Current Legal Issues: survey

Hi Current Legal Issues students

I wrote this 10 question survey to let you give me some feedback. You don’t need to identify yourself, although you can do if you want to.

Here’s the survey

I value your feedback and would like to know what you think.

Well done for finishing the course. It has been my pleasure to be part of your learning experience this semester. I hope you have a nice summer break.


LLM – groups’ video presentation

Hi everyone

I am posting a link here to the excellent video that was made by Nouf al-Yaha, Sheikha al-Sanousi and Amani al-Oteibi as part of their research project on Comparative Labour Law.  It’s a great video and by clicking on the link you can watch or download.

I will try to post links or files of other groups’ s videos. If your group made a video and you would like me to post it here, send me a file or a link and I’ll try to do that.

Thanks to Nouf, Sheikha and Amani for producing this excellent resource.

Social Theory: Survey

Hi Social Theory students

I’ve created a survey on a website called Survey Monkey.

It’s  a short survey – only 10 questions. It’s optional. It’s anonymous (I don’t know who fills it in and who doesn’t). And its a chance to give me your feedback on the course, the exam, etc.

Here’s the link.

I’ll grade your exams as quickly as possible. If you don’t like the results when your grades come out, please don’t automatically file a petition. Your grade could increase or decrease on a recount.

I hope your other exams go really well. Take it easy.




Social Theory – Hart’s internal aspect of law

Dear Social Theory students

I have received a few email inquiries in the last day or two about Hart’s “internal aspect of law”. So I want to say a few words about it in case more people are interested and to be fair to all. You should know something about this in order to fully understand Hart’s theory. Of course, the best place to go is his book, The Concept of Law, but since its only about 15 hours until the exam, that option might not be the most practical one. So…

Here is a response that I wrote to one student recently who asked me to explain something about the man in the car who is listening to music whilst stopped at the red light (this example is on one of your handouts):

“Basically, the man in the car is listening to the music because he can choose to do that or not – there is no rule. But he is stopped at the red light because he accepts the rule: the rule which says that you must stop when the light is red. To an outside observer, there is no apparent difference between these two behaviors (listening to music and stopping at the red light) but the driver knows and accepts that one behavior is his choice and the other is because he has accepted the rule. So, Hart says that there must be an internal aspect to the legal system, or one must accept that a rule applies (regardless of its moral worth). The effectiveness of the legal system rests on this internal acceptance of rules, not on external sanctions like punishment.”


This discussion was part of Hart’s response to the ‘sanctions’ approach of his predecessors (such as Austin – you recall he was all about law being a set of commands backed up by sanctions). Hart didn’t accept that external sanctions or punishment were enough to run a legal system effectively.

Here is a link to an interesting article about this topic: Shapiro_Internal_Point_of_View. If you have reasonable English skills, its a good read. At least try the first few pages if you are able to.


I hope this is useful. Leave a reply by clicking on the button (you’ll need to register) if you wish.

LLM – coursework grades

Hi LLM students

I’ve posted the coursework grades on my door (yesterday) and I’ve now scanned them. You can see them here: llm-grades-without-names

They have been formally submitted so no further changes are permitted,

I want to wish you all the best for the exam tomorrow at 5.00-8.00pm. Please remember to answer the question that you select (and answer all aspects of the question).



Exam on Wednesday 7th May – all the best for the exam

Good evening all Social Theory students,

Well, it’s not long until the exam. You will all be studying at the moment. I hope it is going well. Please arrive early for your exam on Wednesday at 9.30am.

I want to remind you that there are three sections in the exam, as we discussed in the last lecture (20 marks for each part):

Part A – multiple choice and short answer (covers the whole course): answer on the exam paper

Part B – essay ( choose one from options about Natural Law and Legal Positivism): answer in the booklet provided

Part C – essay (choose one from options about Legal Realism and Critical Legal Studies, Feminist Legal Theory and Critical Race Theory): answer in the booklet provided

There is possibly a rumor going around that I have cancelled some sections of the course: that’s not true. The exam will cover all sections of the course: Natural Law, Legal Positivism, Legal Realism and Critical Legal Studies (including FLT and CRT).

If you have any questions, please email me or register with this blog and post a comment . If you register and leave a reply here, it will show up on this page, below this post. You are most welcome to do that if you wish.

If you really need to see me, I will be at university tomorrow (Tuesday between 10.00-2.00) and just before/just after those times.

If it’s an emergency, you can call me as a last resort  – I gave out my mobile number in the final lecture.

I want to wish you all the best with your studies. Please read the slideshow that I posted under the final lecture for some advice on studying. Please do not memorize whole essays. Make sure that your essay answers the question. Try to say what you really think in your essay – not just what you have memorized from a slide.

All the best.



LLM – last lecture

Hello LLM students

Thank you for an interesting and informative semester. I hope you have enjoyed the classes as much as I have.

Here is the slideshow that I used on Monday 28 April in case you want to check anything in it, or in case you missed the class. LLM last lecture

I will post the grades shortly and formally submit them on 1 May. You can post blog comments until the end of tomorrow, Wednesday, if you wish.

All the best with your exams.

Last lecture for Social Theory

Hi Social Theory and Law students

We have finished the course. Thank you for an excellent semester. I have really enjoyed my times with you and I hope that you have benefited in some way or another from our classes.

Here is the slideshow that I used in class on Monday 28 April. Social Theory last lecture

Also, here is the extra reading on Jerome Frank if you are interested in reading it.Jerome Frank very quick summary.

And here is a past exam, in case you want to look at it whilst you are preparing for the exam. past exam

Email me with any problems or questions.

See you later.