Learning Legal Rules: A Student's Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning

Learning Legal Rules: A Student's Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning

by James A. Holland, Julian S. Webb


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Among the many new skills law students have to acquire, using legal materials and solving legal problems are possibly the most important. It was with this in mind that the authors wrote this book which could be used to support a course of study in legal method, or be used as a self-teaching guide to the subject.

The aim of the authors has been to bring together the theory, structure and practice of legal reasoning in a readily accessible style. The book explains how to uncover and exploit the mysteries of legal materials. This is then used to draw the student into the techniques of legal analysis and argument and the operation of precedent and statutory interpretation. Each chapter includes practical self-testing exercises designed to support the text. Throughout the book the authors also examine the permeating influence of EC law and the legal method employed by the Continental legal systems.

This edition incorporates additional material on legal research and has been updated to take account of further developments in statutory interpretation and European law.

James Holland is co-author of "Information, Protection, Ownership and Rights".

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781854311092
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/01/1991
Pages: 241
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

James Holland is a Professor of Law and the Associate Dean in the Faculty of Law at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Prior to this he worked for the Engineering Employers' West of England Association. He is also co-author of Blackstone's Legal Practice Course Guide: Employment Law. Julian Webb is Professor of Law at the University of Westminster and an Academic Adviser to the Bar Council on legal education and training. He was formerly Principal Lecturer and Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has published widely on the legal profession, legal ethics, and lawyers' skills, and is co-author of Blackstone's Legal Practice Course Guide: Lawyers' Skills.

Table of Contents

Part 1 What is law?:
why ask "what is law?"
the courts
English law and the European Community. Part 2 Finding the law:
getting started
literary sources
finding cases
finding and updating legislation
finding EC law
using computerized information retrieval systems. Part 3 Reading the law:
reading statutes
reading cases
reading books and articles
from reading to writing. Part 4 Law, fact and language:
law and fact
law and language
fact, language and the judicial construction of cases. Part 5 The doctrine of judicial precedent:
the mechanics of stare decisis
House of Lords
the Court of Appeal
other courts. Part 6 How precedent operates:
ratio decidendi and obiter dictum
trying to define raio decidendi
perception and ratio
how precedents develop
material facts
what can happen to a case?
postal rule cases. Part 7 The drafting of statutes:
the problems of drafting in English law
European legislative drafting
the style of Community legislation. Part 8 Interpreting statutes - the rules:
the literal rule
the golden rule
the mischief rule
secondary aids to construction
from rules to reality
interpretation and the European Community
interpreting secondary legislation. Part 9 Exploiting legal reasoning:
logic and legal reasoning
the limits of logic
the decision analysis method. Part 10 European legal method:
part I - the sources of Community law
direct applicability and direct and indirect effect
the institutions
part II - analytical techniques employed by European lawyers
legalmethod in the Court of Justice
the effect of EC law on drafting and interpretation of UK legislation.

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