Indemnity (e) Contributory fault
- Fiduciary Obligations: (a) The nature and function of fiduciary obligations (b) The content of fiduciary obligations (c) Bargaining around fiduciary obligations (d) Remedies for breach of fiduciary obligations (including rescission, account, constructive trusts)
- Tracing and Proprietary Remedies: (a) Rights to trace (b) Tracing rules (c) Rights and remedies consequent on tracing
- The Personal Liabilities of Third Parties in respect of trusts: (a) Trusteeship de son tort (b) Liability for receipt of misapplied trust funds and/or their proceeds (c) Liability for assisting in a breach of trust
- The holding of Property by Unincorporated Associations: (a) ‘Contract holding theory’ (b) The courts’ preference for contract holding: its reasons and strength (c) The dissolution of unincorporated associations
- Resulting Trusts: (a) The nature, function and incidence of resulting trusts (b) Quistclose trusts
- Charities: (a) Charitable purposes (b) Public benefit (c) Cy-près (d) Reform
- Other Equitable Remedies: (a) Freezing Injunctions (b) Search Orders
- Hanbury and Martin, Modern Equity (18th ed 2009) or
- Parker and Mellows, The Modern Law of Trusts (9th ed 2008) or
- Pearce, Stevens and Barr, Law of Trusts and Equitable Obligations (5th ed 2010) or
- Pettit, Equity and the Law of Trusts (11th ed 2009)
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE AND CRIMINAL EVIDENCE
1. Sources of the rules of criminal procedure and criminal evidence. The initiation and conduct of prosecutions. Police powers (in outline). Interrogation of suspects. The decision to prosecute. Committal and pre-trial disclosure (including public interest immunity). Abuse of process. The indictment. Pleas. The right of silence. The course of evidence. Anonymous witnesses. Submission of no case. Verdicts. The system of appeals.
2. The modes and difficulties of proof and the general principles of the law of evidence in criminal cases. Judicial notice. Relevance. Admissibility. The competence of witnesses, with especial regard to the evidence of children. The examination of witnesses and the course of the trial. Hearsay. Opinion evidence. The burden and standard of proof. Presumptions. Proof of other misconduct. Character evidence. Evidence of identification. Previous consistent and inconsistent statements. Discretion to exclude evidence. Confessions and the implications of defendants’ silence, lies etc. Improperly obtained evidence. Evidence in rebuttal. Functions of judge and jury.
- Munday, Evidence
- Cross and Tapper, Evidence
- Roberts and Zuckerman, Criminal Evidence
EUROPEAN UNION LAW
- Constitutional issues: (a) The objectives, structure and legal character of the European Union. (b) The interplay between the political institutions (European Council, Council of Ministers, Commission and European Parliament) in the EU’s legislative process, and the issues this raises for the democratic legitimacy for the European Union; forms of EU legislation. (c) The organising principles of the legal order: primacy and direct effect; the attribution of powers, subsidiarity, proportionality; general principles of law. (d) Protection of fundamental rights, with particular reference to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
- Remedies: (a) Proceedings before the Court of Justice: references for preliminary rulings; actions for annulment; please of illegality (outline only); actions for damages against a Union institution and enforcement actions against Member States (outline only). (b) Remedies in national courts: the extent of Member States’ procedural autonomy; Factortame (No. I) and its aftermath; Francovich and its aftermath.
- The internal market: (a) Free movement of goods: the customs union and the common market; customs duties and charges having equivalent effect; discriminatory internal taxation; quantitative restrictions and measures having equivalent effect; the effect of the Keck line of case law; justifications for national restrictions on freedom of movement (not including intellectual property rights); the effect of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive on Keck. (b) Free movement of persons: free movement of workers; freedom of establishment (not including mutual recognition of qualifications, directives or company law); freedom to provide services; citizenship of the Union.
- Foster, EU Legislation (2011-2012)
- Barnard, The Substantive Law of the European Union: The Four Freedoms (3rd ed)
- Craig and de Búrca, EU Law: Text, Cases and Materials (5th ed)
- Craig and de Búrca, The Evolution of EU Law (2nd ed)
- Hartley, The Foundations of European Community Law (7th
- Commercial sale of goods.
- International sales and associated methods of finance.
- Assignment of choses in action.
- Security over personal property: possessory and non-possessory forms of security and other legal devices which effectively create a security interest. Questions will not be set on the statutory provisions relating to the registration of company charges.
- Atiyah, Adams and MacQueen, Sale of Goods (12th ed 2010)
- Goode and McKendrick, Commercial Law (4th ed 2009)
- Introduction: sources; history, personal scope, territorial effect.
- Contract of employment: express and implied terms, incorporation of terms from collective agreements and works rules; changes to terms of employment; proof of terms; payment of wages and salaries. Duties of co-operation and fidelity.
