English Common Law

Learn the Common Law of England and Wales with this free online course from the University of London, UK.

English Common Law course description

In order to understand the common law we need to ask some critical questions.

  • What role does democracy play in the development of the common law?
  • To what extent are human rights central to the modern common law?
  • How does the common law of England and Wales relate to the law of the European Union?

Answering these questions will give us insights into the current challenges the law faces and its possible futures.

This free online course will give you an introduction to this influential legal system including its history, constitutional background, sources and institutions. You’ll learn about the different ways in which laws are made and interpreted, the English court system and the increasing importance of European Union and human rights law. Now is an especially exciting time to be learning about English common law, given the potential changes that lie ahead in today’s political, economic and social environment – all these pose challenges to and opportunities for the law.

Each week we’ll focus on one aspect of English common law, using video lectures, readings, discussion questions and activities to enable you to learn about and evaluate key issues. Whether undertaken as a standalone course, or as preparation for the University of London’s world-class LLB degree, you will find this course interesting and stimulating.

Course content

  • Introduction to the English Legal System
  • Constitutional principles of the English Legal System
  • The Court System
  • Statutes
  • Case Law
  • The European Union, European Convention on Human Rights and Human Rights Act 1998

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