University of Brighton Faculty of Management and Information Sciences Brighton Business School Module Report Template

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University of Brighton

Faculty of Management and Information Sciences

Brighton Business School
Module Report Template
Module Title Law in Action

Module Code LW 189

Courses/ Years Taught 2013/14

Module Leader Gilliane Williams
Semester (or weeks taught if block mode) 1 through 2

Academic Year 2013/14


This key module underpins all the other first year law modules and introduces students to two essential areas: (a) the way legal institutions in the UK operate and how law is made; (b) the legal skills lawyers need including clear communication skills, legal writing and referencing, oral communication, problem-solving and analytical thinking. The knowledge and skills acquired in this module are essential to all other areas of academic and personal development.

The module ran over two semesters. The teaching format of the module is through lectures supported by seminars. The lectures introduce the students to key legal principles and issues. Students are required to prepare descriptive and/or problem-solving questions for seminars. Students will be expected to present their answers and explore topics in several formats; individually, in small groups, debates and mooting styles.

Lectures: 20 Open Learning: 0

Seminars: 20 Self Study: 160

Total 200

Topics covered in this module

Understanding legal material

Accessing primary legal materials both electronically and through paper sources: acquiring law library skills; utilising the law reports, statutes, statutory instruments and regulations, developing the techniques of legal analysis and the ability to disseminate, extract principles from, and cite such materials.

Sources of Law

European Union Law, legislation and case law. Legal reasoning, use of case law and reading statutes.

The court structure

The jurisdiction and organisation of the civil, criminal and international courts.


Alternative dispute resolution, arbitration, mediation, conciliation and tribunals.

The judiciary and legal reasoning

The doctrine of precedent, statutory interpretation. Constitutional issues. Lawyers and legal reasoning. Ethical issues.

The civil court process

Woolf reforms, civil process, outline of proceedings and appeals.

The criminal court process

Arrest, search and seizure, access to legal advice, appeals, miscarriages of justice, bail & criminal proceedings: an outline of trial of summary and indictable offences; the jury, sentencing.

Legal aid

Access to justice, recent reforms and consequences to legal services.

Law and society

Current legal issues, critique and reform.


This course is assessed by a combination of 50% coursework and 50% exam.

The course work consists of an essay of 1500 words. Students are required to summarize the journal article specified and to provide a critical analysis of the journal article and the area of law which the article focussed upon. The journal article is:
Law Quarterly Review 2005 Pepper v Hart and matters of constitutional principle.

Aileen Kavanagh L.Q.R. 2005, 121(Jan), 98-122

The exam consists of a 2 hours unseen exam. There are 5 compulsory short questions at 10% each and 2 essay style questions from a choice of 4 at 25% each.
Q 1 required a demonstration of an understanding of the meaning of common law and precedent.
Q2 required knowledge of the process of enactment of legislation
Q3 required an understanding and explanation of delegated legislation
Q4 required knowledge and application of the criminal appeal system
Q5 required knowledge and application of the obligation to mediate and civil justice procedure
Q6 required a discussion and critical analysis of judicial independence and accountability
Q7 required an evaluation and critique of the obligations of the state in relation to Article 2 ECHR
Q8 required ac critical analysis of the issue of miscarriages of justice and the success of reforms
Q9 required an appraisal of the recent reforms (LASPO) to legal aid and the subsequent consequences to the principles of access to justice

Coursework results 2014

Statistical Data

No of students registered on the course 75

No of students completed the coursework 72


< 35


35 – 39


40 – 49


50 – 59


60 – 69


>= 70

Exam results 2014

Statistical data

No of students registered on the module 75

No of students sitting the examination 71


< 35


35 – 39


40 – 49


50 – 59


60 – 69


>= 70

Average 53% (2013 51%)


Generally fairly good attendance with a small minority of students with very poor attendance. It is clear that those who attended infrequently achieved at the lower end of the scale, consequently lack of engagement is reflected in their final marks.

Student Feedback:

Very good feedback from students, comments include ‘enjoyable, challenging and varied’.

Module/component organisation changes

Module content will alter to include more emphasis on legal ethics as recommended by the recent LETR recommendations that there should be more emphasis on teaching legal ethics as part of the qualifying law degree.

External Examiner Comment -
Action Plan -

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