Bachelor in Law and French (LL.B. (ling. franc.))
“Laws are made for human beings, not human beings for laws.”
Portalis, co-author of the French Civil Code
There are two major legal systems in the world, usually called “Civil Law” and “Common Law”. Common Law is originally the English system, and is now the system of all the nations of the former British Empire. More or less the rest of the world governed by the rule of Law has a Civil Law system. Among Civil Law systems, there are two major sub-systems: the French one and the German one. Some countries adopted the German legal system, often mixed with the French system, like Switzerland, Netherland, Turkey, Japan. But most of the countries of the world adopted the French system, based on the Code Civil: most of Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Eastern European countries, …), the whole South and Central America, parts of North America (Louisiana and Québec), African countries that are not part of the Commonwealth (Senegal, Algeria, Tunisia, …), some near or middle-East countries (Lebanon, Iran, …), more and more Asian countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, …).
Therefore, studying the Law of a Civil Law country, and especially studying French Law, means, for a lawyer coming from a Common Law country like Ireland, connecting with the rest of the world and being able to think differently about law.
France is the country of Victor Hugo, Pasteur, Descartes, Debussy, Monet, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and many other authors of outstanding achievements. In this degree you will learn about the culture from which these achievements emerged.
Applicants to Law and French should note that the course is as demanding as it is engaging. New entrants are not expected to be fluent, since they will develop their language skills through the degree, but they will need to work hard to reach a sufficient level in French Law (and in French) to go abroad in third year. Learning a whole different way of thinking about Law, in an other language, and a whole second set of rules is difficult, so prospective students should apply to the programme only if they are strongly motivated. The class sizes are small, fostering a close collegial relationship with peers and members of the faculty.
The programme aims to encourage critical analysis of the Law and to foster deep appreciation of French language and culture, French Law and the Law in general.
Professor Kouroch Bellis, Director of the Law and French Programme
The first two years (Freshman) are given over to the study of core legal modules (many of which are required for those who wish later to train as professional lawyers). In the Freshman years of the programme, we ensure that the balance is appropriately divided between the academic and practical aspects of law. This is achieved through the unique Foundations of Law taught in the first two years of the programme.
In addition you will have, in Junior Freshman year, two French Law courses focusing on the foundations of French Law, and a yearly French grammar language course in order to improve your language skills from the beginning of the programme.
In Senior Freshman year, you will have modules of French Law in order to prepare you for the year abroad, and a French language course.
In the Junior Sophister year (third year) you will spend the year abroad at a French university. You will have the choice, and have priority among LLB students, among some of the leading French Universities, all located in picturesque places: Panthéon-Assas Paris II University (member of Sorbonne University), Toulouse University, Bordeaux University, Montpellier University, Strasbourg University.
For your final year (Senior Sophister) you will choose modules from a variety of aspects of law, offering you, if you wish so, the advantage of early specialisation. In addition, you will have the opportunity to choose French culture modules.
During your course of studies at Trinity, you will have the opportunity to take all the modules currently required for entry to the professional bodies in Ireland (see Career and Postgraduate Opportunities).
How many hours of teaching are involved?
The academic year is divided into two teaching semesters (terms) with examinations, when applicable, taking place at the end of the second semester. Each teaching semester is of 12 weeks duration, with a reading/study week taking place in the 7th week of both semesters. Students complete 60 ECTS of modules each year, usually 30 ECTS in each semester. In the first two years, each module is 10 ECTS. In the third year, students study at a French university. In the final year, some modules are 5 ECTS and some modules are 10 ECTS. In addition to lectures, Freshman students must attend 4 seminars in each law module. Attendance at law seminars is also required for some Sophister modules.
Semesters - The teaching semesters are referred to as Michaelmas Term (first semester) and Hilary Term (second semester). Annual Examinations take place after the end of Hilary Term. The examinations period is referred to as Trinity Term.
Lectures involve a mix of the Socratic method (where students must answer questions based on pre-assigned reading), class discussion, and more traditional lecturing. Seminars are entirely discussion-based. Seminars are taught by academic staff, post-graduate students or by practising solicitors or barristers with particular expertise in the area.
European Credit Transfers
Students reading for any law degree at Trinity College Dublin must study 240 ECTs over the duration of the four years. Generally, this entails 60 ECTs per year. The ECTS weighting for a module is a measure of the student input or workload required for that module, based on factors such as the number of contact hours, the number and length of written or verbally presented assessment exercises, class preparation and private study time, classes, and examinations. There is no intrinsic relationship between the credit volume of a module and its level of difficulty. In Trinity College Dublin, 1 ECTS unit is defined as 20-25 hours of student input so a 10-credit module will be designed to require 200-250 hours of student input including class contact time, private study and assessments.
Having successfully completed this programme, students should be able to:
- Identify, evaluate and synthesise jurisprudential theories and concepts;
- Use appropriate legal theories, doctrines and concepts to identify, formulate, analyse and solve legal problems within national and international contexts;
- Understand the relationship between law and society, including the role of law in promoting and responding to social change;
- Conduct effective and targeted research in case law, legislation and academic legal commentary at both the national and international levels;
- Discuss and debate different perspectives on legal problems, theories and doctrines;
- Communicate effectively in oral and written modes in professional and academic settings and work effectively in multi-disciplinary settings;
- Demonstrate flexibility, adaptability and independence in order to engage productively with a changing social, cultural and technological environment;
- Have the capacity to engage in life-long learning, including vocational training for the legal profession.
For descriptions of each of the modules below, please visit the module page.
Junior Freshman Year
- Constitutional law I
- Criminal law
- Foundations of law
- French legal tradition
- French law of Persons and Goods
- French Written language
Senior Freshman Year
- Law of torts
- Land law
- Private law remedies
- French Law of Persons and Goods II
- French Law of Obligations
- French Family Law
- French written and spoken language
Junior Sophister Year
Compulsory Year Abroad, see Junior Sophister year abroad for further details.
Senior Sophister Year
- French Report Writing (compulsory)
For the Senior Sophister year (2017-18) students must choose 55 optional modules from the following list:
Optional French modules:
- Essay Writing Skills (FR4034 - 10 ECTS)
- Counter-Revolution (FR4037 - 10 ECTS)
- Language and Society in the French Speaking World: Status, Diversity and Function (FR4043 - 10 ECTS)
- French Cinema Perspectives (FR4048 - 10 ECTS)
- Madness and Literature (FR4062 - 10 ECTS)
- Advanced EU law
- Administrative law
- Child law (5 ECTS)
- Commercial law
- Company law
- Conflict of laws
- Constitutional law II
- Corporate Governance (5 ECTS)
- Clinical Legal Education
- Critical Perspectives on Law (5 ECTS)
- Current Issues in Constitutional law (5 ECTS)
- Economics and Legal Aspects of Competition Policy
- Employment law
- English land law
- Environmental law
- Equality law
- EU law
- European human rights
- Financial services law
- Information technology law
- Intellectual property law
- International Human Rights
- Media law
- Medical law and ethics
- Penology (5 ECTS)
- Public Interest
- Public International law
- Private law theory (5 ECTS)
- Tax law
Law and French Programme Director (Law) - Kouroch Bellis
Undergraduate Course Office:
School of Law, House 39, New Square,Trinity College, Dublin 2
Tel (Country Code + 353) (01) 896 1125/1278; Fax (Country Code + 353) (01) 677 0449; Email law.school at tcd.ie