Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Roman Law 1

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will cover the introductory topics of Roman Law, focusing particularly on the history of Roman Law, which cannot be divorced from the study of the history of the Roman Empire, from its Republican beginnings through to its Byzantine phase and beyond. Particular attention will be paid to outlining the influence Roman law has exerted on modern legal systems, especially the Maltese. An overview of the history of Roman law in Malta will conclude this unit.

Study-unit Aims

This study-unit aims:
(1) To introduce students to the contextual and historical study of law by focusing on the development of Roman law;
(2) To enable students to grasp the different phases through which Roman law passed, particularly the Republican, Classical, post-Classical and Byzantine epochs and the way in which the content of Roman law changed in each period;
(3) To explore the subsequent development of Roman law in Europe following the end of the Roman Empire, with a particular focus on Malta in medieval times and under the Knights.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(1) Think about Roman law not as a homogenous whole, but as a complex historically evolved palimpsest;
(2) Locate Roman law rules and principles within the context of Roman society, politics and institutional structures;
(3) Outline the historical influence the Roman law has had on the law of Malta and other European states.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(1) Explain the historical origins and development of particular Roman legal rules, principles and institutes by referring to the different periods of Roman legal history;
(2) Have the basic historical understanding which is required to engage in the study of the substantive Roman law;
(3) Apply historical approaches and methods to help explain the context of current legal issues.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Main Texts:
H. F. Jolowicz. “Historical Introduction to the Study of Roman Law”, Cambridge: University Press, 2008.
R. W. Lee. “Elements of Roman Law”, Sweet & Maxwell; 4th edition (1986).

Supplementary Readings:
Andrew Riggsby, Roman Law and the Legal World of the Romans Cambridge: University Press: 2010.
William Warwick Buckland. “A Manual of Roman Private Law", Cambridge: University Press: 2012.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Essay SEM1 Yes 100%


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It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.