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LAW1240 : Administrative Law and Human Rights

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Francesco De Cecco
  • Lecturer: Professor Rhona Smith
  • 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


The module introduces students to the law relating to the accountability of government and the rights of the citizen against the state. Topics include government accountability to parliament; human rights; and judicial review of government. The central aims are:

1) To acquire knowledge and understanding of the general principles of Administrative Law and the protection of human rights in the UK.

2) To interpret, explain and evaluate the process of applying for judicial review, the parties to a judicial review, the grounds for judicial review, and remedies.

3) To explain and evaluate the nature of judicial review within the context of administrative law, politics, and constitutional theory.

4) To understand and evaluate the protection of human rights and civil liberties in the UK, being able to situate it within the context of administrative law, politics, and constitutional theory.

5) To explain and evaluate the relationship between the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA).

6) To explain and evaluate the nature of judicial reasoning under the HRA, as well as the parties to a HRA challenge and the possible remedies.

7) To explain and evaluate the debate relating to the future of the protection of human rights and civil liberties in the UK.

Outline Of Syllabus

The specific knowledge base will extend to the following:

Judicial Review

• Judicial review as a mechanism of legal accountability and relationship with other features of administrative law.
• The nature of judicial review, in the context of the UK constitution.
• The grounds for judicial review.
• Applying for judicial review: standing, amenability and procedure.
• Remedies for judicial review.

Human Rights

• The protection of human rights and civil liberties.
• The European Convention on Human Rights.
• The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998).
• Judicial Reasoning under the Human Rights Act 1998.
• Challenges under the HRA 1998: standing, amenability, remedies.
• Reform or changes to the protection of human rights in the UK.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials40:302:00A combination of short recordings of lecture material and text.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00In person lectures on substantive class content.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion671:0067:00Preparation and completion of two assessments.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities80:152:00Multiple Choice Quizzes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00In-person seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Feedback on students' assessed work.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00Combination of own reading and revision of substantive module content.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods have been adapted for delivery in the post-COVID environment and are based on the presumption that some in person lectures, seminars and in-person drop-in sessions shall be possible but that this shall need to be supplemented by on-line materials hosted on Canvas (alternative arrangements under ‘FLEX’ are included in case of the possibility of more limited possibilities for on Campus teaching).

Lectures (or an online version if required) provide an overview of the background and main principles, examples of reasoning methods, and an introduction to the main controversial issues. In-person lectures will be supported with structured online guidance and activities.

Lecture materials are recorded materials used to introduce or scaffold material covered during in-person or online lectures, or provide guidance on assessment components.

Seminars (small group teaching) provide the opportunity to develop oral, interpretation and evaluative skills. Discussion is structured to consider questions focusing on key principles and problem areas. Some seminars will use problem style questions, providing opportunities for group-based in-depth skills and knowledge development in relation to the application of the law to complex factual scenarios. Other seminars will focus discussion around debate propositions or essay style statements. These seminar components will provide practice opportunities ahead of the formative and summative assessments. There will be four one-hour small group sessions during the semester. All seminars will be synchronous events (whether online or present-in-person).

Skills practice / quizzes will support the lecture materials by providing structured non-synchronous discussion. Each MCQ may be completed within 15 minutes. These MCQs will provide an instant check on understanding and will include feedback or guidance relevant to individual performances. These will contribute to formative activities ahead of the summative assessments.

Drop-in/Surgery sessions reflect the Law School assessment and feedback policy such that markers will offer the opportunity for one-to-one oral feedback on students' assessed work. The time given is indicative; more time may be scheduled if necessary, to meet the demand for individual feedback.

Independent study takes the form of directed study around lectures and seminars, as well as the research and writing of coursework. Students are also encouraged to undertake further self-directed research.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1352A100Inspera Digital Exam. Answer 2 questions from a choice of 5.
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 exercise2MStudents will be required to write an essay of 1500 words, in answer to a hypothetical problem question.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment is comprised of an unseen written examination in which to answer 2 questions from a choice of 5. There will be one compulsory problem question (following the format of the formative assessment). This provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a broad range of topics within the syllabus.

The formative assessment will address a fictitious problem scenario. Students will be required to research and apply knowledge of administrative law to draft relevant legal advice. The final written assessment requires students to answer one compulsory problem question (following the format of the formative assessment) and one other essay style question. These assessments engage research, interpretation and evaluative skills, as well as the ability to write with care and precision.

Structured online learning activities and small group teaching sessions have been designed to focus on the skills development necessary for both the formative and summative work. Further, this module builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the pre-requisite module (Constitutional law) and both assessments mirror the format of assessments in other modules in the same stage of study.

Reading Lists