2432.17 - Legal Understanding

Course number
Legal Understanding
Bachelor degree or equivalent with adequate component of law
To provide insight into evolving understandings and ideas in legal theory and practise, including natural law, legal positivism, realism and pragmatism. Emphasis will be on comprehension of these developments and appreciate how they influence legal sources and practice in various periods, forums and contexts. Special focus will be on the value of recognising and applying various legal understandings. The course is intended for law students in addition to others interested in history of philosophy and constitutionalism.
The course brings out a number of examples from both theory and practice associated to the various philosophical and periodical trends with the purpose of recognizing ideologies and beliefs and their influence on legal understanding. Examples are examined in Faroese, Scandinavian and other systems of law, including international context. Emphasis shall be on analysing various contexts and concepts of relevance to each theme, for example the practical implications of legal positivism, natural law theory, realism, and pragmatism. Examples are taken from Faroese law of the impact of these various trends in some way, and what advantage lies in appreciating them, when trying to interpret law in various fields. Special focus will be on examples where various understandings compete to analyse the situation as in the constitutional discussion on the status of the Faroe Islands and the several quasi-federal structures of international human rights. Lawyers need to recognise and understand these various trends to improve both their technical and philosophical legal skills.
Learning and teaching approaches
Around 60 hours. The teaching will be mainly organised as lectures and exercises.
Learning outcomes
The students shall: -Describe important trends in legal philosophy and practice. -Analyse examples of accomplishments and problems of the various philosophical movements. -Explain the importance of social development, international influence and regional institutions on legal understanding. -Describe the relevant methods and challenges of interpretation that reflect the several periods, trends and developments. -Describe the importance of varying legal understanding to citizen, administrators, government, parliament, courts and other institutions, including municipal, federal and international. -Present and pursue arguments in a balanced manner with an understanding of the differing interests, scopes of interpretation, and developments of the field. -Present and pursue arguments with an understanding of the practical importance of the diverse understandings, trends and practices. -Presenting and formulating knowledge and arguments professionally and eloquently marked by clear organisation and context.
Assessment method
External examiners (with teachers) Written submissions shall count for 1/3 of the mark, and a 4 hour written exam counts for 2/3. It is a precondition for the final exam that the student has passed the home assignment, assessed as an independent performance. At the final exam, the student will have access to the internet and all course materials.
Marking scale
Bárður Larsen & Kristian Joensen: Materials – available online on the Moodle network
Bárður Larsen