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LAWS452 Legal Theory

A study of selected issues in the philosophy and sociology of law.

This paper explores the concepts and principles that are considered to be the philosophical foundations of the criminal law, tort law, contract law, and property law.

In this paper we ask theoretical questions about these areas of law, such as: What are the distinctions between a criminal wrong, a tortious wrong, a contractual breach, and an infringement of a property right that demarcate them as separate branches of law? Do they share similar or differing notions of intention, vitiation, foresight, responsibility, care, and loss? To what extent can these areas of law be explained in terms of moral precepts, conceptions of justice, or goals of economic efficiency? What assumptions about morality and the nature of persons are necessary to make sense of criminal law, tort law, contract law, and property law?

Paper title Legal Theory
Paper code LAWS452
Subject Law
EFTS 0.1
Points 15 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $710.30
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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LAWS 302 and 66 further LAWS points
Pre or Corequisite
Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed
Limited to
LLB, LLB(Hons)
Not all optional papers will be available in any given year.
Teaching staff

To be confirmed when paper next offered.

Course materials are provided by the Faculty.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will have

  • The ability to undertake critical legal analysis of topics within property theory

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system