Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE CVL1013

 
TITLE Introduction to Legal Anthropology

 
LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Civil Law

 
DESCRIPTION This study-unit is primarily intended to introduce students to the characteristic features of an anthropological approach to law and to use this approach as a vehicle for a cross-cultural contextual investigation of legal institutions and discourses, which explores the different ways in which they are socially embedded and addresses fundamental questions about order, conflict, violence and human nature. Particular attention will be paid to exploring the interdependence between social and legal theory and to showing how this has shaped ethnographic inquiry. Rene Girard’s theory of mimetic rivalry will also be introduced in order to assess its potential for generating new questions in the field. The unit will consist of 14 two-hour sessions. Students will be assessed by means of a exam at the end of the first term. They will also be expected to do assigned compulsory readings and to participate actively in class discussions. For some lectures, printed class-notes will also be circulated.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this unit, students should:

• Be in a position to appreciate the variety of ways in which law can and has been defined and the various dimensions of legal institution, rules and processes that each of these definitions points to;
• Have developed a certain understanding of the differences and similarities between legal institutions, rules and processes in state-less and modern societies;
• Be able to appreciate the interdependent relationship between social and legal theories and of the various ways in which law is socially and culturally embedded in different societies;
• Have understood various practical contributions which legal anthropologists have made to legal practice, ranging from ADR to the Cultural Defense;
• Be able to provide thoughtful and creative solutions to the problems of law and order which arise in today’s multi-cultural and globalised world.

Selected Bibliography:

• Sally Falk Moore “Law and Anthropology: A Reader” Oxford: Blackwell Publications (2004)
• Norbert Rouland “Legal Anthropology” Stanford University Press (1994)
• Bronislaw Malinowski “Crime and Custom in Savage Society” (1926).

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Ibtisam Sadegh
David E. Zammit

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit