Public Law I: Constitutional and Administrative Law

Module code: M3406
Level 4
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Unseen examination

The module will consider the nature and structure of the British constitution. It will address some of the core theoretical principles of the constitution and examine how those principles are applied in the institutional arrangements of government in the UK.

The relationship between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government will be considered, and the allocation of power between them will be analysed in terms of both constitutional theory and political practice.

The module will also consider the extent to which state power is subject to control and restraint. The mechanisms that are used to control the exercises of state power will be examined; the principles of Judicial Review, as well as some alternative mechanisms for holding the institutions of the state to account, will be considered.

Module learning outcomes

  • Identify and explain the basic principles and institutions of the British constitution.
  • Identify and explain the basic constitutional mechanisms for controlling the institutions of government. This includes understanding the role of the courts in judicial review and in protecting individual liberty.
  • Carry out independent research in library based legal resources (whether on line or, physically, in a library) in order to acquire a greater breadth of knowledge of the legal principles and institutions of the constitution and to begin to evaluate the relative roles of those institutions.
  • Apply knowledge of the principles of public law to the resolution of problems (posed either as practical dilemmas or as theoretical questions) and offer advice based on reasoned lines of argument developed from a knowledge of the public law of the UK.