Sociology of the law

ldrop2152  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Sociology of the law
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
30.0 h
De Munck Jean; Ringelheim Julie;
Main themes
This course aims to recognise and situate the role of legal rules in the social context, and present the way in which sociology addresses and studies social phenomena in relation to the legal framework of a particular society. The course teaches students to recognise real social phenomena to which the formal legal rule relates, and to analyse the way in which this rule applies to define, regulate or prohibit those phenomena. The theoretical approach will be accompanied by the presentation of the results of the main empirical research. The course will cover the main relevant sociological concepts for an approach to social phenomena which are subject to regulation by the law. It considers the social processes of construction of the legal rule, and the complex relationship between social phenomena and the evolution of the law. It takes account of the issue of the way the people as a whole respond to the law (representations, knowledge, compliance with the law, modification of behaviour, etc.), its application by the authorities (judicial practices, sentencing, etc.) and its effects. It will present certain sociological aspects connected with the various fields of law, in particular family law, social law, commercial law, penal law, health law, etc.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The course aims to enable students to place an abstract legal rule in its social context and ascribe to it elements of empirical knowledge relating to the social processes of construction of and reaction to the legal rule. This course forms part of a coherent option of three courses. The lecturers of the courses in this option form a teaching team: they consult beforehand about the content and methods of each course in order to ensure that they are complementary. The course is based on participative teaching methods (learning through projects or problem-solving, commentaries on case law or legal doctrine, discussions with invited speakers, field studies …) enabling the student to develop a critical, forward-looking and inventive outlook with complete impartiality. Students are encouraged to participate in the course and become involved in the learning process, which has an individual yet collective dimension. With this in mind, the lecturers of the various options consult beforehand within the Faculty on the subject of the teaching methods used.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [60] in Sociology and Anthropology

Master [120] in Law

Master [120] in Sociology

Master [120] in Law (shift schedule)