ACCESS TO JUSTICE - 2020/1

Module code: LAW3137

Module Overview

This module provides students with a theoretical understanding of social justice and welfare issues in the UK, while acknowledging that access to justice is central for the rule of law to operate effectively. It assesses the inadequacies of the legal system resulting from cuts to legal aid and local authority funding to the advice sector. The module examines the challenges of making legal services and the justice system more accessible, including an analysis of the wider social and economic issues impacting on sustainable development. Students will evaluate best practice across the legal and justice sectors, the role of lawyers, and ways in which access to justice can be enhanced. Students will explore whether technology is critical to improving access to law, justice and rights, examining the benefits and obstacles to technology in the justice and legal sector. The module contains a clinical legal education element, Streetlaw, where students design interactive presentations.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

WILLIAMS Elizabeth (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: M200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 50

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to access to justice, social policy and the rule of law
Concept and methodology of Streetlaw
History of legal aid, local authority funding and limitations of access to justice
Access to Justice and Sustainable Development
Social justice and legal education
Legal empowerment, pro bono and the provision of legal services
Technology applicable to the access to justice sector
Technology, innovation, barriers and benefits, including regulatory concerns (data protection)
Reforms and the future of access to justice

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1000 Word Reflective Streetlaw Essay 30
Coursework 2000 Word Essay 70

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

• Knowledge and understanding of topics covered in seminars
• Understanding of key access to justice issues and evaluation of complex theoretical perspectives
• Critical engagement and reasoned analysis
• Evaluation and synthesis of the wider social/moral/ethical context
• Analytical ability; to draw appropriate conclusions, based upon analysis of the issues raised by the questions.
• Critical engagement in scholarly debate
The assessment method addresses all learning outcomes listed above.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

2000 Word Essay – 70%
1000 Word Reflective Streetlaw Essay – 30%

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will undertake 2 x formative assessments – 1000 word essay and 500 word Streetlaw reflection. Students will receive individual written feedback and verbal group feedback on their formative assessments.

‘The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.’

Module aims

  • To provide an overview of social and welfare issues in the UK
  • Examine the nature of access to justice in its broadest sense
  • Identify the barriers and limitations to access to justice
  • Understand and appreciate that access to justice is central to the rule of law
  • Evaluate the wider issues relating to access to justice and the impact on sustainable development
  • Encourage the consideration of substantive law within the broader economic, social and political context
  • Examine dispute resolution and the economic and social inequality in access to justice
  • Critically assess whether technology can be harnessed to improve access to justice

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critically evaluate the fundamentals of the access to justice sector from a practical and theoretical viewpoint CK
002 Assess the provision of community legal services in the UK CK
003 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of interrelated concepts, social policy, access to justice and the rule of law CK
004 Identify and critically evaluate the professional and ethical issues involved in the workings of the justice system CK
005 Analyse the wider social and economic issues relating to access to justice and the impact on sustainable development CK
006 Understand the impact of unmet legal and justice needs on individuals and the community CKPT
007 • Evaluate innovative ways in which access to justice can be improved and equally available to all CKPT
008 • Understand the benefits and barriers to technology adoption and application in the justice and legal sector CK
009 • Critically assess reform proposals and recommendations related to access to justice CK
010 Undertake directed legal research to locate relevant materials CKPT
011 Demonstrate co-ordination, collaboration, and effective team work skills PT
012 Apply acquired knowledge to solve problems CKPT
013 Demonstrate independent research and study skills CKPT
014 Communicate legal arguments, orally and in writing CKPT
015 Understand how the law works in society and develop professional responsibility CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 117

Seminar Hours: 33

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy follows a problem-based learning methodology.
This module will be delivered through interactive Seminars, rather than traditional lectures and tutorials, with a clinical related element, in the form of a community-based project, Streetlaw. Practitioners and experts from the advice sector will be invited as guest speakers to contribute towards discussions that take place during the seminars.
The learning and teaching methods would typically comprise:
3 hour seminars X 11 weeks

During seminars, students will work in small groups to research, design and prepare their Streetlaw presentation


These sessions are delivered in collaboration with the Library and learning resources team to demonstrate the practical elements of legal skills and research.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for ACCESS TO JUSTICE : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/law3137

Other information

None

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.