Public University of Navarre

Academic year: 2019/2020 | Previous academic years:  2018/2019  |  2017/2018 
Double Bachelor's degree in Management, Business Administration and Law (international program) at the Universidad Pública de Navarra
Course code: 177101 Subject title: PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF LAW
Credits: 6 Type of subject: Basic Year: 1 Period: 1º S
Department: Derecho
URDANOZ GANUZA, JORGE (Resp)   [Mentoring ]

Partes de este texto:


Module/Subject matter

Basic. Philosophy.



The existence of the law has always been a matter of philosophical reflection. Which are the differences between law and justice? What requirements must observe a particular obligation to be considered "law"? Which are the differences between law and other normative orders, as tradition or religious faith? Which must be the foundation of the laws? Is it possible to disobey an unfair law?

Philosophy and theory of law deals with these issues and many others. Since it is a philosophical discipline, its distinctive feature is precisely its radicalism. It does not examine the surface of the legality or the mere existence of legal codes, but questions its origin, its meaning, its foundation, its possibilities for improvement, etc.



Concept of Law, Juridical Norm, Theories of Justice, Democracy, Human Rights. 


General proficiencies

C.G.01.- Analysis and synthesis

C.G.16.- Autonomous learning

C.G.02.- Organization and planning

C.G.22.- Capacity of reasoning and reflection


Specific proficiencies

CE a8 Capacity of legal relationship and argumentation.

CE a9 Capacity of legal reasoning and basic juridical reflection.

CE a1 Capacity to read and to interpret basic legal texts

CE a5 Capacity to examine and to summarize basic legal questions. 


Learning outcomes

  • Building the capacity of analysis and synthesis and conceptual relationship
  • Development of logical and coherent reasoning
  • To facilitate the exercise of critical sense
  • Develop skills and abilities to search for legal information
  • Easily search criteria and guidelines for the selection of knowledge
  • Ability to compare, contrast and draw synthetic conclusions arguments
  • Learning transmission of ideas, analysis of problems and proposed solutions
  • Learn to recognize the law as a regulatory and disciplinary system of social relations and its role in social life.
  • Ability to distinguish and compare different regulatory systems, and to evaluate them
  • Become aware of the unitary and structured legal system and the need for an interdisciplinary view of the most relevant legal problems.
  • To know and understand the concept of sources of law and the various modes of creation, interpretation and application of law.
  • To develop critical abilities and to analyze the relationship between law, power and ideology from an historical point of view.
  • Knowledge of the most relevant theoretical responses to problems of values such as justice, freedom and legal certainty.
  • Learning of argumentation and reasoning about the validity and legitimacy obedience of legal norms.
  • Ability to develop a logical and coherent reasoning about nuclear legal issues.
  • To interpret the tradition of Philosophy of Law and its historical foundation, paying especial attention to political, cultural and social presuppositions. 



Methodology - Activity Classroom hours Non classroom hours
Lectures 30  
Practice 30 15
Reading   25
Individual study   36
Exams, evaluation tests 02  
Individual classes 02  
Computer Skills for Lawyers On-line Course 04 10
Total 64 86



Learning outcomes Evaluation method Weight (%)
R142, R145, R160, R161, R16, R44, R1, R96, R135, R118, R19, R43, R105. Attendance and participation in Lectures and practical exercises. 10%
R40, R20, R142, R145, R160, R137, R161, R16, R44, R1, R96, R135, R118, R19, R43, R105. Papers throughout the semester. 35%
R145, R160, R161, R16, R44, R1, R135, R118, R19, R105, R43. Final test. 50%
R137. On line course evaluation. 5%



The course is organized around six major modules which include some of the big questions of the reflection about law. Each of those modules originates many other contents.

1 - What is law? Fundamentals of Theory of Law.

Rules, their structure and classes. Rules and principles. Primary and secondary rules. The logic of law. Vagueness, imprecision and other formal properties.

2 - Is there any moral content in law? Law, Morality and Religion.

Law, morality, religion and social traditions. Natural law, positivism. Formalism, realism, normativism.

3 - Is it compulsory to obey the law? The matter of dissent.

Law and justice. Obedience to law. Theories of civil disobedience. Voluntarism and the hypothesis of consent. Legal utilitarianism. Kantian perspective.

4 - Is punishment justified? If so, what punishment is fair? Why?

Penal proportionality. Neutrality of the law. Paternalism and protectionism. The liberal theory. Dignity and authority.

5 - Should judges interpret law? How?

The problem of argumentation and the role of the judge. The legal argument. Rights and democracy.

6 - Law, Theory of Democracy and Human Rights.

Human rights. Law, sovereignty and cosmopolitanism. The role of values. Legal and political constitutionalism.



Access the bibliography that your professor has requested from the Library.

There is not an official textbook for the subject. The notes taken in class should be sufficient to pass the final test in January.

Secondary bibliography will be provided every day with each topic. You should use that bibliography to prepare your final paper. 

You can use the following books as an introduction to the course:

- Philosophy of Law: a very short introduction. Raymond Wacks. Oxford University Press, 2006.

- Arguing About Law, Aileen Kavanagh and John Oberdiek. Routledge, 2009






Arrosadia campus, UPNA, Pamplona.