Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) [OR Legal Skills (LAW 1107) AND Legal System of England and Wales (LAW 1117); OR Legal Skills (LAW 1041)]; and Law of Torts (LAW 1051) and EU Constitutional Law (LAW 1061) and Law of Contract (LAW 1071) and The Individual and the State (LAW 1081) and UK Constitutional Law (LAW 1091).


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • Building on the foundations laid in the Individual and the State, this module will explore in greater detail, the theoretical foundations and legal jurisprudence of the European Convention on Human Rights.


  • The course will cover topics from the following list:
  • The ‘constitutionalist’ nature of the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Margin of appreciation and consensus;
  • Article 2, Right to Life;
  • Article 3, Prohibition on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment;
  • Article 5 right to liberty;
  • Article 6 and 7, trial in due course of law and no punishment without law;
  • Article 8 privacy;
  • Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association;
  • Article 1 Protocol 1, protection of property;
  • Article 3, Protocol 1, right to free elections;
  • Implementation and execution of ECtHR judgments;
  • The future of the European Court of Human Rights.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the European Court of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the political and legal context in which they operate.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Apply the existing law to factual scenarios and give legally cogent advice;
  • Analyse and evaluate the existing law in the light of the legal, social and political questions raised;
  • Engage in informed debate concerning shortcomings in the existing law and options for reform of the European Court of Human Rights.
Key Skills:
  • Acquisition of knowledge through critical analysis of primary and secondary sources;
  • Synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation of ideas and arguments;
  • Written communication skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The Course will be delivered through 20 lectures and accompanied by 5 tutorials.
  • Lectures are used primarily to impart knowledge - and also to suggest approaches to evaluation and critical analysis.
  • Tutorials will be used to develop and enhance students capacity for legal-problem solving in a particular factual situation, evaluative critical analysis and their appreciation of laws' linkage with broader fields of enquiry.
  • The formative assignment will be used to assess and develop the analytical skills necessary to evaluate the Council of Europe system of rights protection.
  • The summative essay will build upon the formative assignment, allowing students to explore a related topic in greater depth.
  • The examination tests the ability to focus on relevant legal issues and organise knowledge and argument appropriate to questions raised. The examination questions will provide the means for students to demonstrate the acquisition of subject knowledge and the development of their problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 normally weekly 1 hour 20
Tutorials 5 normally: two in Michaelmas, three in Epiphany 1 hour 5
Preparation and reading 175

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
written examination 2hrs 30mins 100%
Component: Summative essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

1 written essay of about 1,500 words

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University