- Termination of employment: with and without notice; wrongful dismissal; unfair dismissal; economic restructuring (and TUPE), redundancy.
- Freedom of association: trade union freedom and recognition; information, consultation and collective bargaining; collective and workforce agreements.
- Industrial action: right to strike; effect of industrial action on the contract of employment and employment rights.
- Equality and prohibition of discrimination: concepts of direct and indirect discrimination; protected characteristics; exceptions; enforcement; equal pay; work-life balance; duties on public authorities.
Textbook (essential): Deakin and Morris, Labour Law (5th ed 2009)
- Introduction: nature and objectives of intellectual property, and its justifications. EU harmonisation and international relations (in outline).
- Copyright: types of subject matter, authorship and ownership, originality, scope of economic rights and exceptions (focusing on fair dealing, public interest, and incidental inclusion), moral rights (excluding droit de suite and performers’ rights), remedies. Copyright and digital technology (including Internet, peer-to-peer, Digital Economy Act 2010 but covering computer programs and databases in outline only).
- Confidential information (including trade secrets and private information, the impact of Article 8 ECHR): legal basis; requirements for protection; public interest and Article 10; remedies.
- Rights in trade marks and names: Protection at common law: passing off (including personality and character merchandising, extended passing off). Registrability, loss of rights, scope of protection. Remedies.
- Patents: Scope and objectives. Validity, infringement, ownership and dealing. Impact of biotechnology.
- Bently and Sherman, Intellectual Property Law (3rd ed 2008)
- Aplin and Davis, Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases and Materials (2009)
- Legal structures for business. Forms of business association contrasted; advantages and disadvantages of incorporation; ‘public’/’private’ companies; corporate personality.
- ‘Lifting the corporate veil’, with special emphasis on (i) abuse of limited liability (ii) corporate groups.
- The company’s constitution. Section 33 contract; amendment of articles; shareholders’ agreements.
- Management. The company’s officers and organs; division of power between board and general meeting; residual powers of general meeting; general meetings and resolutions; board meetings; legal rules governing the enforceability of transactions with companies.
- Directors. Appointment and tenure; executive and non-executive directors; remuneration; duties.
- Minority shareholder protection. The derivative action; the “unfair prejudice” remedy.
- Capital, class rights and creditor protection. Rules governing raising and maintenance of capital and dissipation of corporate assets; alteration of rights attaching to shares; adjustment of prior transactions as part of insolvency proceedings; fraudulent and wrongful trading.
Questions will not be set specifically on the following topics but students will benefit from a general knowledge of them: history of companies, types of business associations other than companies, international aspects of company law, theories of corporate personality, pre-incorporation contracts; mens rea of companies, promoters, transfer of shares, certification of transfers and equitable interests in shares, taxation, foreign companies, marketing of securities, corporate securities regulation, procedural aspects and formalities of liquidation, administration and receivership.
Davies, Introduction to Company Law (2nd ed) (chapters 1, 2)
ASPECTS OF OBLIGATIONS
- Property torts (conversion and trespass) and bailment.
- Economic torts: inducing a breach of contract, conspiracy and intentionally causing loss by unlawful means.
- Illegality as a bar to claims in contract, tort and unjust enrichment.
- Unjust enrichment: the nature of the claim, enrichment, absence of basis, mistake, failure of consideration, and defences.
- Restitution for wrongs.
- Accessional liability.
- Subrogation, contribution and recoupment.
- Scope of liability and factual causation in tort.
- Tort and rights.
- Personal injury law in operation.
- O’Sullivan and Hilliard, The Law of Contract (4th ed 2010)
- Weir, An Introduction to Tort Law (2nd ed 2006)
- Burrows, Remedies for Torts and Breach of Contract (3rd
CONFLICT OF LAWS
- Introduction: the structure of the Conflict of Laws.
- Jurisdiction of the English courts under the European Regulation on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments and at common law. The staying of actions.
- Anti suit injunctions.
- Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments at common law and under the European Regulation.
- Obligations: (a) Contractual (b) Non-contractual
- Property: (a) Immovables. (b) Movables – tangible and intangible property.
- Characterisation, renvoi, proof of foreign law and public policy. These will be treated as pervasive topics throughout the syllabus.
Regard will be had to leading American and Commonwealth authorities, where appropriate. These will be used to illustrate different theories of the conflict of laws as well as comparative solutions to the problems raised by the subject.
Questions will not be set on the law relating to restitution, negotiable instruments, bankruptcy, insolvency, administration of estates, succession, marriage, recognition of foreign divorces and children.
