|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon semester 2019
Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Saumya Uma
Email of course coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aim: ‘Introduction to Law’ acts as a foundational course on law, legal principles, legal institutions and processes, and aims at equipping students to engage productively and critically with legal texts and materials. It prepares the students for other law courses in the programme.
On the successful completion of the course, the students would be able to
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
The course is divided into four modules.
This is substantially a skill-based course, which incorporates clinical methods and class activities for hands-on experience. Two field visits have been scheduled, to a court and a police station, in order to bridge the gap between class room teaching and ground realities.
Module 1: Encountering the Law
The first module introduces the student to the fundamentals of law. In the first week of the course, through an activity-based class discussion followed by a lecture, students will gain clarity on what is law, the need and functions of law. In the second week, students will gain familiarity with the major sources of law, and the major legal systems of the world - particularly the differences between common law and civil law. They will also be introduced to the forms, classifications, categories and branches of law. The third week will highlight some general principles of law. It will also focus on the inter-dependent and symbiotic relationship between law, social and political processes.
What is law? Why do we need law? Functions of law
Sources of law; Major legal systems of the world, forms of law
General principles of law, social and political contexts of law, the legal profession
This module familiarizes students with legislative processes. In Week 4, the discussion will focus on the Indian Parliament and the process of law-making and passage of a Bill to an Act. Week 5 will provide students with practical skills necessary for reading and understanding a statute. Statutes will be projected on the white board, and an attempt will be made to read and understand their contents through the rules of interpretation learnt. Week 6 will focus on reading extracts from selected reports of the Law Commission of India, as illustrations of how they critique and shape the law, and pave the way for law reform. Reading of the reports will further demonstrate to the students the need for reading statutes in a holistic manner - in a historical perspective, within contemporary social and political contexts, and in relation with other statutes in existence.
Week 4: Indian Parliament and processes of law-making
Legal method by Dr. G.P.Tripathi, Central Law Publications, 2014, pp. 205-214
Week 5: Rules of statutory interpretation
Week 6: Understanding reports of the Law Commission of India and other government reports
In week 7, the course begins its focus on judicial processes. Building on the foundation created by the two prior modules, in this module, the focus will be on the functioning of the judiciary, understanding court processes, reading and making sense of various types of judgments and a familiarization with law reports.
In week 7, students will gain familiarity with the structure and classification of courts in India. In week 8, a field visit to a court is scheduled, in order to provide students practical exposure to court processes. In week 9, the students will become accustomed to parts of a judgment, and gain insights into legal reasoning in judgments – which will aid in understanding and analyzing judgments. There will be an attempt to read and understand a judgment in class. The students will also be oriented to types of judgments and orders, majority and dissenting opinions and their import.
Week 7: Introduction to the Indian judicial system (courts and tribunals)
Week 8: Field visit to a court
Reading & understanding judgments
Know Your Rights
The final module of the course is intended to create an awareness of basic rights in law. The areas of focus are rights in criminal law, consumer rights and right to information. A field visit to the local police station is included to enhance practical knowledge in engaging with processes of criminal law.
Consumer rights & the law, right to information
Fundamentals of rights in criminal law
Consolidation of course contents
Assessment Details with weights:
Reports of field visits (15% x 2)