Law in Action

Vakbeschrijving Law in Action
Collegejaar: 2017-2018
Studiegidsnummer: 22989263
Docent(en):
  • Daniel Blocq
Voertaal: Engels
Blackboard: Ja
EC: 5
Niveau: 300
Periode: Semester 1, Blok II
  • Wel Keuzevak
  • Wel Contractonderwijs
  • Wel Exchange
  • Wel Study Abroad
  • Geen Avondonderwijs
  • Geen A-la-Carte en Aanschuifonderwijs
  • Geen Honours Class

Admission requirements

Students are expected to be in their third year of legal studies or of other disciplines,e.g. philosophy, psychology, criminology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, or economics.

Description

In this course, we will study the organization and behavior of the legal profession, mostly in western but also in non-western countries. In the first part of the course, which focuses on organization, we will explore what the social composition of the legal profession – ethnic, gender, or religious make-up – looks like today, and how it has changed over time. In trying to explain these changes, we will consider issues such as access to law schools and selection processes of law firms and other legal institutions. In the second part of the course, we will study the behavior of the legal profession. More specifically, we will examine how lawyers interact with clients, which cases they accept or neglect, and how contribute to the litigiousness of society. Furthermore, we will explore how legal professionals – lawyers, prosecutors, and judges – deal with ethical dilemmas, and cope during and after periods of authoritarianism.

Note: This course brings together law and the social sciences; it focuses on law in action. Most readings will accordingly be coming from the social sciences. This means that you will encounter methodological questions in this course. We will pick up these questions to sensitize you to social science methods, and help you further develop your analytical and critical reading skills.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to summarize theories, compare theories, and use examples from the literature to illustrate these theories. Furthermore, students should be able to apply theories to actual cases. The theories pertain to the following subjects:

  1. Changes in the organization of the legal profession
  2. Differences between systems of legal education
  3. Distinctions in the composition of legal institutions
  4. Variation in interactions between lawyers and clients
  5. The role of lawyers in the litigiousness of society
  6. Decision-making by legal professionals in cases of ethical dilemmas
  7. The functioning of legal professionals during and after authoritarianism

Timetable

The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction

Lectures

  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 6
  • Names of lecturers: Daniel Blocq
  • Required preparation by students: Students should read pre-assigned articles from academic journals.

Seminars

  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 6
  • Names of instructors: Daniel Blocq
  • Required preparation by students: Students should prepare questions and assignments for each meeting.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written essay exam, open questions (80% of final grade).
  • Oral presentations (20% of final grade).

In case only a few students need to do the exam or the retake, the exam and/or the retake may be oral. In that case, you will be informed 10 days ahead of the scheduled date.

Areas to be tested within the exam
See course objectives.

Blackboard

More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials
Literature:
Selected academic articles.

Course information guide:
Will be made available on Blackboard.

Reader:
All reading materials will be placed on Blackboard.

Registration

Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.
Students enrolled at another Dutch university than Leiden can obtain access to uSis, by first submitting the form Inschrijven als bijvak/gaststudent (unfortunately only available in Dutch).
Students not enrolled at any Dutch university (i.e. those doing the course as a Study Abroad Student (info in English), or as Contractonderwijs (info only in Dutch) should apply well in advance.

Contact information

  • Coordinator: Daniel Blocq
  • Work address: KOG, room B3.18
  • Contact information: Secretariat of the Van Vollenhoven Institute
  • Telephone number: 071 527 5252
  • Email: d.s.blocq@law.leidenuniv.nl

Institution/division

  • Institute: Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Development
  • Department: Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law
  • Room number secretary: B.3.13
  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00-17.00
  • Telephone number secretary: 071 527 7260
  • Email Van Vollenhoven Institute: vollenhoven@law.leidenuniv.nl

Remarks

The language of this course is English.

Contractonderwijs

Anyone interested in registering for this paper as part of a Conventional Programme Schedule (Contractonderwijs), will find further information regarding costs, applications and registration, conditions etc. on the website of Juridisch PAO.

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