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Legal English for bachelor students


Admission requirements

The course is open to students who have completed at least the first two years of their Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Law. Participants are expected to have English language skills comparable to VWO level or at B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For more information, please contact the course co-ordinator.

The course is an optional course and open only to students who have completed at least four and preferably five of the following six courses of the BA-2 and BA-3 law degree programme:

  • Verbintenissenrecht

  • Goederenrecht

  • Onderneming en Recht

  • Staatsrecht

  • Materieel Strafrecht

  • Strafprocesrecht


The course aims to improve the English language skills within a legal context. Participants learn to read and understand legal texts such as articles, case briefs and statutes. Also, they will learn to write summaries, case briefs and essays. Listening skills will be practised by means of a variety of listening exercises, such as lectures, presentations and interviews. Speaking skills will be practiced through (group) discussions, presentations, interviews and role plays. At the end of the course students will be able to describe the Dutch legal system in broad outline. The legal terminology of this course focuses on international law, criminal law, civil law, property law and contract law. However, other fields of law, such as company law and comparative law will also be discussed.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

  • Listening: students acquire the skills needed to attend Law lectures and seminars where English is spoken.

  • Reading : students have developed skill in reading authentic, academic legal texts; they are able to apply different reading techniques.

  • Speaking: students are able to participate in class discussions and give short oral presentations on legal topics; they are also able to describe the Dutch legal system in broad outline.

  • Writing : students are able to write summaries, case briefs and essays on a legal topics in grammatically and stylistically correct English.


Click here.

Mode of instruction

There are ten two-hour tutorials. Students are expected to prepare assignments for each tutorial. In addition, the course involves self-study for the examination.

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Continuous assessment in the form of four quizzes (10%)

  • Written assignment (30%)

  • Oral presentation (20%)

  • Written test on vocabulary, reading and writing (40%)

  • Students must come to tutorials prepared, and they must attend at least 8 out of 10 tutorials. If they attend fewer tutorials, they will not be allowed to sit the exam. The tutorials have the status of a practical exercise.

To pass this course, students need to:

  • obtain at least a 5,5 for the written assignment (30%) and the written test (40%);

  • obtain a weighted average of at least 5,5 for all examination forms combined.


  • The written assignment (30%) and/or the written test (40%) can be retaken when the student doesn't meet the criteria to pass this course (as stated above).

  • If the overall grade at the end of the course is a fail but the student has obtained at least a 5,5 for both the written assignment (30%) and the written exam (40%), students can choose to either re-submit their written assignment, or re-take the exam.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.

Reading list

  • Amy Krois-Lindler & Matt Firth, Introduction to International Legal English: A course for classroom or self-study use (2008), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-71899-8.

  • Gillian Brown and Sally Rice, Professional English in Use: Law (2007), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-3-125-39583-1 (Edition with answers)

  • Foster, T. Dutch Legal Terminology in English, Kluwer (preferably latest edition)

  • Oxford Dictionary of Law (8th revised edition), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-199-66492-4 (recommended, not compulsory)



Via the Academic Language Centre

Contact information

  • Name: Dr. S. Cheng

  • Work address: Cleveringaplaats 1, room 301c

  • Contact information:

  • Telephone number: 071-527 2332

  • E-mail:


  • Institution: Academisch Talencentrum

  • Division: Sectie Engels

  • Room number secretary’s office: Cleveringaplaats 1, room 301c

  • Opening hours: weekdays 9.00-12.30 and 13.30-17.00

  • Telephone number secretary’s office: 071 527 2332

  • E-mail:


This course has a strictly limited number of places available. More information on this course is found on this website.

In case of (corona)restrictions imposed by the government, this course description is subject to change.