What you will study
This module builds upon and consolidates your knowledge of law making in Scotland. The Law in Scotland OpenLearn programme considers the role of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Courts in the law making process and looks at the structure of the court system and the role of the judiciary. It explores the relationship between the law making power of the Scottish and Westminster (UK) Parliaments and the current debates over their respective roles. The programme also introduces specific legal skills and explores the role of Scotland in law making at the national, UK and international level.
During this module you build on that knowledge and learn about legal argument, consider reading for academic purposes, academic writing skills, digital literacy and using evidence to develop a persuasive argument.
Each course in the Law in Scotland programme on OpenLearn requires 25 hours of study and you're required to complete three of the four courses before beginning this module. This module requires about 2.5 hours of study each week over 10 weeks or 25 hours in total.
The first of the four courses is now available to study. A further two will be available in October and the final course will be available in December. They are described as follows:
Scottish courts and the law
Courts play a vital role in society ensuring that justice is done and seen to be done. You'll explore the role, function and purpose of the courts in Scotland and consider the way in which cases come to court, the difference between the criminal and civil justice systems, the separation of powers, how individuals may become involved with the court system, the alternatives to courts that have emerged in recent decades and possibilities for the future.
The Scottish Parliament and law making
You'll consider the Scottish Parliament in its law making role and explore how, and why, laws are made by both the Scottish and UK Parliaments. You'll explore devolved matters, reserved matters, legislative competence, subordinate legislation and consider changes in the legal culture of Scotland which took place at the end of the twentieth century. You'll also be introduced to reading Bills and Acts and learn about how citizens can become involved in the law-making process.
Legal skills and debates in Scotland
You'll explore law and legal skills and consider how the development of new laws reflects changes in society. You'll read legislation, court judgments, learn about the art of legal writing and reasoned opinion and explore how laws are applied and interpreted.
Society and the law: Scottish legal heroes
Here you'll consider how law has been used to respond to developments in society and explore whether it should influence them. You'll look at how Scotland has influenced development of laws at a national and global level. You consider examples of how individuals, institutions and organisations have made a difference by challenging the law or legal system. You'll consider how words such as principled, integrity, conscience, duty, justice, fairness are used in relation to law and legal systems and their relevance in contemporary Scotland.
You will learn
From studying this module you will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how law is made in Scotland
- analyse, explain and evaluate Scottish law making and Scottish legal culture
- select, interpret, communicate information relevant to law making in Scotland in a way appropriate to your subject, purpose and audience
- digital literacy, use digital tools for learning and working
- articulate and engage with relevant legal and ethical issues
- demonstrate insight into personal goals, preferences and aptitudes
This module develops a number of key transferable skills such as developing a persuasive argument, digital literacy skills and reflective learning.