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UOL Public Law

Public Law is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the constitutional and legal framework that governs the relationships between individuals and the state. This course explores key principles such as parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, separation of powers, and human rights.


1. Introduction

This introductory section sets the stage for the exploration of public law by providing an overview of its foundational concepts, historical development, and its critical role in shaping the legal landscape. Students will gain an understanding of the broader context within which public law operates and its relevance to the protection of individual rights and the functioning of governmental institutions.


2. Core Institutions

This section examines the core institutions of government, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Students will explore their respective functions, powers, and interrelations, laying the groundwork for a deeper understanding of the principles that guide their actions.


3. Parliamentary Sovereignty

Parliamentary sovereignty is a cornerstone of the UK constitution. This module explores the concept, tracing its historical development and examining its implications for the legal system, including the relationship between parliamentary and judicial authority.


4. Rule of Law

The rule of law is a fundamental principle that underpins the legal system. This section explores the core elements of the rule of law, including legal certainty, equality before the law, and the limitations on governmental power.


5. Separation of Powers

This module delves into the separation of powers doctrine, examining how the division of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches safeguards against abuses of power and ensures a system of checks and balances.


6. Ministerial Accountability

Ministerial accountability is a key aspect of responsible government. Students will explore how ministers are held accountable for their actions, both individually and collectively, and the mechanisms through which scrutiny is exercised.


7. Prerogative Powers

Prerogative powers are residual powers exercised by the Crown. This module explores the nature and scope of prerogative powers, their historical significance, and the limitations imposed by legal and constitutional principles.


8. Primary Legislation

Primary legislation, or statutes, is a foundational source of law. This section examines the legislative process, the role of Parliament in enacting laws, and the principles that guide the interpretation and application of primary legislation.


9. Secondary Legislation

Secondary legislation, often delegated to government agencies, plays a significant role in the legal system. Students will explore the scope, limitations, and scrutiny mechanisms for secondary legislation.


10. Retained EU Law

Following Brexit, understanding retained EU law is crucial. This module explores the impact of Brexit on the UK legal system, the incorporation of EU law, and the implications for legal rights and obligations.


11. Devolution

Devolution involves the delegation of powers to regional governments. Students will explore the legal framework of devolution, the powers of devolved administrations, and the challenges posed by regional autonomy.


12. Judicial Independence

Judicial independence is essential for the rule of law. This module examines the principles and mechanisms that safeguard the independence of the judiciary, ensuring impartial and fair adjudication.


13. Judicial Review

Judicial review allows individuals to challenge the legality of governmental actions. This section explores the grounds for judicial review, the role of the judiciary in scrutinising administrative decisions, and the remedies available.


14. Human Rights

Human rights are fundamental to public law. This module explores the protection and enforcement of human rights, including the Human Rights Act, international conventions, and the role of the judiciary in upholding individual liberties.


Through an analysis of core institutions, legislative processes, and mechanisms of accountability, students will gain insight into the fundamental concepts that underpin public law and its significance in shaping governance and individual rights within a legal system.


Check out our exam-focused Public Law notes now.

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Yale University

Council of Europe

Baker Mckenzie 

University of Chicago

Columbia University

New York University

University of Michigan 

INSEAD

University College London (UCL)

London School of Economics (LSE)

King’s College London (KCL)

University of London

University of Manchester

University of Zurich

University of York

Brandeis University

University of Exeter

University of Sheffield

Boston University

University of Washington

University of Leeds

University of Law

Royal Holloway, University of London 

Birkbeck, University of London

SOAS, University of London

University of Kent

University of Hull

Queen’s University Belfast

Toronto Metropolitan University

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

University of Buckingham

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Statutory Provisions

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Case Summaries

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Rules and Exceptions

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Terminology

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Case Law

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Law Essay Guide

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Structured Explanations

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