Singapore University of Social Sciences

Critical Thinking and Legal Interpretation

Critical Thinking and Legal Interpretation (LAW201)


LAW201 Critical Thinking and Legal Interpretation introduces students to the critical thinking, the use of active thinking and reading, and also the art of legal interpretation. Students will be instructed in how to read and apply a critical mind towards what they read, how to analyse arguments and how to respond to arguments. Students will also be introduced to legal interpretation and how legal interpretation works in the context of statutes and also in the context of legal contracts. Students will be introduced maxims of interpretation as well as to the tools of interpretations that are available, e.g. Stroud’s or Black’s Judicial Dictionary, Mallal’s Digest etc

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • Introduction to the Study of Law and the Singapore Legal System
  • Introduction to Critical Thinking
  • Logical concepts
  • Logical fallacies
  • Analysing and responding to arguments
  • Legal interpretation
  • Principles of legal interpretation
  • Interpreting statutes – 1 General rules
  • Interpreting statutes – 2 Specific rules
  • Interpreting contracts – 1 General rules
  • Interpreting contracts – 2 Specific rules
  • Introduction to drafting of documents

Learning Outcome

  • Explain the sources of law, and how it is made and developed; of the institutions within which that law is administered and the personnel who practice law
  • Express their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of key thinking concepts, values, principles and rules of the thinking and logic and to explain the relationship between them in a number of subject areas
  • Demonstrate the ability to construct and deconstruct legal arguments.
  • Respond to a given document form and apply the right rules of interpretation to the document
  • Research and analyse independently the areas of law from standard legal resources on specific matters
  • Advise a hypothetical client, using intellectual and practical skills to apply the knowledge, thought and findings of research to provide arguable conclusions for concrete problems
  • Discuss positions taken in a group setting and in a team environment
  • Express ideas, concepts and arguments in the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy
  • Employ information technology in an office environment for the search for information, the preparation of documents and presentations
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