4 week Law Taster Programme: The Curious Case of the Flick Knife (open)

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Are you interested in the law? Experience Legal Studies at university by following a real life case, and learn valuable skills!

About this Event

What does the programme cover?

The aim of the programme is to give a taster of university study and it is based on the Certificate in Higher Education (CertHE) in Legal Studies at Birkbeck, which does not have any formal entry requirements.

This programme will introduce you to three fundamental concepts of the English legal system:

  • legislation
  • judicial interpretation
  • case law

You will learn the meaning of critical thinking and argument creation, and how these are used in legal reasoning. Then, you will have the opportunity to apply this learning to a typical legal task – the problem question.

The programme will illustrate the tension between Parliament and the courts; as well as grapple with the question as to whether judges make law.

The programme is not accredited, but those who attend all four sessions will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Who can take part?

This free online 4 week programme delivered by Dr Susy Menis, from Birkbeck's School of Law, is for those with an interest in Law who would like to study the subject at university regardless of your previous education experience. It is open to anyone with no previous experience of university, and is designed for those who have had a break from education.

The course consists of 3 recorded webinars and 4 live online discussions which take place weekly so please ensure you are able to take part in the whole programme if you're signing up as places are limited.

You do not need any particular qualifications or experience to take part, but a curious mind and an interest in the Law would be an advantage!

The programme covers the following:

Week 1: The Common Law - Legislation, Judicial Interpretation and Case Law

Tuesday 17th November 6-7pm

The first webinar introduces the notion of common law and its two meanings; it will then consider how legislation is created in Parliament and finally, how this is applied by the courts. Here, you will consider the different ways judges interpret legislation and the implication of that.

Week 2: Do Judges Make Law? The Case of Fisher v Bell

Tuesday 24th November 6-7pm

Webinar 2 explores the question of whether judges just apply the law or whether they also create it. Here we’ll take the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 and the notorious case of Fisher v Bell (1961) as a case study.

Week 3: Binding Rules and Problem Solving

Tuesday 1st December 6-7pm

Webinar 3 will introduce the skills of academic and legal argument and critical thinking; then, we’ll consider how a lawyer thinks by looking at the process of legal reasoning. Here, you will have the opportunity to practice the important legal skill of applying legal rules to facts. The course is legally oriented, but the skills you will be introduced to are cognitive skills which are transferable to other disciplines and even to the everyday employment framework.

Week 4: Next steps and introduction to CertHE Legal Studies

Tuesday 8th December 6-7pm

The last live online discussion will give you the opportunity to explore your study options and generally what it means to be a university student.

Watch the following video to meet the tutor and find out more!

How do I take part in this programme?

  • Booking a place confirms that you are able to attend all 4 sessions.
  • Places are limited to those who do not have previous experience of university.
  • Each week, we'll send you the webinar to watch in your own time.
  • The online discussion groups will take place live on the dates and times listed above, and you'll need to log in using the link we send you with the webinar video. There is no need to register for the software, it will just ask you for your name.
  • The online discussion will be a chance to speak to others, talk about your own ideas and opinions based on what you have watched and heard during the webinars and ask any questions about the content.

What if I'm not confident with digital technology or don't have a computer?

We understand that it can be daunting to learn online especially if it's something you haven't done before. You might also have worries about how it fits in with other commitments or whether you have the right technology to take part.

All the content we share including the live sessions are accessible via smart phone.

We also offer additional support including the chance to be linked up with a digital mentor who can walk you through how to take part in the live session. Please tell us about any worries you have about accessing course content when you fill out the sign up form.

Please log on 10-15 minutes before each weekly session to make sure there are no technical issues with your connection. We will also arrange an opportunity for you to practise using the software before the programme starts, for those who would like that additional assistance.

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Accessibility information

Please contact us in advance of the event at getstarted@bbk.ac.uk with your accessibility requirements so that we can ensure you will be able to get the most from these online events. For example, having a BSL interpreter or any other support.

We would also recommend looking at AbilityNet for individual adjustments you can make to your computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone to make it easier to use.

You will need to fill out a form in order to sign up for this event. Please make it clear in this form if you need additional digital support.

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