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

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Week 7: Challenging decisions


This week, you will consider how decision- and law-makers can be challenged. This week builds on your knowledge of law and legal systems and encourages you to think about the need for structure and evidence when challenging decisions.

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

  • how decisions of law-makers may be challenged
  • why decisions of decision-makers in public bodies may be challenged
  • the need for a structured approach supported by evidence when challenging decisions.

This week has not been designed to ‘teach’ how the legal process works, but rather to raise awareness of how legal change is effected by individuals and groups seeking change, upholding the law or by defending their rights. Understanding how decisions can be challenged is one of the ways in which change can be effected. With the increasing growth of delegated legislation and delegation of legal powers to make decisions (often using discretion), there is a growing complexity within the legal system. Finding the law is becoming more complex. These developments, alongside cuts in funding, have the potential to restrict access to justice; one of the fundamental principles of the rule of law that you learnt about earlier in the course. The principle that ‘no one is above the law’ is also central to the rule of law and to our society.