LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Dr John Sorabji Other Teachers: N/A


This module provides a detailed study of the fundamental principles of Civil Justice.

It is a programme of study about the fundamental questions and issues of principle common to all civil justice systems. As such it critically examines the various theories of procedural justice from Bentham to contemporary theories; procedure's relationship with substantive law, the manner in which the principles which underpin theories of procedural justice are given concrete expression in civil justice systems, through judicial-decision making and the right to fair trial guaranteed at common law and under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The module enables students to examine problems that arise in individual aspects of any civil justice system through a consideration of principle. It does so, primarily, through examining the approach taken to specific aspects of procedure within the English civil justice system, and the manner in which principle has shaped, and been applied to reform, them. It also calls for a degree of comparative study, particularly of Commonwealth, United States and civilian systems.


Term 1

  1. Introduction to Civil Justice
  2. Theories of Procedural Justice
  3. Bentham’s theory of Judicial Procedure
  4. Justice as Accuracy
  5. The Woolf reforms and a new approach to procedural justice
  6. Adversarial process and effective active case management
  7. The right to fair trial – I
  8. The right to fair trial – II
  9. Collective or Class Proceedings – I
  10. Collective or Class Proceedings – II

Term 2

  1. Disclosure
  2. Privilege from Disclosure – I
  3. Privilege from Disclosure – II
  4. Interim Relief
  5. Expert Evidence
  6. Costs and Funding – I
  7. Costs and Funding – II
  8. Appeals and Finality of Litigation
  9. Alternatives to Civil Justice – ADR
  10. Revision Session

Background Reading (optional):

  • John Sorabji, English Civil Justice after Woolf and Jackson (2014)
  • Neil Andrews, The Three Paths of Justice, (2012)
These books contain an overview of the issues discussed in the module.

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: None
Previous module enrolments: Small – less than 15 students
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisities: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core Module for LLM specialism: Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Final Assessment: 3-hour unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: Students will have the opportunity to complete up to two practice essays during the course.

This page was last updated on 8 July, 2014


The application process for the 2015-16 academic session is now open.

Please note, for the 2015-16 intake, we are not accepting the TOEFL test. If you have an English condition to meet, you must take one of the alternative tests listed here instead.