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

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2.1 Influences shaping law

When considering what function law has in society, it is important to consider that law is a product of the society in which it is created and applied. Many influences shape the law. The cultural, religious, political and moral values and norms of a society are all important factors. These factors also make an important contribution to an ordered society. In Week 2, you saw how the contextual influences helped shape the legal system.

Figure 6 Contextual influences shaping law

Within a society, non-legal institutions, such as those of religious, cultural, economic, business or political institutions, as well as family structures encourage the maintenance of order. The law operates in conjunction with these institutions in different contexts.