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Learning Legal Rules

A Students' Guide to Legal Method and Reasoning

Tenth Edition

James Holland and Julian Webb

August 2019

ISBN: 9780198799900

416 pages

Price: £31.99

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 twenty years.

  • 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

New to this edition

  • A brand new chapter on 'Constructing the legal argument' guides students through the process of developing their arguments in essay writing and other medium
  • The dedicated European legal method chapter has been thoroughly updated to inform students on Brexit, and explain how EU law will exist in the UK post-Brexit

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: Constructing the legal argument
    6: The doctrine of judicial precedent
    7: How precedent operates: ratio decidendi and obiter dictum
    8: Making sense of statutes
    9: Interpreting statutes
    10: 'Bringing rights home': legal method and convention rights
    11: European legal method

Additional Resources

Learning Legal Rules is accompanied by online resources, complete with a test bank of 200 multiple choice questions for students.