Jurisprudence and Legal Theory – LA3005

Jurisprudence examines the nature of law, its place in society and how a legal system operates as a system of rules.

Course Outline

  1. Legal Positivism: Familiarize students with legal positivism and John Austin and Jeremy Bentham as one of the earliest founders of the doctrine. Exploration of Austin’s theory of command, sovereignty and sanctions as applicable to different modes of governance, and critiquing/defending the same.
  2. The Pure Theory of Law: Examining Kelsen’s pure theory of law, his concept of sanctions and the Grund Norm as a presupposition and legal fiction, with reference to Pakistani case regarding revolutions and military takeovers.
  3. The Concept of Law: A take on modern positivism and Hart’s concept of the Internal Point of View and the Rule of Recognition as well as critiques by Finnis and Dworkin.
  4. Evil Legal Systems and the clash of Positivism and Natural Law: Discussing a separation of laws and morals with reference to fidelity to law vs fidelity to conscience arguments.
  5. Natural Law: Understanding classical and modern natural law with reference to teleological and intuitive approaches as well as criticisms.
  6. Marxism and Law: Exploring Marxist jurisprudence and whether law’s relevance is underplayed in theory.
  7. Feminism and Law: Dissecting patriarchy and the law with reference to male/female standards, dominance, separation and connection.

Course Length: 20 Weeks

Sample Lecture on John Austin’s Concept of a Command

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