BTE620 - Law, Ethics and Social Responsibility

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date Sep 24, 2018 12:37:58 AM
Last review date Dec 3, 2018 12:17:55 AM

Subject Title
Law, Ethics and Social Responsibility

Subject Description
This course examines fundamental issues concerning the nature of legal and moral responsibility. What is it to be responsible, i.e. for one's actions? The concept of responsibility is prima facie a kind of liability to the welfare or interests of others. Thus, if one's act is considered "good," then it is deserving of the appropriate praise or reward; an "evil" act, on the other hand, is subject to the required blame, censure, or (if necessary) punishment. Actions, however, can be evaluated in moral and/or legal terms. We may now ask: what is the difference between moral and legal responsibility (for one's actions)? What is the justification of punishment? Similarly, moral blame is a form of punishment; but under what conditions is it reasonable to morally condemn irresponsible acts?

In order to properly address these questions, we must first explore their foundation: the nature of law in relation to morality. Is law (necessarily) conditioned by moral principles or only contingently moral, i.e. a "social fact"? Thus, our understanding of moral and legal responsibility turns on our conceptions of morality and law.

Credit Status
1 credit (3 units)
Required for BSD - Bachelor of Technology (Software Development)

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  •     Formulate thoughtful responses to various moral and legal problems
  •     Engage in conceptual analysis of legal and moral texts
  •     Construct and criticize moral and legal arguments
  •     Compose accurate expositions/interpretations of core concepts and principles

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.