Introduction to Law

Course Description: 

This course will familiarize students not holding a law degree with legal sources and legal vocabulary, helping them to understand the actual meaning of key legal concepts, phrases and terms, many of which they may have encountered previously. Students will be introduced to, among other things, precedents, statutory interpretation and legal reasoning. The course will also look at important aspects of legal procedure in common and civil law jurisdictions, as well as international and regional fora of human rights protection. It will equip non-lawyers with tools to fully participate in courses covering legal subjects, particularly in the area of human rights.

Learning Outcomes: 
  • Ability to thinking critically at a basic level.
  • Ability to synthesize information, determine the focus point, to reproduce the main line of argumentation.
  • Ability to demonstrate substantial knowledge of human rights mechanisms in major jurisdictions.
  • Ability to use cases and precedents in legal reasoning – basic level.
  • Ability to use legal reasoning – basic level.
  • Ability to accurately use key legal concepts, phrases and terms.
  • Ability to distinguish key aspects of civil and common law legal systems.

All the classes require students to read the assigned materials and prepare for the assignments as indicated in the syllabus.

This course will be marked as pass or fail (i.e. without a letter grade).  However, students will be assessed on class participation (10%), two written assignments (20%), oral assignments (20%) and a final exam (50%). The final exam is a 1 hour closed book exam. Further guidance on assessment will be given to students during classes and will be posted on the e-learning site.