Legal skills and debates in Scotland
Legal skills and debates in Scotland

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Legal skills and debates in Scotland

3.2.3  Questioning parliamentary sovereignty

On the face of it Parliament (Scottish or UK) is elected and therefore representative of the people. In this sense it is also legitimate and supreme in the law-making arena. Certainly, the judiciary is there to uphold and apply the law, but no more than that. It is not elected, not representative and in these senses not legitimate. However, it might be argued that Parliament for a number of reasons is not representative and the judiciary is democratically legitimised by virtue of its constitutional role. The rule of law is a central principle of the UK’s democratic constitution. Judicial independence is an important aspect of the rule of law because it ensures that the law is applied equally to every UK citizen and no one is beyond its reach. The task of applying the law is carried out by the judiciary and for this it needs to be free from outside influence. The rule of law implies higher legal principles that govern the legislation created by Parliament and these are monitored and enforced by an independent judiciary.


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 nearly 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, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 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 prospectus