Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Law and change: Scottish legal heroes
Law and change: Scottish legal heroes

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.

Week 1: Law making in Scotland


With its distinct legal system Scotland has played a key role in shaping and developing the ‘law’ both within its own borders, within the UK and on the international stage. The legal system in Scotland, as we see it today, builds upon centuries of tradition and reflects Scotland’s history and values. It is unique within the legal systems of the UK and the concepts of justice, equality, rights and fairness are at its core.

In Week 1 you will explore how law is made in Scotland today. You consider the institutional sources of law; the institutions to which the state has given the power to make or interpret laws in Scotland. These include the Scottish Parliament, the courts and the UK Parliament. You will also explore international sources of law which have an impact on Scotland.

By the end of this week you will be able to explain:

  • law making in contemporary Scotland
  • the roles of the Scottish and UK Parliaments in law making
  • international sources of law, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and EU.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.