School of Law
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Keele Law School is known internationally for our outward-looking and distinctive law degrees, delivered in a supportive and dynamic learning environment. Students at Keele Law School learn from leading, internationally recognised academics that come from all over the world. We work hard to ensure that our ever-expanding body of international students are given every support to help them succeed while studying at Keele in order to achieve their aspirations. We are committed to ensuring that your time at Keele Law School will be both successful and enjoyable.
"The population of international students at Keele is huge! The freshers party at the union and the icebreakers were the best. I got to meet new friends from all around the globe and not just from my country. The friends I met there have been my friends for the past year I have been at Keele. To top it off, the lecturers, international student support officer, and staff at Keele are so friendly that you felt just like home. They were always ready to help and offer advice even on the most trivial things." Vanessa Marimuttu, Malaysia, Keele Law Student (2007- 2010)
Guidelines for Overseas Students Coming to the School of Law
We recognise that students coming to Keele from abroad may not share some of the cultural and historical references which domestic students can rely on when they begin to study law for the first time. Therefore, this webpage is intended to identify some paper and electronic resources which international students may find useful.
Marcel Berlins and Clare Dyer, The Law Machine (London: Penguin, 2000) 5th edition. available 'directly from the publisher at http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780140287561,00.html or through internet bookstores such as Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/ for approx £10. The Law Machine is a very readable introduction to the English and Welsh legal system. Berlins and Dyer write simply and clearly as they explain such issues as the workings of the courts and the differences between criminal and civil legal processes.
Bill Jones et al., Politics UK (Harlow: Longman) 6th ed. This book is also available from 6th ed available from http://www.pearsoned.co.uk/bookshop/detail.asp?item=100000000117655 or from other internet bookstores for approx £18. It will provide you with a accessible account of the political context in which law works. Politics UK also explains the British constitutional framework and the workings of the legislative process.
Keith Owens, Law for Non-Law Students (London. Cavendish, 2001) 3th ed. This book is also available from Internet book stores for approx £30. As the title suggests, the book is aimed at students in disciplines other than law, making it a very readable introduction to law. It aims to demonstrate how law works in practice and to enable students to appraise the effectiveness of the law in particular circumstances.
There is no need to buy these books. Upon your arrival at Keele, you will be able to purchase a reading pack containing extracts from the above. The pack will be available from the School of Law.
- News stories
Media sources are often a useful way into a particular culture because of the stories they cover. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) provides a web service http://www.bbc.co.uk/ which will allow you identify the key players and issues in law and politics in today’s UK.
This particular webpage on the BBC’s site explains some of the historical and cultural background to the English and Welsh legal system and introduces you to a variety of legal topics. Check out also: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/people/features/ihavearightto/
The Times newspaper has a law section which contains journalistic and expert commentary on legal developments: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,200,00.html
- Legal sources
The main sources of legally binding rules in the English and Welsh system are the judgments of Courts in cases and the statutes (legislation) passed by Parliament.
Judges apply and make legal rules when they decide how a particular dispute should be resolved. Judges also interpret how statutes passed by Parliament should be applied in certain situations. You can learn about the Supreme Court, the highest court in the British legal system, and have a look at a full text judgement (usually very long!) from the Supreme Court read a judgement at http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/decided-cases/cases_2.html or from the Supreme Court's predecessor, the House of Lords at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldjudgmt.htm
Judgements from lower courts in the legal system are available here:
As a law student you will have access to paper and electronic versions of these case reports which usually contain summaries of the main points. If you know what case you want, free summaries may also be found at this site:
Legislation which is passed by Parliament is available for searching and viewing at this site:
Other important sources of law are the rules and regulations of the European Union and International Treaties and Conventions which states such as the UK have agreed to adopt.
- Legal studies
As a law student you will learn how to analyse and critique the law made by Parliaments, Courts and International bodies as well as how to apply it to concrete problems. When law goes about trying to resolve disputes and guide human behaviour it provides an important viewpoint on the values and practices of society. You will learn to use academic articles which contextualise and criticise legal developments and will be trained in writing reflectively about law. Generally, you have to pay a subscription to access such articles in law journals, but there are a few which are available free online. So before you are able to use the library’s subscription you could have a look at these free web based journals to give you an idea about academic legal studies.
- Law at Keele University
You can look at Keele’s library catalogue at: http://opac.keele.ac.uk/
You can learn about the School of Law through these webpages. We hope these resources prove useful and welcome your feedback. The School of Law cannot however accept any responsibility for the information on any external websites.