Course Objective

a) Subject-specific learning outcomes
Upon completion of the course students should know how different legal
traditions deal with:
• Institutions and substantive law
• Founding concepts and legal methods
• Attitudes towards change and
• Relations with other traditions and peoples.

b) Academic learning outcomes
Upon completion of the course students should be able to:
• Compare legal traditions and set out the rationale behind their major
overlaps and differences
• Apply the core elements of legal traditions as discussed in class to a
concrete societal problem
• Compare the legal dogmatic and empirical approach to research and set
out the main overlaps and differences
• Develop draft research questions regarding different legal traditions
based on the legal dogmatic and empirical approach

c) Social and communication learning outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students should:
• Recognize the impact of tradition and cultural sensitivities on legal
rules and institutions
• Be able to participate in a mixed classroom
• Be able to communicate and cooperate with individuals coming from
different cultures and traditions
• Be culturally reflexive, that is: be able to reflect on her/his own
culture from the perspective of others

d) Study skills and professional orientation
Upon completion of the course, students should:
• understand what is expected of them in terms of professional academic
• be able to read, summarize, and connect different literatures
• be able to work in small teams
• be able to engage in a mixed classroom

Course Content

This course challenges students to think critically about the notion of
diversity at three different levels:
1. At the level of law and legal concepts, students are confronted with
different legal traditions across the world, along the lines set out in
the main course book: institutions and substantive law, founding
concepts and methods, attitudes towards the concept of change and
teachings on relations with other traditions and peoples. In this way,
the course sensitizes students to issues of identity and cultural
readings of law, including issues relating to the colonial past of legal
doctrines and regimes.

2. At the level of research traditions students are challenged to
reflect on the two main approaches they learn in the other courses in
this semester: the legal-dogmatic approach and the empirical cycle.

3. At the level of themselves as a group, students are challenged to
think about what it means to be part of an international, multicultural
group studying law.

As the first course in the program, lasting the whole first semester,
this course also has a social function to bring the students together as
a group, to create a collective identity as a cohort.
This will be accomplished, on the one hand, through the teaching
methods. This course specifically aims to integrate the diversity of
backgrounds within the international classroom and put it to productive
use to discuss and understand the role of diversity. Moreover, students
will work in small teams to elaborate on a specific tradition and are
asked to engage in debates from the different traditions they are
investigating. On the other hand, this course takes on a social
component as students are expected to undertake social events, like
organizing excursions, watching a documentary, inviting a guest speaker
or maybe organize a dinner party inspired by one of the traditions that
we discuss.

The instructors will provide supervision and mentoring to guide these
processes inside and outside the classroom.

Teaching Methods

Seminars (Attendance is mandatory)
Individual coaching and supervision

Method of Assessment



Selected articles and cases

General Information

Course Code R_Divers
Credits 6 EC
Period P1+2+3
Course Level 100
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator dr. J.M. Harte
Examiner dr. J.M. Harte
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Seminar, Study Group