Seven Foundations of Legal Knowledge for Admission to Bar Training

If you want to become a barrister, you must first satisfy the academic component of training set by the Bar Standards Board before you can move on to the vocational component of training and pupillage. The academic component requires you to study the seven foundations of legal knowledge as follows:

Criminal Law
Criminal law encompasses the rules and regulations that define and govern criminal offences. It involves studying the principles, concepts, and elements of various crimes, such as murder, theft, assault, and fraud. Understanding criminal law is crucial for analysing criminal cases, determining liability, and examining the procedures and punishments associated with criminal offences.

Equity and Trusts
Equity and Trusts deal with a distinct branch of law that focuses on fairness and the administration of trusts. It explores the principles and doctrines developed by the courts of equity to supplement common law. This foundation covers topics such as fiduciary relationships, the creation and administration of trusts, equitable remedies, and equitable principles applied in various legal contexts.

EU Law in Context
EU Law in Context examines the legal framework and principles of the EU and their impact on the legal systems of England and Wales. It covers the sources of EU law, the relationship between EU law and national law, the institutional structure of the EU, and the application and enforcement of EU law. It is worth noting that the UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020, and the specific inclusion of EU law in the foundations may vary in light of this departure.

Contract Law
Contract Law focuses on the formation, interpretation, and enforcement of contracts. It delves into the elements of a valid contract, the rights and obligations of parties involved, and the remedies available for breach of contract. Contract law is essential in understanding how agreements are formed and how legal obligations are created and enforced between individuals, businesses, and organisations.

Tort Law
Tort Law encompasses civil wrongs and the legal remedies available to compensate individuals or groups for harm caused by others. This foundation explores the principles and elements of torts such as negligence, defamation, trespass, and nuisance. It covers the duty of care, standard of care, causation, and the assessment of damages. Tort law plays a vital role in protecting individual rights and providing compensation for harm suffered.

Property Law
Also called Land Law, Property Law examines the legal rights, interests, and obligations associated with land and other forms of property. It includes topics such as the nature of property rights, the transfer and acquisition of property, leases, mortgages, and co-ownership. Understanding property law is crucial for dealing with issues related to land ownership, property transactions, and the resolution of disputes concerning property rights.

Public Law
Public Law encompasses Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and Human Rights Law. Constitutional Law focuses on the principles and rules that govern the structure and operation of the state, including the distribution of powers among different branches of government. Administrative Law deals with the legal framework that regulates the actions and decisions of administrative bodies and public authorities. Human Rights Law examines the rights and freedoms guaranteed to individuals and the protection of these rights by national and international laws. This foundation provides an understanding of the relationship between citizens and the state and the mechanisms for safeguarding individual rights.

It is important to note that these seven foundations are offered in almost all LLB, PGDL or GDL programmes but not all of these programmes make them compulsory, so it may be possible for you to choose other optional modules, but doing so will bar you from admission to the vocational stage of bar training. You are therefore strongly advised to consult our LLB Module List when selecting optional modules.
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