Scottish courts and the law
Scottish courts and the law

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.

Free course

Scottish courts and the law

1 Seeking advice before going to court

When an individual has a potential legal problem or query they may try to find out the answer themselves through books or online material and information. They may also seek legal advice from an expert or try and resolve it amicably by some form of negotiation or arbitration. An individual can also make an appointment to see a solicitor or solicitor-advocate for advice on legal matters or visit their local Citizens Advice Bureau, Welfare Rights Office or Law Centre for advice. Charities and trade unions also give specialist legal advice, the charity Shelter, for example, will give advice on homelessness issues. Individuals can also represent themselves in court if they wish (as a litigant in person if they are a pursuer or as a defendant if they are defending a case). New court processes such as the Simple Procedure are designed to provide speedy, inexpensive and informal ways to resolve claims (for example, the Simple Procedure designed for claims up a maximum monetary value, currently £5,000) without the need for solicitors. Through these routes many legal problems or queries can be solved.

Ultimately if a legal problem or dispute cannot be resolved it will be heard in a court room. As you explored in Activity 1 of Week 1 there are many different images and perceptions of what a court room looks like and what role the individuals in the court room play. In the next two activities you will find out more about who works in a traditional court room and what they do.


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