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Semester Length: 14 weeks


This course is designed to give students an understanding of the purpose and process of legal research and reasoning. Students will learn basic legal research skills using predominantly electronic resources. The course will cover the elements of legal analysis and reasoning in common law systems. Through a case review approach, students will look at various substantive law problems to develop an understanding of legal reasoning as one form of analytical thinking.


  • Explain the importance of legal research skills

  • Explain the rationale behind the requirement that judges conform to methods of legal reasoning

  • Identify primary sources of law and explain their use in the context of the Bahamian legislative and judicial system

  • Identify and use secondary sources of law in legal research

  • Use electronic and print methods of finding and updating statutory and case law materials.

  • Write proper citations for all legal materials.

  • Compare and contrast main elements of Civil and Common Law systems used in the Bahamas.

  • Explain the theory underlying the Civil and Common Law systems used in the Bahamas

  • Explain the judicial mandate to apply the law and constraint thereon.

  • Explain the structures and rules governing judicial reasoning, including rules of statutory interpretation, the operation of precedent, stare decisis, and judicial flexibility.

  • Identify and explain different forms of reasoning, including inductive and deductive reasoning, arguing from principle and reasoning from prior cases.

  • Describe the importance of the concepts of clarity, detail, precision, abstraction and concealed issues in reasoning.

  • Describe the importance of critical and ethical thinking to legal reasoning.

  • Research, write and analyze judicial reasoning in case studies.


Study material is included.


Registration Deadline for the Fall Term is scheduled for 15th August each year.

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