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Learning Legal Rules

A Students' Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning

Eleventh Edition

James Holland and Julian Webb

22 June 2022

ISBN: 9780192849090

416 pages

In Stock

Price: £34.99

The most trusted legal method textbook by expert authors, giving students a solid grounding to excel in their degrees


Learning Legal Rules introduces law students to the techniques of legal analysis and argument, equipping them with the knowledge and reasoning skills needed for effective study and practice of law. The text has been used in common law countries around the world as a leading legal method guide for over thirty years and provides students with the fundamental analytical skills of being a lawyer.

  • Written by two distinguished authors, this is the trusted and established guide to legal method and skills for undergraduate students
  • Provides dedicated guidance on areas students find difficult including statutory interpretation, ratio decidendi, and obiter dictum
  • Takes a practical approach with exercises and questions throughout so students can confirm their understanding and develop their legal reasoning skills
  • Also available as an ebook with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • EU content fully updated with changes to the legal system post-Brexit as they affect case law and statutes, including Retained EU Law.
  • Chapter on legal reasoning carefully revised, providing an engaging approach to the theoretical aspects of legal reasoning, as well as a glimpse into the future of law with discussions on legal technology, AI, 'rule as code' and 'code as rules'.
  • New self-test questions available at the end of chapters, accessible via the e-book and the book's online resources.

About the Author(s)

James Holland, Professor Emeritus, Bristol Law School, University of the West of England, and Julian Webb, Professor of Law, Melbourne Law School

James Holland is a Barrister and Professor Emeritus at Bristol Law School, the University of the West of England.

Julian Webb is Professor of Law at Melbourne Law School. He is also Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Exeter and Visiting Professor at the University of Derby.

Table of Contents

    1:Understanding the Law
    2:Finding the Law
    3:Reading the Law
    4:From Reading to Writing
    5:The Doctrine of Judicial Precedent
    6:How Precedent Operates: Ratio Decidendi and obiter Dictum
    7:Making Sense of Statutes
    8:Interpreting Statutes
    9:'Bringing Rights Home': Legal Method and Convention Rights
    10:Retained EU Law and Legal Method
    11:Understanding Legal Reasoning and the Future of Law


"'Well-structured and accessible, with an eye towards giving novices in the study of law a good grounding in the skills they will need to be successful as students.'" - Dr Caleb Wheeler, Lecturer in Law, Cardiff University

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources
The eleventh edition is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats, and is supported by online resources.

- The ebook offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks
- The accompanying online resources include end-of-chapter multiple-choice questions, links to useful websites and a guide to using Halsbury's Laws.

For further insight into legal skills, visit legaleducation.wordress.com

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