Legal Systems and Methods (LEGAL-P)

Course description

Welcome to the special course Legal Systems and Methods!

Learning objective/Course Aim
As a result of the ongoing internationalization of legal work it’s no longer possible to rely solely on the knowledge of a single legal system. The modern lawyer, operating in an international or internationalized setting, will sooner or later come into contact with other legal traditions and the outcome will depend on his or her insights into the workings of the foreign legal system. The main purpose of this course is to give law students tools to successfully negotiate the difficulties that arise from clashing legal traditions in everyday legal work.

Swedish undergraduate law students should have completed at least 150 higher education credits of compulsory courses within the law programme. Foreign undergraduate law students enrolled in the Department of Law at Stockholm University are also eligible to take the course. Students must be sufficiently proficient in English to be able to participate.

Course description
Students will be given an introduction to the main legal systems of the world, with a particular emphasis on legal reasoning and method. The syllabus focuses on the doctrine of legal sources and its practical application within different legal traditions. Some of the topics addressed in lectures and seminars are conventions concerning statute interpretation and gap-filling (analogies), the use of precedents, customs and doctrinal propositions as legal arguments. Practical exercises and case studies help students to develop inter-cultural legal communication skills and strategies.

The course consists of seminars and lectures conducted in English. Attendance of the seminars is mandatory. Students who cannot attend a seminar for a legitimate reason (for example, illness as attested by a physician’s certificate) can do a make-up in the form of a short paper on the topic of the seminar (600 words, two A4 pages, 12 pt, 1.5 spacing) which is due at the same time as the home assignment. A maximum of 25 % (4/17 seminars) of the seminaries can be compensated by the written assignment. If the absence exceeds the 25 % limit the student will not be able to complete the course. Active participation at the seminars is part of the examination.

The case seminar (examination) at the end of the course, is mandatory with no make-up available.
Even though attendance to the lectures are not mandatory, it is highly recommended to attend these, it will greatly benefit the understanding of the course.

Grading is based on both written and oral examination.

Change semester  

Course title:
Legal Systems and Methods
Semester: Spring term 2020
Study period: 1
Rate of studies: 100%
Level: Specialized Course for Master of Science Degre
Credits: 15.0
Language of instruction: English


Course contact:
Course coordinator:
Sara Elg
Course manager:
Marie Sandström


Greenstein Stanley
Longworth Sally
Mahmoudi Said
Nordquist Richard
Sandström Marie
Shaughnessy Patricia
Zell Jeremy
Adam Croon
Carl Björk
Daniel Kahayyami
Giuseppe Schiavello
Grant McKelvey
Jon Rastad
Nicolas Hummel
William McKechnie