Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduction to the Legal System

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will discuss the legal system, both from a national, regional and international perspective. It will study legislation, how it is made and its typology, the organisation of courts - national, regional and international - , the jurisdiction exercised by courts, refugee and immigration law. It will also discuss the Maltese Legal System as how it is a by-product of Roman Law and British Public Law. It will further distinguish between the various legal systems in the world as well as the sources used by legal systems.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are:
(a) to introduce International Relations students to the legal system in general;
(b) to discuss the nature, typology and interpretation of laws;
(c) to explain what makes the Maltese Legal System a by-product of Roman Law and British Public Law;
(d) to provide an overview of court structures at national, regional and international level;
(e) to introduce the law on refugee and immigration.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
(a) understand the Maltese legal system;
(b) know how law is divided in primary and subsidiary legislation;
(c) be in a position to comprehend the rationale behind legal canons of interpretation;
(d) internalise the main provisions of refugee and immigration law.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
(a) write on the Maltese legal system;
(b) apply the knowledge acquired in this study-unit by distinguishing between laws of a primary nature and a subsidiary nature as well as apply the rules of statutory construction to such laws;
(c) discuss the principles on jurisdiction within a national and international context;
(d) select those provisions in Maltese Law which owe their origin to Roman Law or British Common Law.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Kevin Aquilina, Rethinking Maltese Legal Hybridity: A Chimeric Illusion or a Healthy Grafted European Law Mixture, Journal of Civil Law Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2, December 2011.
- David Attard, The Maltese Legal System (forthcoming in 2012).
- Alisdair Gillespie, The English Legal System, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Geoffrey Rivlin, Understanding the Law, Sixth Edition, Oxford University Press, 2012.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This study-unit is only offered to International Relations students.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%


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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.