• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site
Contacts

Address: 17 Promyshlennaya ul., room 305, 198099, Saint Petersburg

Phone/fax: (812) 785-25-40

Email: urdekanat@hse.spb.ru; gpipkaf@hse.spb.ru

Administration
Book
Russia and the European Court of Human Rights: The Strasbourg Effect

Antonov M., Starzhenetsky V., Malksoo L. et al.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Article
The Principle of Relativity in the Post-Classical Theory of Law
In press

Самохина Е. Г., Честнов И. Л.

Journal of Siberian Federal University. Series: Humanities & Social Sciences. 2020. Vol. 13. No. 1. P. 42-49.

Book chapter
The Russian Constitutional Court as a Mediating Link Between Russian and European Law?

Antonov M.

In bk.: European Yearbook on Human Rights. Intersentia, 2019. P. 547-566.

Working paper
Religion, Sexual Minorities and the Rule of Law in Russia: Mutual Challenges

Antonov M.

Political Science. PS. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. WP BRP 45/PS/2017 .

The methodology of judicial decisions

2019/2020
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
4
ECTS credits
Type:
Elective course
When:
4 year, 3 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the key features of drafting judicial decisions, with the overview of the most important approaches to legal reasoning and legal interpretation
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • formation of the students' understanding of the essence and content of a court decision, main stages of its drafting, provide awareness of the significance of the judge’s profession and its role in modern society
  • formation in the students of the skills of legal thinking, argumentation and justification
  • introducing to the students the peculiarities of legal logic and teaching them the practical application of its tools
  • teaching students practical methods of interpreting legal norms and principles, overcoming gaps in legislation
  • developing students' basic skills of professional activity, ability to work with documents, competently use regulatory material
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • formation of the students' understanding of the essence and content of a court decision, main stages of its drafting, provide awareness of the significance of the judge’s profession and its role in modern society
  • formation in the students of the skills of legal thinking, argumentation and justification
  • introducing to the students the peculiarities of legal logic and teaching them the practical application of its tools
  • teaching students practical methods of interpreting legal norms and principles, overcoming gaps in legislation
  • developing students' basic skills of professional activity, ability to work with documents, competently use regulatory material
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to the course "The methodology of judicial decisions". General methodology of judicial decision-making
    Subject, goals and objectives of the course, methodology. Different approaches to understanding the court decision. Court decisions in different legal systems. Quality of judgment. Criteria for a quality of judgment. Legality, validity and fairness of a court decision. Consistency and correctness of a court decision. Goals and objectives of the judicial decision
  • The structure of a judicial decision
    Compliance with the logical and semantic sequence in the presentation of court decisions. Parts of the decision in Russian legal acts on procedure law: introductory, descriptive, motivating and operative parts of the court decision. Parts of the decision in Western legal practice: heading, prior history, disposition, case summary and headnotes, decision, summary, syllabus, counsel, opinion. Content and normative requirements. Unity of form and content in the court decision
  • The general logic of a judicial decision
    Significance of logic for drafting of a judgment. Features of legal logic. Legal syllogism. Legal logic in dealing with issues of fact. Legal logic in resolving issues of law. Regulatory logic of the court decision
  • Resolving issues of fact in the process of drafting a judicial decision
    Evidence and proof. Verification and selection of evidence. Examination of evidence. Evaluation of evidence. Inner conviction of the judge. Techniques for working with evidence. Selection of evidence on the basis of relational technique
  • Resolving issues of law in the process of drafting a judicial decision
    Search for a legal norm during the preparation of a court decision. Legal norms and regulatory prescriptions. Reconstruction of the structure of a legal norm. Verification of the validity of a legal norm. Collisions and gaps in law. Overcoming gaps in law during the decision-making process. Resolution of legal conflicts
  • Interpretation of law in the process of justifying judge’s opinion
    Interpretative activity and its essence. Interpretation as clarification. Interpretation as explanation. Features of interpretation of texts as hermeneutic activity. Reflection of the personality traits of the interpreter in results of interpretation. Subject of interpretation. Types and methods of interpretation. Result of interpretation. Search for the ideal meaning of legal norms and requirement of proportionality
  • Problems of drafting judicial decisions
    Failure to comply with regulatory requirements for judicial decisions. Errors in drafting of the judgment. Incorrect assessment of the actual circumstances of the case. Errors in establishing and describing the facts. Non-conformity of a court judgement with facts of the case . Incorrect application of law. Errors in structuring decisions
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Homework: report+presentation
    Homework is performed in the third module. 1) The purpose of homework is to check the student’s skills to work competently with normative material, to present their opinions logically and reasonably. 2) Homework consists in drafting a court document (opinion) based on the assignment provided by the teacher. Requirements for the form and content of the opinion are formulated by the instructor during the lectures and in the framework of work on seminars. At a special lesson, the document must be presented in the form of an oral report and answers to the questions. 3) The wordage of homework - up to 20,000 signs (including spaces and punctuation marks). 4) Homework is performed in writing outside the classroom and is delivered to the teacher in a pre-announced time frame.
  • non-blocking Exam
    The exam is held in the third module. 1) The purpose of the exam is to check students' knowledge of the discussed topics, their ability to perform the tasks accurately, to draw up court decisions on various categories of cases, their knowledge of relevant legal terminology and skills in working with legal texts. 2) The exam consists of two tasks: 1) identifying the subject and problems of the legal document proposed by the instructor, analyzing this document, proposing own solution to the issue to which the document is dedicated; 2) preparation of a judicial document (or part thereof) on the proposed issues. 3) The student must fulfill these tasks competently and logically. The exam is held in writing. 4) The exam is held within 60 minutes. 5) The overall grade (on a 10-point scale) for the exam is given as a sum of grades for 2 tasks.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.6 * Exam + 0.4 * Homework: report+presentation
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Popkin, W. D. (2007). Evolution of the Judicial Opinion : Institutional and Individual Styles. New York: NYU Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=219457
  • Posner, R. A. (2017). Legal Research and Practical Experience. University of Chicago Law Review, 84(1), 239–248. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=asn&AN=123123530

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Frost, M. H. (2016). Introduction to Classical Legal Rhetoric : A Lost Heritage. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1480745
  • Relis, T. (2009). Perceptions in Litigation and Mediation : Lawyers, Defendants, Plaintiffs, and Gendered Parties. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=273773