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School of Law

SOLM179 Common Law Reasoning (B23)

Module Description

The aim of this module is to discuss some of the most important, as well as some of the neglected, issues in theorising common law reasoning. You do not need to have any background in the common law tradition to do this course, though of course it won't be a disadvantage if you have some. Some examples of what we will discuss include: case-based thinking, including reasoning with patterns of facts across time; the use of legal fictions; the construction of imaginary figures (e.g. the right-thinking member of society and the officious bystander); the use of metaphor (e.g. the constitution is a living tree); and attention to different genres deployed in common law reasoning (e.g. dialogue, comedy, tragedy).

Applicable Groupings

Mode of Assessment

5,000-7,500 word essay


30 Credits

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