Skip to content
Skip to main content
Free course

Judicial decision making

Free statement of participation on completion
Judicial decision making

This free course, Judicial decision making, explains how judges decide cases. You will learn how judges make sense of evidence, and how they decide on fair outcomes in legal disputes. The course shows how the law constrains and influences judges, and what happens when the law is uncertain or contested. The course uses videos, practical examples, and interactive activities to explain and demonstrate each key idea.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course W112 Civil justice and tort law.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • explain and distinguish fact-finding, decision-making and reason-giving
  • discuss the issue of bias in the common law
  • explain stare decisis and differentiate between ratio decidendi and obiter dicta
  • recognise that some legal rules are uncertain
  • discuss whether judges make law.

First Published: 13/07/2023

Updated: 13/07/2023

Skip Rate and Review