Legal Systems

Course number: LAW 1530

Course Description & Objectives

This course serves as an introduction to law, legal education, and the organizing structure and multiple systems in which law operates. The course provides an opportunity to “map” your legal education and provides a framework for understanding the way that law is developed and analyzed in your substantive courses. It also provides a practical introduction to litigation and judicial decision-making through the Judge Shadowing component. At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the basic structure of the Canadian legal system (including branches of government; court structure; relationship of common law and equity; legal pluralism; relationship of Canadian common law to Indigenous and transnational law);
  • Understand key principles of legal reasoning and judicial decision-making;
  • Identify and critically engage at an introductory level with a variety of legal theories on the idea and meaning of law;
  • Identify some ethical issues and obligations associated with law, legal practice, and the study of law;
  • Understand basic elements of the court structure and the process of adjudication in Manitoba courts;
  • Apply the knowledge acquired in the course in the form of clear, persuasive written assignments; and
  • Reflect on role and operation of legal systems and their own role as law students and lawyers.

Course Materials:

Required: Stephen Waddams, Introduction to the Study of Law, 8th ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2016). Available at the University of Manitoba Bookstore.

INSTRUCTORS: Shauna Labman, Lorna Turnbull

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