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Regular version of the site

Principles of Law

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
2 year, 3, 4 module


Course Syllabus


Introduction to Law is a half course for the 2-nd year ICEF students which is a part or the HSE degree programme. It is specifically designated so as not to require any prior exposure to law, and does not suppose that students will necessarily pursue any further law options. Nevertheless, it is designed in the belief that an acquaintance with core law concepts and processes is an essential element in the ICEF curriculum. The course seeks to place law in its social, economic, political, historical and philosophical context and thus not only to provide students with a knowledge of legal rules but also to help them develop a critical understanding of the operation of those rules in society. The critical and analytical skills required by a lawyer are valuable in many other contexts. The programme is therefore suitable not only for students who intend to seek entry into the legal professions but also for students intending to seek careers in many other areas, such as banking, management, economics and finance. Introduction to law aims to provide insight into the nature and function of law, familiarize the students with legal concepts and terminology, principal sources of law and of the means by which laws are made, develop an understanding of the nature and purpose of rights and duties in law. The course provides an overview of the major legal systems of the world, introduces the students to the study of constitutions and constitutional system of Government. It also focuses on the key legal concepts, principles and doctrines which underpin the core areas of law, including public law, the law of obligations and company law.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • enable students to analyze and interpret legal, financial and other information contained in the statements of enterprises of various forms of ownership, organizations, departments, etc
  • develop research skills: finding relevant cases and articles; effective use of large ( and highly technical ) body of statutory material
  • upgrade reasoning skills: understanding how judges can reach radically different conclusions on the same facts
  • hone critical skills: assessing how effective the law is, and how it might be made more effective
  • enhance problem-solving skills: understanding how many issues can be thrown up by the same set of facts
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Outline the general concept of a constitutional framework
  • Explain the relevant doctrines and provide examples of key cases in each major area of constitutional law
  • Explain the factors contributing to constitutional change – both evolutionary and revolutionary – by looking at and comparing the constitutional frameworks of the Russian Federation, the UK, USA and other countries
  • Identify and describe key characteristics of a state’s constitution
  • Outline the historic aspects of the constitutional developments of the Russian Federation, UK, other countries and their relevance in constitutional law today
  • Analyze constitutional law cases using various "tools" of interpretation such as: precedent, text, original meaning, structural principles, a moral reading, policy, and consequences
  • Describe the complex relationship between constitutional law, politics, and social change
  • Identify and explain the rights included in the constitutions of modern democratic states and their provisions relating to the civil rights and liberties, as the basic statutes employed to implement these rights
  • Explain key principles of the Law of Contract
  • Describe the ways in which principles of the Law of Contract have evolved
  • Apply and analyze the law relating to the formation of contracts (agreement, intention and consideration) and decide whether a contract is formed in a commercial context
  • Apply and analyze the law on precontractual misleading conduct, duress and undue influence and recognize the ethical issues inherent in these areas of law
  • Recognize the legal consequences, and determine the course of action when there is a breach of contract or misrepresentation
  • Logically structure and present legal arguments both in writing
  • Select the relevant legal rules and principles to suggest a solution to a given fact scenario
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the different methods used in analyzing and arguing about the Law of Contracts and critically evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in the field
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate relevant information and arguments
  • Interpret the juridical provisions on the rights and obligations of the parties in a contractual relationship
  • Demonstrate comprehensive and accurate knowledge and understanding of those areas of company law identified in the indicative syllabus above and form a critical judgement on areas of controversy within the topics studied
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of social and economic policy considerations arising in this area
