General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Philosophy of Law. Ideas and Applications
Language EN
Module lecturer prof. dr hab. Marek Smolak
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position profesor
Faculty Faculty of Law and Administration
Semester 2024/2025 (winter)
Duration 30
USOS code 10-PLIA-w-erasm


Module aim (aims)

The aim of the course is to familiarize the students with the essential issues in jurisprudence. Emphasis is placed on the philosophical and practical issues concerning law and morality, justice and human rights. Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant) Basic knowledge about the philosophy, law and morality. Module learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences and their reference to program learning outcomes

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


Week 1: Essential questions: What is Legal Theory, Philosophy of Law and Jurisprudence? Why is the language of Jurisprudence so different? Week 2: 1. Theorising about nature of lawWeek 3: Legal PositivismWeek 4: Imperative Theories of Jeremy Bentham and John AustinWeek 5: Theoretical Alternatives to Imperative Theories of Law. H.L.A.Hart’s Concept of Law and Legal SystemWeek 6: Ronald Dworkin’s Theory “law as integrity” and „one right answer“ thesis. Lon Fuller’s concept of the “inner morality of law”Week 7: Demolition of the Positivist Paradigm. Critical Legal Studies and Feminist Jurisprudence critique of idealist jurisprudenceWeek 8: Theories of Justice. John Rawls’ Theory of RightsWeek 9: Robert Nozick and Theory of EntitlementsWeek 10:Applied Legal Theory. Compensation for Past WrongsWeek 11:Applied Legal Theory. R. Alexy’s The Weight Formula. The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression v The Right to Protection of Religious Feelings Week 12:Applied Legal Theory. Freedom of Speech and Harm Principle Week 13:Applied Legal Theory. Berlin Wall Shooters and Gustav Radbruch FormulaWeek 14:Applied Legal Theory. The Case of the Speluncean Explorers Week 15: Exam and Summary

Reading list

Bix B. Jurisprudence: Theory and Context, Carolina Academic Press, 2009. Chinhengo A., Essential Jurisprudence, Cavendish Publishing Ltd.London, Sydney 2000. Riddall J.G., Jurisprudence, Butterworths London 1991 Tamanaha B., A General Jurisprudence of Law and Society OUP, Oxford 2001. Wacks Raymond, Understanding Jurisprudence, An Introduction to Legal Theory, OUP, Oxford 2009.