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Looking things up instead of learning them by heart: CLASSIC vhb course "law-centred studying in civil law"

Looking things up instead of learning them by heart: CLASSIC vhb course "law-centred studying in civil law"

Especially in civil law, the quantity of material that is relevant to the examinations is enormous. So, it is all the more important to have a thorough knowledge of the legal text concerned. The CLASSIC vhb course "law-centred studying in civil law" trains law students to find the right paragraph among thousands. 


In the 1st state law examination, it is not a question of regurgitating knowledge learnt by heart, but one of judiciously applying the law, the text of which is allowed to be taken into the examination room. Law students, however, particularly in the way they work with a legal text, appear to have difficulties here that are major and widespread. Civil law is particularly strongly affected by this, because in view of the large number of legal provisions that form part of the examination material – just under 2400 paragraphs in the German Civil Code [BGB] alone – the examination tasks in this field are geared to a particularly great extent to actually finding the provisions relevant to solving the case, understanding them in the way they interrelate, and reviewing them precisely as regards their wording and their spirit and purpose. This is where the CLASSIC vhb course "law-centred studying in civil law", for which the funding was raised by Professor Tomas Kuhn, Professor of Civil Law at the University of Passau, begins.


The course thus trains skills which do not merely relate to a particular study semester, but is relevant in each semester as it relates to a particular field of civil law. The aim is to prevent indiscriminate learning by heart in each phase of the study course and make the students aware of what a rich treasure of insights can be obtained from the exact perusal of the law and aware of the great extent to which the successful negotiation of written examinations depends precisely on the use to which those insights are put. 


In detail, the students on the course learn the skills of reading the legal text correctly, understanding it, analysing it and applying it. Since the course involves basic juridical skills, all the other participants who are interested in civil law also benefit from it. This applies on the one hand to students of economics, who all have to go through basic training in civil law, but also to lecturers of law and economics who teach civil law.

Principal Investigator(s) at the University Prof. Dr. Tomas Kuhn (Institut für Rechtsdidaktik)
Project period 01.09.2020 - 28.02.2022
Source of funding
vhb - Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern
vhb - Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern
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