  • Critically analyze complex problems in relation to the regulation of companies, apply the legal principles studied to these problems, evaluate competing arguments or solutions and present well supported conclusions both orally and in writing
  • Read and study primary and secondary sources of company law, with minimal guidance; critically analyze, interpret, evaluate and synthesize information from a variety of sources
  • Identify sources for research and further develop a strategy for research using standard and electronic research tools
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Constitutional Law
    Introduction to Nature, Classification and Sources of Law Constitutional law The Concept of Constitutionalism. Principles of Constitutional Law. Doctrine of the Separation of Powers. Rule of Law Constitution. Power Structure. Human Rights and Liberties
  • Contract Law
    Fundamentals of Contract Law. Basic Principles. Types of Contracts. Formation of Contract. Essential Elements. Terms of Contract. Matters Affecting the Validity of Contract. Discharge of Contract. Breach of Contract.
  • Company Law
    Introduction to Company Law. Types of Business Organizations. Partnerships. Types of Companies. Legal attributes of Companies. Formation of Company. Financial Structure of a Company. Company’s Capital. Maintenance of Capital. Share Capital. Types of Shares. Loan Capital of a Company. Types of Bonds. Charges. Fixed and Floating Charges. Management Structure of a Company. Rights and Duties of Directors. Protection of Minority Shareholders. Fundamental Changers. Insolvency, Mergers and Liquidations.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking class record: home assignments, occasional quizzes, participation in the class discussion
  • non-blocking midterm test
  • non-blocking final exam
    Экзамен проводится в письменной форме с использованием асинхронного прокторинга. Экзамен проводится на платформе https://hse.student.examus.net). К экзамену необходимо подключиться за 10 минут до начала. Проверку настроек компьютера необходимо провести заранее, чтобы в случае возникших проблем у вас было время для обращения в службу техподдержки и устранения неполадок. Компьютер студента должен удовлетворять требованиям: 1. Стационарный компьютер или ноутбук (мобильные устройства не поддерживаются); 2. Операционная система Windows (версии 7, 8, 8.1, 10) или Mac OS X Yosemite 10.10 и выше; 3. Интернет-браузер Google Chrome последней на момент сдачи экзамена версии (для проверки и обновления версии браузера используйте ссылку chrome://help/); 4. Наличие исправной и включенной веб-камеры (включая встроенные в ноутбуки); 5. Наличие исправного и включенного микрофона (включая встроенные в ноутбуки); 6. Наличие постоянного интернет-соединения со скоростью передачи данных от пользователя не ниже 1 Мбит/сек; 7. Ваш компьютер должен успешно проходить проверку. Проверка доступна только после авторизации. Для доступа к экзамену требуется документ удостоверяющий личность. Его в развернутом виде необходимо будет сфотографировать на камеру после входа на платформу «Экзамус». Также вы должны медленно и плавно продемонстрировать на камеру рабочее место и помещение, в котором Вы пишете экзамен, а также чистые листы для написания экзамена (с двух сторон). Это необходимо для получения чёткого изображения. Во время экзамена запрещается пользоваться любыми материалами (в бумажном / электронном виде), использовать телефон или любые другие устройства (любые функции), открывать на экране посторонние вкладки. В случае выявления факта неприемлемого поведения на экзамене (например, списывание) результат экзамена будет аннулирован, а к студенту будут применены предусмотренные нормативными документами меры дисциплинарного характера вплоть до исключения из НИУ ВШЭ. Если возникают ситуации, когда студент внезапно отключается по любым причинам (камера отключилась, компьютер выключился и др.) или отходит от своего рабочего места на какое-то время, или студент показал неожиданно высокий результат, или будут обнаружены подозрительные действия во время экзамена, будет просмотрена видеозапись выполнения экзамена этим студентом и при необходимости студент будет приглашен на онлайн-собеседование с преподавателем. Об этом студент будет проинформирован заранее в индивидуальном порядке. Во время выполнения задания, не завершайте Интернет-соединения и не отключайте камеры и микрофона. Во время экзамена ведется аудио- и видео-запись. Процедура пересдачи проводится в соотвествии с нормативными документами НИУ ВШЭ.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.7 * final exam + 0.3 * class record: home assignments, occasional quizzes, participation in the class discussion


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hough, T., & Kirk, E. (2018). Contract Law. Abingdon, Oxon [UK]: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1761737
  • Ottley, M. (2013). Company Law (Vol. 8th ed). Abingdon, Oxon [UK]: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=513577

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Cavalieri, R., & Salvatore, V. (2019). An Introduction to International Contract Law (Vol. Second edition). Torino: G. Giappichelli Editore. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=2109268