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Introduction to English and EU Law: Detailed information

Year One

Module 1: The English legal system and intro to EU Law

  • History of English common law,
  • Elements of the English constitution; parliamentary supremacy, definition of state constitutional conventions
  • Sources of Law; Parliamentary legislation, precedent,(both common law and equity)
  • Practical exercises on how to read a statute and statutory interpretation
  • Legal Personnel; judiciary, legal professions (qualifications and role)
  • The jury system
  • English judicial system; civil courts.
  • Elements of civil procedure.
  • Practical exercises on how to read a casellins

Module 2:  English Criminal law

  • The Criminal courts
  • The jury system.
  • General principles on criminal law
  • Outline of the criminal legal system
  • Overview of linked aspects of criminal procedure.
  • Accessory participation in crimes.
  • Inchoate offences; attempt, conspiracy and incitement.
  • Defences
  • Practical exercises; problem questions and discussion
  • Law of Homicide; murder, manslaughter
  • Special defences to murder
  • Practical exercises and problem questions
  • Non fatal offences against the person
  • Criminal damage
  • Theft and Burglary
  • Practical exercises and problem questions

Module 3: English contract law and practice

  • General principles of English contract.
  • Formation of a valid contract; required elements such as offer and acceptance.
  • Practical exercises and problem questions
  • Contents of the contract; terms (express or implied), representations
  • Sale of Goods Act 1979
  • Vitiating factors; misrepresentation, mistake, frustration, illegality.
  • Termination of the contract; breach, by agreement.
  • Remedies; statutory, common law, equitable.
  • Contract drafting
  • Practical exercises and problem questions
  • This module will include some comparison with other common law systems.

Module 4: Elements of tort and trust law


  • Elements of the law of tort
  • Tort of negligence
  • Duty of care
  • Practical exercises
  • Breach of Duty
  • Loss
  • Causation (factual and legal)
  • Remoteness
  • Compensation
  • Practical exercises and problem questions


This half module will look at the trust concept and its impact in the common law system providing some comparison with other common law countries

  • What is a trust?
  • Uses of trust
  • Family/Property Trust
  • Family/Property Trust
  • Practical exercises and problem questions

Year Two

Module 5: An introduction to substantive EU law

  • Introduction
  • Impact of European community law on a common law system
  • Constitutional and judicial doctrines
  • Elements of substantive law including:-
  • Free Movement of Goods, People, Services
  • Competition law
  • External policies
  • Sex discrimination and Equal treatment.
  • This module will taught through the Socrates method and will emphasise the structures adopted by the Court of Justice to the European Union and its jurisprudence.

Module 6: English business associations (emphasis on company law)

  • Choices of business activity in the UK
  • Comparison, disadvantages and advantages
  • Introduction to Company law
  • How to set up a company
  • Contrast between the private and public company
  • The constitution of the company
  • The corporate veil
  • Legal doctrines affecting the company including the doctrine of ultra vires
  • Financing of and investing in a company
  • The personnel of the company
  • Directors and directors’ duties
  • Minority protection of shareholders
  • The Death of the company

Module 7: Intellectual property law

  • Introduction
  • Different regulatory systems, global regulation.
  • The law of Copyright
  • The law of Trademarks
  • The law of Patents
  • Economic torts including the tort of Passing off

Module 8: International trade law (including international commercial litigation)

  • International Commercial Litigation
  • The Brussels and Rome Regime.
  • Other methods of dispute resolution
  • Inco terms
  • Banking and financing of international trade transactions UCP 600
  • Carriage of goods by sea
  • E-commerce


  1. In the first year of the course students will be asked to submit written assignments of circa 2000 words in length for each module. The assignments will mainly adopt a problem based structure and will receive comprehensive guidance and feedback from tutors. Assessment will include one practical contract drafting exercise
  2. In the second year of the assessment will be in either assignment form or by written ‘open book’ exams. In addition limited options of pleading drafting and thesis assignments will be offered.