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Legal Method and Jurisprudence




Admission Requirements

This is a required methodology course for students wishing to major in Global Justice. This course also

builds upon and will be complementary to some of the themes and readings already introduced in the

foundational courses (‘Global Challenges: Justice’ and ‘Global Challenges: Peace’). It connects to some

themes raised in political philosophy and political theory and it presents case studies that connect to issues

from political theory, global justice, public international law and human rights.


This course will provide the students with an introduction to Legal Methods and Jurisprudence. The first part

of the course, on Legal Methods, will provide the students with a presentation of the major legal systems of

the world, the sources of law, both national and international, legal research methods, judicial

interpretation, and techniques of rule-drafting. The second part of the Course will provide the students with

an introduction to major discussions in Jurisprudence, such as the dichotomy between legal positivism and

natural law, the relationship between law and religion, theories of punishment, and questions of use of force

in international law.

Course Objectives

The course is designed to allow the students to better comprehend both structure and philosophical context of

a legal argument. The ambition is both practical and theoretical. On the practical level, the students will be

expected to better understand the sources of law and apply their knowledge to the particular legal reasoning

of a case. In that sense, after the course, students will know how to deconstruct the way judges think, and

then reconstruct the rules that they apply or discover. They will also know how to do basic legal research. On

the theoretical level, students will be expected to be able to put legal discussion in its broader conceptual

context. This context will include ethical as well as political dimensions. With this contextualization, the

students will be better equipped to understand how law relates to a number of wider societal considerations

which are fundamental for a comprehensive analysis of current issues.

Mode of Instruction

This course consists of interactive lectures and seminars to accustom students with the preparatory readings

and to position the topic/theme and readings in the overall course design and objectives.

Each week has two sessions which will be devoted to a particular issue, approached from either the

jurisprudential or methodological perspective. Seminars are expected to be interactive, and will include a

number of case studies and exercises that will allow the students to engage with the course content.


To be announced.


There is no required textbook for this course. Readings for particular seminars will be available online

through the course website.

Contact Information


Weekly Overview

To be announced.

Preparation for first session