Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Scottish courts and the law
Scottish courts and the law

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1 Change and the justice system

There have been a number of changes within the legal system over the past few years. Some have been aimed at making the process of bringing a case more streamlined and accessible utilising technological advances. Others have been targeted around cost reduction and promoting greater efficiency, for example digitised case management systems and fee increases. Further changes with the development of artificial intelligence and the possibility of using algorithms to create systems for managing aspects of specialised practice such as conveyancing are being discussed. These all have an impact on the work of lawyers, the courts and the role played by the justice system in society. In Scotland the justice system is seen as key to achieving a flourishing society which leads the way in the protection of rights and the resolution of disputes.

Our vision is of a justice system that helps Scotland flourish, creates an inclusive and respectful society where all people live in safety and security, where individual and collective rights are supported and disputes are resolved fairly and swiftly.

Upholding the law and protecting society are essential to help people lead productive lives in safe and secure communities and contribute to a flourishing economy in Scotland.

(Scottish Government, n.d.)

You should now watch the following two videos. In the first Scott Manson reflects on the role of justice and the law in Scotland, in the second Craig McKerracher reflects on law and its role in society.

Download this video clip.Video player: Justice, law and society in Scotland
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Justice, law and society in Scotland
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
Download this video clip.Video player: Reflections on law and its role in society
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Reflections on law and its role in society
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Having worked your way through this course you should now be more familiar with both the civil and criminal justice systems in Scotland. In Activity 1 you will have the opportunity to reflect on what you have learnt.

Images associated with the legal system
Judges
Figure 1 Judges
Prison
Figure 2 Prison
Bute House, Edinburgh
Figure 3 Bute House, Edinburgh
Front magazine titled Digital Justice Scotland. Back magazine titled Holyrood
Figure 4 Digital justice in Scotland

Activity 1 Thoughts about the legal justice system

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Reflect on your studies of this course and note down your own thoughts and perceptions as to what the justice system may look like in the future and the challenges it faces. Have these changed as a result of your studies?

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Comment

There have been a number of changes within the legal system over the past few years. Some of these have been aimed at making the process more streamlined and accessible, for example, new simplified procedures (Simple Procedure). Other such as the reduction in legal aid, case management systems and fee increases have been targeted at reducing costs in the system and efficiency in the process of obtaining justice.