My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Judges and the law
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
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The role of the courts and the judiciary
- 2 Part A Historical development of the common law
- Part B Precedent
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 The hierarchy of the courts
- 3.3 Structure of the court system in England and Wales
- 3.4 Binding precedent
- 3.5 Summary of Part B
- 4 Part C Accurate law reporting
- 4 Part C Accurate law reporting
- 4.1 Introduction
- 4.2 Tyes of reports
- 4.2.1 Year Books (1275–1535)
- 4.2.2 Private reports (1535–1865)
- 4.2.3 Modern reports (1865 to present)
- 4.2.4 The Law Reports
- 4.2.5 Weekly Law Reports (citation WLR)
- 4.2.6 All England Law Reports (citation All ER)
- 4.2.7 Legal periodicals and newspapers
- 4.2.8 Specialist reports
- 4.2.9 European Community reports
- 4.2.10 DVD-ROMs and internet facilities
- 4.2.11 Neutral citation
- 4.3 Summary of accurate law reporting
- 4.4 Summary of Part C
- 5 Part D The need for statutory interpretation
- 6 Part E The rules of statutory interpretation
- 7 Part F Common law, equity and statute law
- 8 Part G Common law and civil law systems
- 9 Part H Consolidation
- Keep on learning
Tags, Ratings and Social Bookmarking
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of Participation
On completion of a course you will earn a Statement of Participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
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.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
20 hours study
Level 1: Introductory
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.