UOL Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

Jurisprudence and Legal Theory offers students a profound exploration into the philosophical underpinnings of law. This course delves into the nature and theories of jurisprudence, examining foundational questions about the essence of law, the moral and social aspects of legal systems, and the diverse perspectives that shape legal philosophy.

1. Nature of Jurisprudence
This introductory module explores the nature and scope of jurisprudence. Students examine the fundamental questions that jurisprudence seeks to answer and gain an overview of the historical development of legal philosophy.

2. Practical Reason and Law
Practical reason and law are intimately connected. This module delves into the relationship between practical reason, morality, and the law, exploring how ethical considerations influence legal reasoning and decision-making.

3. Theory of Natural Law
Natural law theory posits a connection between law and morality based on inherent principles. Students explore the historical development and key tenets of natural law, including the idea that certain moral principles are fundamental to a just legal system.

4. Moral Theory of Law
The moral theory of law explores the intersection between law and ethics. Students examine how moral considerations influence legal norms and principles, questioning the ethical foundations of legal systems.

5. Imperative Theory of Law
Imperative theories focus on the commands of a sovereign authority as the basis for law. This module delves into imperative theories, examining how legal norms are created and enforced through authoritative commands.

6. The Concept of Law
Building on the works of legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart, this module examines the concept of law. Students explore the dual nature of law, distinguishing between primary and secondary legal rules and understanding the social foundations of legal systems.

7. Hart–Fuller Debate
The Hart–Fuller debate centres on the relationship between law and morality. Students engage with the arguments presented by H.L.A. Hart and Lon Fuller, exploring contrasting views on the nature and limits of legal positivism.

8. Hart–Dworkin Debate
This module delves into the Hart–Dworkin debate, which centres on the concept of judicial discretion and the role of judges in interpreting and applying the law. Students explore the perspectives of H.L.A. Hart and Ronald Dworkin on legal reasoning and principles.

9. Hart–Devlin Debate
The Hart–Devlin debate revolves around the relationship between law and morality in the context of public morality. Students examine the arguments presented by H.L.A. Hart and Lord Devlin, exploring the role of the law in shaping societal values.

10. Authority of Law
The authority of law is a central theme in jurisprudence. Students analyse the sources of legal authority, exploring how legal norms gain legitimacy and influence individuals' behaviour in society.

11. Pure Theory of Law
The pure theory of law, associated with legal theorist Hans Kelsen, posits a hierarchical structure of legal norms. This module delves into Kelsen's framework, exploring the idea of a Grundnorm and the systematic organization of legal norms.

12. Social Theory and Law
This module examines the intersection between social theory and law. Students explore how social factors, including power dynamics, economic structures, and cultural influences, shape legal systems and norms.

13. Marxist Legal Theory
Marxist legal theory analyses law within the context of class struggle and societal relations. Students engage with the Marxist perspective on law, exploring how legal institutions serve the interests of dominant classes.

14. Liberalism and Law
Liberalism has had a profound impact on legal philosophy. This module explores liberal perspectives on law, examining concepts such as individual rights, the rule of law, and the limits of state authority.

15. Feminist Legal Theory
Feminist legal theory critically examines the role of law in perpetuating gender inequalities. Students explore feminist perspectives on legal issues, including reproductive rights, family law, and workplace discrimination.

16. Critical Legal Studies
Critical Legal Studies challenges traditional legal theories and institutions. This module engages students with the critical perspective, exploring how law reflects and reinforces social power structures.

17. Critical Race Theory
Critical Race Theory examines the intersection of race, law, and societal structures. Students explore how legal norms and institutions contribute to racial inequalities and consider strategies for achieving racial justice.

By engaging with topics ranging from natural law to critical race theory, students are encouraged to critically analyse and evaluate the conceptual foundations of law, providing a rich intellectual framework for understanding the complexities of legal systems.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

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

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.