CLE15 presents: Becky Huxley-Binns (PH)

by Pamela Henderson on 20/06/2015

Full Title:  A threshold concept of undergraduate law and ethics

For those of you who don’t know Becky (that will be one person at most, then), she is currently at the University of Law and is also Chair of the QAA Law Subject Benchmark Review Panel 2014-15, UK.

Becky is here to explain the work of the QAA in the current Law subject review, including the wide range of stakeholders and complexity around this particular review, especially given all the other changes currently facing legal education.  There are challenges around what should be the ‘threshold’ and how this meshes with individual university expectations of their students for an honours degree.

There were 45 responses to the consultation by the time it closed in May.  While there was, of course, some variation in response, Becky says there was broad agreement with the proposed new benchmark statement.

In terms of our conference theme, Becky has chosen to focus on values, though obviously the whole subject benchmark review is much wider ranging.  The previous benchmark statement used the words ‘values’, which some law schools incorporated  into their degrees, but there are questionmarks over how far other law schools engaged with values and ethics, either via specific modules, holistic integration or a jurisprudence module.  Becky’s presentation of the themes emerging from the consultation begs the question: how far are law schools still be focusing upon law as being ‘just about rules’ – learn them!  The new proposed benchmark statement intends to demand more in terms of values and ethics, certainly going beyond mere awareness, though some respondents to the consultation have questionned how this can fit within an already crowded curriculum.  To my mind, we need to think quite carefully about why the curriculum is crowded – and with what.

Becky cites Rachael Field’s paper from the 2012 LETR symposium paper, where the importance of addressing the grey areas of ethics was acknowledged by delegates.  The LETR site is currently not available, but here’s the CILEX page on the review.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Richard Moorhead June 23, 2015 at 17:48

Paul, I totally agree about crowdedness. Enjoying your CLE15 blogd


2 Paul Maharg June 23, 2015 at 19:22

Thanks Richard. Crowdedness is the least of the problems, too — there are so many fundamental things wrong with QAA, IMO; but I’m leaving that for another post.


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