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 3: Influencing and shaping legal systems


During this week, you will explore the meaning of law and legal systems. Subsequent weeks build on this, exploring examples of events, individuals, cases and legislation which have changed the law and legal system in Scotland and beyond.

Weeks 1 and 2 introduced the current legal system and considered its historical development. As you work through this week you are asked to think about the meaning and complexity of ‘law’ and ‘legal systems’. Both ‘law’ and ‘legal systems’ represent the times they were developed in. By looking at surrounding events and the society of the time, a deeper understanding of ‘law’ and the legal system can be gained. Scotland, since it first emerged as one of the earliest nations in Europe, has a highly regarded legal system; but what is ‘law’ and what makes a ‘legal system’?

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

  • explain the link between law and the society in which it is developed
  • understand how certain words have become associated with law and legal principles
  • discuss the role you believe law plays in society.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371