Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

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Jurisprudence is a ragbag. Into it cast all kinds of general speculations about the law. What it is for? What does it achieve? Should we value it? How is it to be improved? Is it dispensable? Who makes it? Where do we find it? What is its relation to morality, to justice, to politics, to social practices, or to naked force? Should we obey it? Whom does it serve? These are the questions of which general jurisprudence is comprised. They can be ignored, but they will not go away.

Harris, Legal Philosophies COURSE OBJECTIVES - To help students to develop a critical approach to law and to think about law as a series of intellectual, social and purposive constructs.

- To create an awareness of the range of perennial problems associated with the theory and practice of a modern legal system (even if not to provide all the answers to such problems).

COURSE CONTENTS (see Course Outline) WHAT IS LAW? - law as universal moral principles - law as commands of the sovereign - law as a hierarchy of norms - law as a system of rules - law as a product of socio-economic-political context - law as politics COURSE MATERIALS The prescribed text for the course is: M D A Freeman, Lloyd's Introduction to Jurisprudence, 7th ed (Sweet & Maxwell, 2001) [available in a cheap ELBS edition] As noted by Wacks, the book contains "not only a very large number of extracts from the most important writings (sensibly organised and well edited), but provides reliable accounts of the various theories themselves (richly footnoted) expressed in an admirably lucid and lively manner." [Raymond Wacks, SWOT Jurisprudence, 5th ed (Blackstone Press, 1999), p 3; See also therein other recommended sources of readings].

You may wish to avail yourselves of...