Making and using rules
Making and using rules

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

Making and using rules

3Part B Policy and rule making

3.1 Introduction

Formal rules do not just appear from nowhere! In this part we will be exploring how such rules are the product of a process of policy making. As an example, we will be using the Irish Government's policy on banning smoking in the workplace, and the law which arose out of this policy. Part B will also provide you with an opportunity to apply some of the reasoning skills you have been developing by applying your understanding of the Irish law to some factual situations.

One of the most obvious differences between the development of a custom within a community and the introduction of a rule which applies to that community, is that the rule will almost invariably have been the result of a policy decision. In other words, at some point in time those with authority to make a rule will have decided that the behaviour of those in the community should be guided or controlled in a certain way, and that a rule is necessary in order to do that. This may be for a number of reasons. For example, it may be that the behaviour in question is not something which people in the community will do voluntarily. Or it may be that the rule-maker has changed its view on the propriety of certain behaviour and wants to bring about change on ideological grounds. (This is what happens when control of a Parliament, as the rule-maker, shifts from one political party to another as the result of a general election.) Or it may be because a rule change is necessary in order to bring about a socially or economically desirable outcome for the community: there are many other reasons.

W100_1

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, 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