Philosophy of Law

Course Code: PLBA 1000

Academic Year: 2023-2024

This course will provide a context for our existing legal system by exploring the bodies of legal thought that theorize the sources and shaping of our laws. This course on legal philosophy seeks to reveal the historical, moral and cultural basis of our legal concepts, to examine the classical debate between positivist and naturalist schools of thought, and to critically compare the formalist and realist approaches to jurisprudence. The issue of morally motivated disobedience to particular unjust laws, and challenges to the legitimacy of entire legal orders are examined in exploring the limits of legal order. Students will also explore the tensions between law as a protector of individual liberty and as a tool of democratic self-rule by analyzing the writing of Catharine MacKinnon, John Stuart Mill, Patrick Devlin, and Ronald Dworkin. The study of such contemporary issues as civil liberties, defining equality rights in the context of social justice and feminist approaches to the rule of law enable students to understand law in its function as a social institution.Category and Level: Society, Culture and Commerce, Lower LevelRestrictions: Bachelor of Applied Arts - Paralegal Studies and Bachelor of Social Science - Criminal Justice students are restricted from taking this course as a breadth elective.