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The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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.

Introduction and guidance

Welcome to this badged open course, The Scottish Parliament and law making.

The course lasts eight weeks, with approximately three hours of study each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week’s study.

In this course you learn about the law making role of the Scottish Parliament and consider how, and why, laws are made by both the Scottish and United Kingdom (UK) Parliaments. You explore devolved matters, reserved matters, legislative competence, secondary legislation and consider changes in the legal culture of Scotland which took place at the end of the twentieth century. You are introduced to reading an Act of the Scottish Parliament, the workings of the Scottish and UK Parliaments and how citizens can become involved in the law making process.

Law is not made in isolation, it reflects the society and culture within which it is made, developed and applied. It is not static. Mechanisms (such as the Scottish and UK Parliaments) evolve to allow it to develop and change. Law making is heavily influenced by change, whether political, social, economic or technological. You consider aspects of this as you explore how the Scottish Parliament works.

No legal system is without its criticisms as there are both benefits and drawbacks to the way in which law is made and scrutinised. You will explore a number of these as you progress through the course.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the role of the Scottish Parliament in law making
  • understand the relationship between the Scottish and UK Parliaments
  • understand the role played by law and how you can influence the law making process.

After completing The Scottish Parliament and law making, you may like to enrol on these free OpenLearn courses:

Scottish courts and the law [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Legal skills and debates in Scotland

Law and change: Scottish legal heroes

And if you would like to take your study in this subject area further, sign up to the Open University course Law making in Scotland.

Moving around the course

In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each week, you can find a link to the next week. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Course content’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course. Alternatively, use the week links at the top of every page of the course.

It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.