Students are recommended to read one of the following:
- Cheshire and North, Private International Law (14th ed 2008) or
- Clarkson and Hill, The Conflict of Laws (3rd ed 2007) or (as introduction) Briggs, The Conflict of Laws (2nd ed 2008)
The course will cover the following areas:
- Comparative Legal Study and Methods (i) Purposes and methods of comparative law (ii) The origins and modern development of English, French and German laws (iii) Legal professions and institutions
- Harmonisation of Law in Europe – Harmonisation: Examples from the Principles of European Tort Law and the Draft Common Frame of Reference projects: responsibility for others and causation
- Tort and Delict in England, France and Germany (i) Fault and Strict Liability (ii) Concurrence of liability in contract and tort (iii) Causation
- Contracts in England, France and Germany (i) Formation and the enforceability of promises (ii) Factors vitiating consent (principally mistake) (iii) Content of contractual obligations (iv) Principles of good faith (v) Treatment of third parties
- Unjust enrichment (in outline only)
- The philosophical debate about the nature of law. Theories of natural law. Natural law and legal positivism.
- Analytical legal positivism. Modern critics of legal positivism.
- Theories of adjudication.
- Classical legal positivism and analytical legal positivism.
- Theories of Justice.
- Liberalism and shared morality.
- Harris, Legal Philosophies (2nd ed)
- Simmonds, Central Issues in Jurisprudence (3rd ed)
- Formal Proceedings (a) fundamental principles of civil procedure (b) aims and framework of the Civil Procedure Rules (1998) (c) access to justice and CFAs, costs (d) human rights and procedure (e) pre-trial applications and remedies (f) disclosure and privileges (g) experts (h) hearings, trial, res judicata, enforcement, and appeals (i) multi-party and complex proceedings
- Alternative Civil Justice – ADR: (a) mediation (b) arbitration
- The Hon. Mr Justice Lightman, Civil Litigation in the 21st Century (1998) 17 Civil Justice Quarterly 373-394
- Jacob, The Fabric of English Civil Justice (Hamlyn Lectures, 1986)
EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
- Introductory – European Convention on Human Rights (i) Historical development (ii) Institutional structure
- The inter-relationship among the European Convention on Human Rights, international human rights law, EU law and European domestic law as regards human rights
- Selected Issues
- Right to life
- Freedom from torture and ill-treatment (c) Human rights, private life, home and correspondence (d) Freedom of religion (e) Equality and non-discrimination
Suggested texts: Harris, O’Boyle, Warbrick and Bates, Law of the European Convention on Human
LAW OF TAXATION
introduction to and conceptual framework for the dynamic area of tax law. The focus is on a basic understanding of how the system works rather than on the detailed rules. The subject will be attractive to and valuable for prospective commercial and private client lawyers and, particularly, those taking the LPC. There is no area of commercial law or personal estates law that is not overlaid with important tax issues. The purpose of this course is to provide a basic understanding and appreciation of when important tax issues arise and the likely outcome.
- Inheritance Tax (excluding trusts)
- Income Tax general principles, total income, tax rates
- Employment income
- Business income
- Capital gains tax
- Taxation of companies and dividends
- Tax minimisation and avoidance
READING Text: Tiley and Collison’s UK Tax Guide (latest ed)
- The definition and nature of property and of personal property; the range of proprietary interests which can be created at law and in equity; specific assets distinguished from fungibles and funds; proprietary character of incorporeal property (choses in action); introduction to the phenomenon of de-physicalisation of property, explained by reference to money and corporate securities.
- The character of money explained from the perspectives of economic and legal history; economic conceptions of money and their status in private law; concepts of payment, discharge and legal tender.
- Title at common law and in equity, and the implications of the principle of relativity of title, explained by reference to cases on finding of lost chattels.
- Selected original means of acquiring title to choses in possession and choses in action: (a) mixtures of chattels and money. (b) creation of property rights by overreaching and unauthorised substitution.
- Derivative transfers of title: (a) the distinction between contract and conveyance in common law and civilian legal theory. (b) transfers of title to choses in possession. (c) transfers of incorporeal money through payment systems, and their proprietary consequences. (d) Nemo dat and selected exceptions, particularly the currency of money.
- Defective transfers; the proprietary consequences of void and voidable transfers: (a) at law. (b) in equity, including the relevance of resulting trusts to defective transfers. (c) relationship with remedies founded on unjust enrichment.
- The resolution of priority disputes: (a) competing legal and equitable claims to personal property. (b) competing equitable claims to personal property.
- Shares and corporate securities: (a) nature. (b) acquisition. (c) transfer, including transfer through electronic settlement systems, such as CREST. (d) security interests. (e) destruction.
- The protection of title to choses in possession and choses in action: (a) the property torts, with special reference to conversion; enforcement of title to money at law and in equity. (b) recovery in specie (self-help; recaption; court action).
- Bankruptcy, execution and distress: (a) vesting of property in the trustee in bankruptcy. (b) recovery of property transferred at an undervalue; preferences.
- Bridge, Personal Property Law (3rd ed 2002)
- Proctor, Mann on the Legal Aspect of Money (6th ed 2005), Ch. 1
- Ferguson, The Ascent of Money (2008)