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Judges and the law

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How do judges make law? This free course, Judges and the law, will examine how the common law system works, the differences between 'civil code' and 'common law' systems, and the advantages and disadvantages of the common law system. The role of the judiciary in the law-making process is explored by examining the origins of common law, the system of precedent and the rules of statutory interpretation.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand what is meant by a common law system
  • demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of what is meant by the common law and how its rules are made and changed
  • discuss how a precedent can be altered or avoided
  • identify the ratio decidendi and obiter dictum of a court case
  • read and analyse legal materials (cases, statutes and academic commentary).

First Published: 10/08/2012

Updated: 05/07/2019

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