LAW10470 Comparative Study of Law

Academic Year 2022/2023

The aim of this module in Comparative Study of Law is to provide students with a general knowledge of the comparative approach for studying law. Comparative law is a unique legal subject in that it does not concern, in and of itself, any established legal products on its own, such as comparative rules or comparative jurisprudence. In that sense, comparative law may be distinguished from international law. One cannot locate any statutes or court decisions citing or referencing comparative law per se. Rather, comparative law is a field of legal study related to a methodology, or an approach, in probing and understanding other ( i.e., foreign) legal systems and/or legal cultures. The module will focus on the methodology of comparative law, in the field of comparative constitutional law in particular. Students will be provided with a syllabus and a general reading list at the start of the trimester. Students will be given specific readings and tasks to prepare for each lecture. This module will use Brightspace.

This module fits within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN, with SDG Number 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions in particular.

Further instructions will be given in the Module Handbook which will be posted on Brightspace one week before the first due class.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, diligent students should:
1. have gained a general knowledge of comparative law and comparative constitutional law methodologies and approaches;
2. be able to relate Irish (or another referent system) legal system and constitutional (and political) experience to a broader range of legal and constitutional systems;
3. have acquired research skills in comparative law and comparative constitutional studies;
4. have developed the ability to express themselves on comparative law and comparative constitutional legal issues in writing, and orally through the presentation of a group project;
5. have further developed the ability to work individually and as part of a group.

Diligent students should also be able to study in situ (face to face) or remotely (online) using appropriate technological means including Brightspace.

Indicative Module Content:

Substantively, the course falls into three parts: examination of Comparative law methodology (first part); examination of comparative constitutional law methodology; exploration of key constitutional issues in a comparative perspective such as constitutional foundations (i.e., definition and classification of constitutions, constitutional design and reform), the organisation of power (i.e., principle of democracy, separation of powers principle, national sovereignty, parliamentary and presidential systems, federal and unitary states), aspects of constitutional justice (i.e., structure and role of the judiciary, rights of citizens with models of rights protection, comparative forms of judicial review) (second part) in order to help with the writing of the group project (third part).

Guest speakers specialised in the comparative study of law may be invited to deliver a guest seminar as part of the trimester schedule.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The key teaching and learning approaches used in this module will include interactive lectures, critical discussions and problem-based learning. Students must come prepared having read before class the worksheet and readings posted on Brightspace. The teaching activities will take place in situ (face to face) or remotely (online) depending on the circumstances. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Journal: Learning Journal (four entries required on pre-indicated themes, 2,000 words) Week 8 n/a Graded No


Group Project: Writing of provisions of a fictitious constitution on a pre-determined topic (1,500 words) Week 10 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given on two occasions during T1 to students in LAW10470 Comparative Study of Law: - Prior to the submission of their Learning Journal, students will be given individual feedback on their Journal entries, including their entry on the planning of their group project. The feedback will be given in writing via Brightspace. - After the delivery of their Group Project, each group will be given relevant collective feedback on the content of their project and also on the way it was presented. More details will be made available in the Module Handbook.