LAWS 330 – JURISPRUDENCE - Victoria University of Wellington

Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture
2nd Trimester
Time and Place of Classes
This is a second trimester course. It meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11.30am to 12.20pm
in GBLT4.
Important Dates
Teaching runs from 14 July to 17 October 2014.
Mid-trimester break: Monday 25 August to Sunday 7 September 2014.
Examination period: Friday 24 October to Saturday 15 November 2014.
Note: Students who enrol in courses with examinations must be able to attend an examination at the
University at any time during the scheduled examination period.
Withdrawal dates: Refer to
If you cannot complete an assignment or sit a test or examination (aegrotats), refer to:
Teaching Team
Dr Grant Morris
Office: OGB 324, Course Coordinator, Course Lecturer
Phone: 463 6368
Email: [email protected]
Office hours: Mon 2-3, Wed 1-2
Dr Mark Bennett
Office: OGB 344, Course Lecturer
Phone: 463 6346
Email: ma[email protected]
Office hours: TBA
The Course Administrator is Rozina Khan, 463 6411, GB225, [email protected]
Course Content
An exploration of the major legal theories and philosophies from early times to the present day. The course
will focus on the principles, ideas and issues that have shaped Anglo-American, European and New Zealand
legal thinking including Natural Law, Positivism and critical scholarship from indigenous, gender, and race
perspectives. ‘Law and Literature’ and ‘Law and Visual Media’ will also be examined as jurisprudential
case studies.
Course Learning Objectives (CLOs)
At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to:
1. Discover what legal fiction can tell us about key legal themes, the legal system and popular perceptions of
the law
2. Discuss the development of critical legal theory and the way in which different critical legal theories
attack liberalism
3. View the New Zealand legal system from the perspectives of class, gender and race
4. Discuss the different kinds of natural law theory and major criticisms levelled against it
5. Discuss the different kinds of legal positivist theory and major criticisms levelled against it
6. Evaluate the significance of these theories for issues such as parliamentary sovereignty and our moral
obligations to law
Teaching Format
The course will be taught through a mixture of lecture- and discussion-based classes. Students will be
expected to have prepared for class by reading relevant materials and thinking carefully about the issues that
they raise.
A mark for class participation makes up 10% of the final grade. This will be based primarily on student
contributions to discussions in classes that we will nominate – the ‘panel’ system – but also on the regularity
and thoughtfulness of student comments throughout the course. We will provide more information in class.
Mandatory Course Requirements (Terms)
In addition to achieving an overall pass mark of 50%, students must complete each piece of assessment. This
includes participating in class discussion.
Average 9-10 hours per week including three lectures per week.
Assessment items and workload per item
1 Written assignment 1, 1200 words (Grant)
2 Written assignment 2, 2000 words (Mark)
3 Final Examination, 2 hours, closed book
4 Class participation
Submission date / time
Mon 25 August, 4 pm
Fri 17 October, 4 pm
Penalty for handing in essays late is 3% off for each day late.
Required Materials
LAWS 330 Course Materials (Volumes 1 and 2) available from Vic Books. Other reading materials may also
be posted on Blackboard.
Lecture Timetable (subject to change)
Law and Literature/Law and Visual Media
1. Law and Literature
2. Law and Literature
3. Law and Literature
4. Law and Literature
5. Law and Literature
6. Law and Literature
7. Law and Visual Media
8. Law and Visual Media
9. Law and Visual Media
Critical Legal Theory
10. Liberalism
11. Marxist Legal Theory
12. Legal Realism
13. Critical Legal Studies
14. Critical Legal Studies
15. Feminist Legal Theory
16. Feminist Legal Theory
17. Critical Race Theory
18. Critical Race Theory
Introduction – the Grudge Informer Revisited
1. Introduction – what is jurisprudence?
2. The 1958 Hart-Fuller debate: the Grudge Informer
3. The Grudge Informer Revisited
Legal Positivism
4. Bentham and Austin
5. Austin
6. Hart’s critique of Austin
7. Hart’s theory of law
8. Hart continued
9. Kelsen’s pure theory
10. Kelsen and revolution
11. Kelsen in Fiji: Prasad
Natural Law and Anti-positivism
12. The Natural law tradition
13. Fuller on the rule of law
14. Finnis’s neo-classical natural law
15. Dworkin’s critique of Hart
16. Dworkin’s Law as Constructive Interpretation
17. Parliamentary Supremacy
18. Judges in Wicked Legal Systems
Communication and Notices
Students can expect to get all notices from lectures and/or Blackboard. Some aspects of this course outline
may be subject to change.
Lecture cancellations will be posted on the noticeboard located in GB on the ground floor opposite the lifts
and outside Lecture Theatres 1 & 2 as well as on Blackboard.
Other Important Information
There is other important information that students must familiarise themselves with, including:
 Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:
 Aegrotats:
 Academic Progress: (including restrictions and nonengagement)
 Dates and deadlines:
 Grades:
 Resolving academic issues:
 Special passes:
 Statutes and policies including the Student Conduct Statute:
 Student support:
 Students with disabilities:
 Student Charter:
 Turnitin:
 University structure:
See the Blackboard site for your course for detailed information on withdrawal dates. See also the 2014 Law
Faculty Undergraduate Prospectus for further information, including assessment in te reo Māori: