LAW-10029 - Constitutional Law
Coordinator: Prashant Sabharwal
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733218

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24

None

Available as a Free Standing Elective

No

Co-requisites

None

Prerequisites

None

Barred Combinations

LAW-20078 (Constitutional Law at Level 5)

Description for 2023/24

The Constitutional Law module will offer you an introduction to the principal principles, institutions and real-life operation of the United Kingdom┐s constitutional arrangement.
Starting with the basics of why a constitution is needed, we will explore the different institutional players within this system: Parliament (the House of Commons and the House of Lords), the Government (consisting of the Crown and His Majesty┐s Government) and the Courts (specifically, the United Kingdom Supreme Court). Once we have gained an understanding of these institutions, we will discover specific issues of UK constitutional law, such as accountability of government institutions, devolution, the governance of overseas territories, the enforcement of human rights, as well as emergency and war powers.
Crucially, a central theme of the course will be the operation of the UK┐s unique constitution in real life. In the end, this module will enable you to understand the operation of the wider government within the UK, and empower you to understand everyday issues that influence your lives as citizens (regardless of whether you are a British or Commonwealth national) more fully. Finally, the course is also designed to make you think: Why is our constitution the way it is? How does it compare to the wider world? Is it the best one we can possibly have?

Aims
The Constitutional Law module, located within the first semester of Year 1 of the LLB programme, aims to introduce students to the broader principles, methods and practical operation of the United Kingdom constitutional arrangement, as well as the institutional framework underpinning it.
Consequently, the principal objectives of the course will be for students to become
* conversant with the precepts and principles of the UK constitution
* acquainted with the effects of the country┐s constitutional organization for its politics
* able to effectively apply the knowledge gained in the course to legal analysis
* capable of reading, understanding and analyzing judgments
* adept at independently researching aspects of constitutional law
* positioned to contextualize the UK constitution in comparison with other jurisdictions
Through a mixture of lectures and two-hour seminars, the students will be given the opportunity to work with both primary and secondary sources, including Acts of Parliament, enactments by the devolved legislatures, White Papers, as well as judgments by the United Kingdom highest courts (particularly the United Kingdom Supreme Court and the Privy Council). Further, the seminars will seek to develop the ability of students to solve both theoretical and problem-based questions in Constitutional Law.
This will be aimed at laying the foundation necessary for the students to successfully navigate other Public Law courses (for example, Administrative Law), as well as their undergraduate studies in Keele.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.
http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/law-10029/lists

Intended Learning Outcomes

Articulate a detailed knowledge of the relevant legal principles underpinning UK Constitutional Law: 1,2
Acquire critical understanding of specific cases and recent political developments and their relevance to the development of UK Constitutional Law: 1,2
Undertake guided independent legal research and analyse key issues in UK Constitutional Law: 1,2
Demonstrate their knowledge and substantive understanding of the operation of the United Kingdom Constitution, in theory and practice - thus simultaneously preparing them for Administrative Law in Semester 2.: 1,2

Study hours

Active Learning: 30 hours
*Lectures: 18 hours
*Seminars: 12 hours
*Independent Study including preparation for seminars and lectures, preparation and completion of essay and revision for class test: 119 hours
*Class test: 1 hour

School Rules

None

Description of Module Assessment

1: Class Test weighted 40%
Multiple Choice Midcourse Examination
A multiple-choice examination testing the knowledge of the students at the midway point of the course. Consequently, questions will be focused on the content of the first half of the course. Will feature 20 questions, with three optional answers. Duration: 45 minutes, delivered as a class test during the first hour of Tutorial 3. Depending on what physical arrangements (i.e. invigilation and in-person exam versus online assessment) are authorized, the MCQ paper may be varied for a combination of seminar groups, especially in order to minimize the risk of collusion.

2: Essay weighted 60%
Final Course Essay
Essay (2000 words), from a choice of three different titles