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Law, Literature, Culture: Core Concepts (10)


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


This course offers a legal-philosophical introduction in core concepts within Law, Literature and Culture. For each seminar we will study and discuss literary, legal-theoretical and philosophical texts in relation to relevant legal cases and documents. This way you will get familiarized with basic ideas that underlie the theory and practice of law, as well as its intersection with works of art (literature, film and animation) from a ‘Law and (…)’ perspective.

The first five seminars are dedicated to legal-philosophical questions such as: What is law? Is it possible to define ‘justice’? What are the fundaments of modern law? How can law and state power be justified? What are the differences between judicial decision-making and trial by jury in relation to objectivity and prejudice?

In the sixth seminar, the interdisciplinary field of Law and Humanities is introduced. After you have critically reflected on core concepts in law and legal philosophy departing from works of art, we will focus on questions as: What is the relation between law and humanities? Are narratives and stories connected to law and if so, how? Do we need literature to (further) instigate and develop our moral judgement, and what does this entail for legal decision-making?

Part two of the course will be case based. In a series of six sessions we will study trials that have attracted so much media attention that they can be seen as (partly) taking place in the public sphere. We will focus on the following questions: why did these trials capture the attention of many? What are the larger societal issues that are raised by these trials? How are trials reported on by written media, broadcast media and digital media? What happens when works of arts, literary texts, drama’s or films remediate trials? Do literary or artistic trial reports offer new insights about justice?

Course objectives

After completing this course students:

  • Are able to assess classic debates and core concepts in legal philosophy;

  • Are able to critically evaluate and reflect on core concepts in legal philosophy from works of art;

  • Are able to assess (at an elementary level) the scholarly debates in the field of Law and Humanities;

  • Have gained insight into the relation and relevance of art for the (theory and practice of) law;

  • Have gained an understanding about the representation of legal issues in the media, in literature and in culture at large

  • Developed their ability to reflect on their knowledge in writing.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Remove if not applicable. Please don’t change the categories.

Assessment method


  1. Weekly Assignment (graded)
    Each week, students are asked to send in an assignment concerning the materials they have studied.
  2. Midterm Examination (graded)
    Written examination with open questions and essay questions
  3. Final Examination (graded)
    Written examination with open questions and essay questions


Midterm exam: 50% (includes the assessment of the first 6 weekly assignments)
Final exam: 50% (includes the assessment of the last 6 weekly assignments)


Separate resits: written examination with open questions and essay questions concerning the midterm or final exam, each 50%
Resit can only be taken when the other components (weekly assignments and exam(s)) have been fulfilled.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Literature (required and recommended) will be announced on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

  • Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

  • Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

  • For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal.