Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


nl en

Legal Methods




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.


Assessment: Participation
Percentage: 10%
Deadline: Weeks 1-7

Assessment: In-class presentation
Percentage: 30%
Deadline: Weeks 1-7

Assessment: Case note
Percentage: 30%
Deadline: Week 5, session 2

Assessment: Jurisprudence essay
Percentage: 30%
Deadline: Week 8

Students will be assessed on the basis of their participation in class discussions, their oral presentations, and their written work. Students are expected to demonstrate active engagement with the assigned materials.

Oral Presentation: Students, working in groups, will be assigned topics and will be required to make oral presentations in class. These presentations will be evaluated on the basis of their substance and form.

Written Work: Students will be required to demonstrate their legal research and writing skills, as well as their understanding of the course materials through:

  • The submission of a case-note of no more than 2000 words in week 5, session 2. The case will be assigned in week 3, session 2, along with instructions on how to proceed.

  • The submission of an essay of no more than 2000 words in week 8 on a topic that will be assigned in week 5, session 2.



Contact Information


Weekly Overview

To be announced.

Preparation for first session