Module Catalogue 2024/25

LAW3050 : Judges and Judging (Inactive)

LAW3050 : Judges and Judging (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Conall Mallory
  • Lecturer: Dr Helene Tyrrell
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment

Open to international exchange students with a Law background.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The Judges and Judging module has the following inter-related aims:

(i) To explore the relationship between legal theory and legal practice, providing you with a detailed understating of the mechanisms through which legal systems and legal actors work.

(iii) To provide you with an understanding of the interplay between different forces on the legal system, including the influences of comparative legal systems.

(iii) To develop your skills through different assessment methods, including unorthodox assessment formats such as conference papers and/or written evidence. This will offer a fringe benefit by way of exposure to the nature of an academic career and further study.

(iv) To encourage your ability to undertake student-centred learning through enhancing your critical analysis, research and problem solving skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

The Judges and Judging module is structured around two main themes:

(i) Judicial Mechanics
• Judicial reasoning: nature of precedent and persuasive authority: domestic / international / other persuasive sources including judicial comparativism. Covers notions of ‘interpretive space’.)
• The politics of the judiciary, judicial reputation, including critiques: e.g. judicial power project.
• Judicial appointments (Commission, diversity etc).
• Judicial legitimacy: ways this is achieved, secured and lost.
• Judicial leadership and judgment styles: dissenting opinions, concurring opinions, composite judgments, leading judgments.

(ii) Judicial Systems
• Canons of interpretation (building on LIM foundation).
• The separation of powers and judicial review (building on Public Law foundation).
• Relationships between courts and institutions, including judicial lobbying and dominance of the executive (comparative).
• Alternative judges, courts, tribunals (inc the judiciary at international tribunals).
• ‘Dialogue’ (courts & parliament; courts & political actors; courts and courts i.e. judicial exchanges, horizontally between other domestic judges and with supranational courts).
• Actors in court, practices statements, juries, interveners (amicus briefs / role of NHRIs & NGOs / actio popularis).

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the course of study, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
• The legal professional context & processes.
• How legal institutions relate to each other.
• The role and power of different legal actors.
• The relationship between legal institutions and third parties / other actors.
• The nature of authority and the status of different legal materials.

These knowledge outcomes should also be supported by:
• The ability to think critically about the nature of legal systems and legal actors.
• The ability to work as part of a group.
• The ability to communicate effectively in written work and in oral presentations.
• The ability to conduct advanced legal research.
• The ability to research and develop a conference length paper or evidence submission.
• The ability to present the results of research orally, using appropriate resources.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module, you should be able to demonstrate:

Cognitive skills:
• Research and develop a conference length paper or evidence submission.
• Critically evaluate the strength of legal sources and the nature of judicial reasoning.
• Demonstrate critical thinking about the nature of legal systems and legal actors.

Transferrable Skills:
• Oral presentation skills: present arguments orally, using appropriate resources / technologies.
• Group work: develop a research project and presentation as part of a team.
• Research: use appropriate resources and engage critically with relevant literature to develop a legal argument.
• Legal Writing: present the results of research and defend an argument in different forms of writing, including blog posts, conference papers and/or memoranda.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops62:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Conference
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1621:00162:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The use of lectures as the dominant form of teaching delivery is justified by the technical nature of the subject and the absence of any overarching textbook to support study. Lectures provide students with an initial exposition to topics in order to assist their knowledge base. Teaching delivery is further facilitated by a series of workshops which use a variety of teaching methods specifically aimed at engaging students’ skills development. This includes presentations, class debates, group work and independent written exercises. Workshops focus on the examination of detailed issues covered in lectures and preparing students for the assessed components of the course. Workshops take place in a continuous collaborative environment which encourages teamwork and develops independence and leadership. Private study constitutes self-directed learning as well as study on the basis of the previously shared workshop questions and material from designated reading lists.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation152M30Presentation at conference event
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M603000 words
Research proposal2M10Conference paper abstract. 500 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MDraft abstract relating to the summative coursework submission. 500 words
Oral Presentation2MIn-class formative presentation in a similar style to the summative presentation in semester 2. 15 minutes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The emphasis on this module is to develop independent critical thinking, analytic and a combination of written and oral presentation skills. The module is strategically aligned to achieve this with an emphasis on the workshops in order to enhance skills development and prepare students for assessments. The module is assessed through three separate components which centre on a student-led conference. Students are assessed through the submission of a conference abstract research proposal (10%), conference presentation (30%) and coursework submission of the conference paper (60%). The submission of each of these units is consequential in order to assist the students’ continuing skills development. Therefore, the abstract will receive detailed feedback before the student gives their conference presentation, which in turn will receive comments from staff and peers before they submit their written conference paper.

Each assessment unit receives focused attention during the workshops with the students having multiple opportunities to practice their abstract writing, conference presentation (individually and as a group) and academic writing skills.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.