Subject: Political Studies
Credit units: 3
Offered: Either Term 1 or Term 2
Weekly hours: 3 Lecture hours
College: Arts and Science
Department: Political Studies


This course introduces students to the principal theoretical positions used to understand, justify, and evaluate law at both the national and international levels. It asks students to critically engage with classical and critical theories about the nature of law and legal obligations. Questions include: by whom, for whom, and for what purpose should law be created; is law inherently connected to state power? What is the relationship between law and democracy? Is law simply what those with political power make it or is there an inherent connection between law and morality? On a more practical level, can laws and legal systems that are not backed up with enforcement power truly be called law? Examples from the Canadian legal system and international law offer opportunities to test and develop insights about the meaning and proper reach of the law.

Prerequisite(s): 12 credit units of POLS and/or IS; or 36 credit units at the university level, including at least 6 credit units of ANTH, ENG, HIST, INDG, IS, POLS, RLST, SOC, or WGST.

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