Legal History and History of Justice

ldrop2151  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Legal History and History of Justice
5 credits
30.0 h
Rousseaux Xavier; Wijffels Alain;
Main themes
The paper will specifically follow the conventional two-fold historical approach which considers, respectively: (1) The 'external' history, i.e. the study of legal sources and authorities, the social and political actors, collective representations, etc. (2) The 'internal' history, i.e. the development of positive law (substantive and adjective), of legal and judicial practice, of the courts' system and structures, of the law's and the administration of justice's purpose in a non-legal context and perspective. The specific topics which will be discussed may vary from one year to another. They will be sufficiently versatile, so that students from different backgrounds may achieve the aims stated above. For example, in the case of law students, their specialisation in private law, criminal law, constitutional law etc. will be taken into account; in the case of history students, whose work requires them to deal with legal sources and institutions, any tasks will focus on the period of their specialisation.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The course welcomes students from different academic backgrounds, whether they have been educated in law, history or any other field of the humanities and social sciences (e.g. criminology, business administration…). For most students, the course may serve a complementary purpose or it may be useful, through its methodology, as an auxiliary discipline. In practice, it may thus contribute to a better understanding of their own main area of studies, but also, in the context of the fundamental theory and research of their specialism, to add an historical dimension to their work - (e.g.) it will teach how to incorporate correctly and succesfully historical materials and notions in their scholarly approach. The course will therefore aim, as regards professional skills and academic abilities: (1) to present the state of the art in the area of legal history and history of justice, beyond the introductory level of the undergraduate (i.e. bachelor's) programme. (2) to provide students in law, criminology and history with the expertise and historical criticism which will enable them to access both primary and secondary source-material in the area of legal and forensic history, so that they may adequately use that material in the course of their research and papers written within the field of their own academic expertise. (3) to assist them in researching and writing their Master's thesis, whether that thesis deals specifically with a topic of legal or forensic history or not - (e.g.) in order to include an appropriate historical introduction in a thesis on a current legal issue, or to document and support the legal aspects in a thesis on any topic related to the history of the administration of justice, social history, political history etc. The course is based on participatory teaching methods (learning through projects or problems, review of the relevant case-law and doctrine, debates with guest speakers, field studies ...) which allow the students to develop independently a critical, forward-looking and inventive look on public international law. Students are encouraged to participate and to get involved in learning, which has both an individual and a collective dimension.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
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Teaching materials
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Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Law (shift schedule)

Master [60] in History

Master [120] in History

Master [120] in Law