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    Theoretical perspectives on the nature, values and functions of law.

    Jurisprudence has been described as "the most fundamental, general, and theoretical plane of analysis of the social phenomenon called law". 
    Jurisprudence considers questions like these: What is law? What is the Māori legal order? How is Indigenous legal reasoning understood? What are the principles of Māori law and how are legal decisions made in te ao Māori?  Is law a system of rules, is it a system of values? What is the relationship between law and morality? Is it ever justified to break the law? Is the law capable of being objective and neutral, or will it always be biased in favour of the dominant groups in society? How does law differ from politics? What is the appropriate and actual role of the judge? What is the role of discretion in judging? Does law progress? Can law be made a science? Is there a distinct form of legal reasoning? Is law an autonomous discipline?

    About this paper

    Paper title Jurisprudence
    Subject Law
    EFTS 0.2
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,460.40
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    96 LAWS points
    Pre or Corequisite
    Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed
    Limited to
    LLB, LLB(Hons)

    Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed.

    Teaching staff

    Pūkenga Matua Senior Lecturer - Metiria Stanton Turei

    Pūkenga Lecturer Dr Jan Mihal

    Teaching Arrangements

    Semester 1 Mātauraka Ture me kā Mātāpono Māori Māori Laws and Philosophy: Pūkenga Matua Senior Lecturer - Metiria Stanton Turei

    Semester 2 Jurisprudence: Pūkenga Lecturer Dr Jan Mihal


    All course materials for LAWS 302 Jurisprudence are provided to students via Blackboard.

    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 should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

    • The principles of the Māori legal order, the interaction and application of the legal principles of Māori law and reasoning within Indigenous legal orders
    • The features of a positivist approach to law
    • A range of responses to this positivist approach
    • How such thinking can help us analyse the features of different legal systems, legal institutions or fields of law and help us identify, track and compare trends in legal systems over time, between jurisdictions or in the work of particular courts or judges
    • Critical jurisprudence


    Full Year

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 29-35, 37-42
    Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22
    Friday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 15-22, 29-35, 37-42
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