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

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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.