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Public law LA1020

You will analyse key issues governing the relation between citizens and the state, including sovereignty and the division of powers between legislature, executive and administration.

Topics covered

  • The Conceptual Framework of Public Law. Introducing Public Law. The UK Constitution and its Core Institutions. Parliamentary Supremacy. The Rule Of Law.
  • Executive and Legislative Functions. Limited Government and the Separation of Powers. Ministerial Accountability. Crown and Prerogative Powers. UK Primary Legislation. UK Delegated Legislation. Constitutional Conventions.
  • Multi-layered Governance. EU Legal and Governmental. Order EU Law and UK Constitutional Law during membership 1973-2019. Devolution.
  • Courts and the Constitution. Judicial Independence and Accountability. Principles of Judicial Review I: Illegality. Principles of JR II: Procedural Fairness. Principles of JR III: Irrationality and Proportionality.
  • Human Rights. Human Rights Protection. HRA Jurisprudence. HRA and Terrorism.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the module successfully you should be able to:

  • Explain the nature and purpose of constitutions including the ways in which governmental powers are generally allocated amongst the institutions of the state, and the way in which courts operate to review administrative action and protect basic rights
  • Describe the main institutions and legal characteristics of the EU and analyse the implications for the UK constitution during membership of the EU 1973 to 2019
  • Assess the constitutional implications for the UK of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the role of the European Court of Human Rights
  • Understand the social and political context in which public law is situated
  • Evaluate suggestions for constitutional reform in the United Kingdom and the European Union
  • Conduct straightforward legal research, retrieving information from a range of data sources and including interpretation of textual and numerical data
  • Distinguish relevant facts and issues presented in a range of legal material
  • Interpret primary and secondary legal sources, including case law and statutes, to answer questions
  • Construct a coherent argument in response to oral or written stimuli.


3hr 15 mins unseen examination

Essential reading

Le Sueur, A., M. Sunkin and J.E.K. Murkens Public law: text, cases and materials. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019) fourth edition [ISBN 9780198820284].