LAWS 2908 G - Approaches in Legal Studies I

Web course
The evaluation for this course does not include formal seated exams, so no distance proctoring arrangements are required.

Introduction to interdisciplinary research and analysis in law and legal studies; finding and analyzing primary and secondary legal sources; introduction to the interrelationship between theory, practice and research. Students are strongly encouraged to take this course in the second year of their program. Precludes additional credit for LAWS 3907 [no longer offered]. Prerequisite(s): LAWS 1000.

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The law program at the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University is firmly grounded in a “legal studies” approach which situates law in its social, economic, political and historical contexts. As such, courses focus not just on ‘what the law is’ in a particular area but also on a range of academic and practical considerations: How does the law ‘as it is’ reflect particular (normative) visions of society and distributions of power within it? How and why does law change? How is the law ‘on the books’ operationalized (e.g., by the police or business-people) and experienced by ordinary people in everyday life? How do the narratives of law (e.g., judicial decisions) communicate cultural meanings in our society? How do law and legal processes interact with other institutions in our society? Who creates law – and is all ‘law’ (in the sense of regulation of conduct) formally prescribed law?

Engaging with questions such as these requires that students are able to deploy a range of effective research skills and strategies. The department offers two research courses to assist students to master their law discipline. This course, Laws 2908, introduces students to legal materials in legal studies research. By this we mean judicial decisions (cases), legislative instruments (statutes and regulations), government documents (including parliamentary materials and policy), and secondary sources published in academic journals. It also addresses ‘legal method’ in comprehending and working with these materials. This course is compulsory for all students majoring in a law or law honours programs. A second course, Laws 3908, offered at the 3000 level, introduces students to a variety of interdisciplinary approaches, including the use of social science research sources and methods in legal studies and more advanced consideration of theory in legal research.

CRN for section G: 13278

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Instructor: Zeina Bou-Zeid

Zeina Bou-Zeid

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