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

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Week 5: Judges


In this week, you will explore the role played by judges in the legal system. The main task of judges, in a dispute between parties, is to act as an impartial decision maker. In doing so, they are seen as acting in ‘pursuit of justice’. They achieve this by assessing evidence, managing court proceedings and interpreting the law to make decisions based on the aplication of the law to the facts. In all of this, they play a leading role. Scottish judges have had a significant impact both within and beyond the Scottish legal system. Some have also gone on to become politicians and campaigners. Here you will consider the use and nature of legal reasoning by judges when making decisions. After which you will look at the impact made by a number of individuals who held judicial office.

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

  • outline why and how legal reasoning is used
  • outline the reasoning used in Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562 to reach the decision
  • explain the role played by a number of individuals holding judicial office.