Legal theory encompasses any theoretical reflection about law. Within legal theory, legal philosophy, as its name implies, is the philosophy of law. Legal philosophy brings philosophical rigour to the theoretical reflection about law. Within legal philosophy, analytic jurisprudence applies the rigour of analytic philosophy to the study of the concept of law. This course will focus on the canonical works in analytic jurisprudence. The course revolves around one simple question: “What is law?”
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of those key thinkers about law and legal systems covered in the course
- demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of the main types of descriptive, justificatory and critical argumentation about law and legal systems
- engage in an improved form of reflective and critical thinking about the law and legal reasoning
- appreciate the theoretical background of a range of legal decisions and contemporary legal issues.
- Mid-Semester Exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Final Exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]
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Every week there will be two 1 hour lectures and a 1 hour tutorial. Students are expected to devote approximately 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
The course will be based two key texts in analytic jurisprudence, one positivist (Book 1) and the second antipositivist (Book 2). Students will be expected to read the two books from cover to cover in the course. Students need to understand the argument as a whole in its entirety, in order to attain the requisite depth of knowledge.
A reading guide will be available on the course webpage.
This course assumes that students have some legal knowledge of the core areas of public and private law.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.