LW103-5-FY-CO:
Public Law

The details
2024/25
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Current
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
30
11 April 2024

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

LW209, LW218, LW302

Key module for

LLB M103 Law (Senior Status)

Module description

This module introduces the fundamentals of the UK constitution and the foundations of judicial review. The module explores: the nature of the constitution; the structure of governmental power; the sources of constitutional rules; and the fundamental principles underpinning the UK constitution.


The module considers the functions of the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial) and how they are accountable. The module examines the framework for protection of human rights in the UK and introduces the grounds of judicial review.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:



  • To introduce students to the fundamentals of the UK Constitution and the foundations of judicial review. The module commences with examination of the basic features and principles of the United Kingdom constitution: the nature of the constitution; the structure of governmental power; the sources of constitutional rules; and the fundamental principles underpinning the constitution of the United Kingdom.

  • To consider the powers and functions of the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. This will include discussion of need for accountability in relation to governmental power and the mechanisms through which this is achieved. Consideration of the judicial branch will include an introduction to judicial review.

  • To examine the framework for protection of human rights under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:



  1. Show understanding of the nature of the UK constitution and structure of government power.

  2. Identify the sources from which constitutional rules are drawn and the manner in which they interrelate, including their interaction with international law.

  3. Understand the fundamental principles of the UK constitution and critically analyse issues in relation to these principles.

  4. Identify the distribution of powers and functions of the three branches of government and critically evaluate that distribution.

  5. Consider the need for accountability in the exercise of government power and critically analyse the effectiveness of the mechanisms through which this is achieved.

  6. Understand and evaluate the framework for protection of human rights in the UK.

  7. Show awareness of the legal, political and social context in which public law operates.

  8. Draw appropriate and resonated comparisons between the constitutional arrangements of the UK and other jurisdictions (Non-assessed).

Module information

Syllabus



  1. The nature of the UK constitution; written and unwritten constitutions.

  2. Sources of constitutional rules: statute, cases, the royal prerogative, constitutional conventions, treaties.

  3. Key principles of the UK constitution: parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, the separation of power.

  4. Executive power:

    1. The nature and exercise of executive power

    2. The political accountability of executive power, including ministerial responsibility

    3. The legal accountability of executive power, including judicial review



  5. Legislative power:

    1. The nature and exercise of legislative power

    2. The legislative process

    3. Parliamentary sovereignty



  6. Judicial power:


    1. The nature and exercise of judicial power

    2. Judicial review



  7. Human Rights:


    1. The European Convention on Human Rights and its requirements

    2. The protection of human rights under the Human Rights Act 1998



  8. Constitutional Reform: The need for constitutional reform and shape such reforms might take, including the constitutional reform proposals of the current government.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Weekly lectures
  • Bi-weekly tutorials

Students will also have the oportunity to use their knowledge in an active, applied and hands-on manner through simulated real-life activities.

Bibliography

  • Le Sueur, A. P.; Sunkin, Maurice; Murkens, Jo Eric. (©2019) Public law: text, cases, and materials, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Law Trove - expand your learning, broaden your mind, https://0-www-oxfordlawtrove-com.serlib0.essex.ac.uk/

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Multiple Choice Questions - Continuous assessment (LW103 Public Law)    50% 
Coursework   Formative Essay (LW103 Public Law)    0% 
Coursework   Essay (LW103 Public Law)    50% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 180 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Additional coursework information

Assessment will be split as:

  • 10% Multiple Choice Questions
  • 30% Coursework (essay) and 
  • 60% in person restricted materials exam.

This will allow students to develop there understanding of the module through continuous feedback.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
40% 60%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
0% 100%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Dimitrios Kyritsis, email: d.kyritsis@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Dimitrios Kyritsis, Prof. Maurice Sunkin, Dr Nikos Vogiatzis, Prof. Theodore Konstadinides
Law UG Education Administrators: lawschoolug@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
No
No
Yes

External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 202 hours, 9 (4.5%) hours available to students:
193 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Essex Law School

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.