• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the use of the Practice Statement using the sources and other cases. [15 marks]

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe the use of the Practice Statement using the sources and other cases. [15] The Practice Statement was issued by the Lord Chancellor in 1966 and allowed the House of Lords (and now the Supreme Court) to deviate from its previous decisions to permit for the development of the law in line with social changes. It gave them a discretionary power to overrule themselves where it appears right to do so, with especial need for certainty in the criminal law (as confirmed by Source A lines 8-9). However, the courts do not use it very often and generally consider themselves bound to their own precedent. The House of Lords initially preferred not to use the Practice Statement, as seen in Knuller V DPP in refusing to overrule Shaw V DPP. Whilst they acknowledged that in the earlier case they had made a genuine mistake in misinterpreting the law in effectively assuming that conspiracy to corrupt public morals was an offence, they refused to overrule the case. They did so on the basis that they had an interest in certainty, and everybody now knew their decision and believed it was an offence. ...read more.

Middle

However, by 1976 in the case of Miliangos V George Frank, the economic situation had changed and the GBP no longer had the power it once had. It became virtually worthless since the GBP was taken off of the gold value, so the House of Lords overruled the earlier case?s decision. In the case of Murphy V Brentwood DC, the House of Lords decided to overrule its previous decision in Anns V Merton BC. The earlier case ruled that the local council were liable and owed a duty of care since they had approved plans for a building which later proved to be faulty. However, in the later case, in order to create certainty, the courts decided that a duty of care in the tort of negligence was not owed by the local council. Since there was the especial need for certainty in the criminal law, the House of Lords was even more reluctant to overrule its previous decisions and change the law because they didn?t want to adversely affect a defendant?s liberty without very good reason. However, in the case of R V Shivpuri, the court chose to overrule its earlier decision in Anderton V Ryan regarding liability for attempting to do the impossible. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are however some restrictions on the use of the Practice statement and occasions when the House of Lords will refuse to overrule their previous decisions even if it leads to injustice. The House of Lords will not become involved with issues relating to national security or issues that are too important, as seen in C V DPP (1995) regarding the age of criminal responsibility. In this case they wanted to reduce the age to ten instead of using the principle of doli incapax, and even though the House of Lords acknowledged that this was correct, they felt it was too important a decision for them to change and so left it for parliament to deal with. In summary, the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court), will use the Practice Statement to correct their own decisions and to update and develop the law to reflect the changing social and economic status. However, they are still reluctant to use it and the power remains discretionary, having only used it ten times since 1968. The Supreme Court has been in effect since 2009 and they are yet to utilise the Practice Statement. It appears that they would rather distinguish on the basis of the material facts being sufficiently different. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Machinery of Justice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Machinery of Justice essays

  1. Why do young people join gangs and other subcultures? How does a criminal sub ...

    They therefore develop a distinct set of values or a subculture which provides them with alternative ways of gaining status, and possibly leads them into delinquency." "Investigating Deviance." Cohen, Albert K. (1955) Miller Miller argues that there are six focal concerns of working class culture and that these can lead the working class male into crime.

  2. As the juvenile courts converge procedurally and substantively with the adult criminal courts, does ...

    the legal maneuvering, so that the defendant does not end up testifying against himself. Garfield: Is it true that over 60% of crime committed in Colorado Springs last year was committed by children? Why, in a culture where violent crime, overall, is decreasing, do you think that juvenile crime is increasing or decreasing?

  1. Notes on Sentencing in British courts

    Compensation Orders & Restitution Orders o Max in Mags �5000. must give reason why if don't use if have power to do so. o Restitution is property if still there is returned to victim. Deprivation and Forfeiture Orders o Court can take property used to commit a crime, e.g. car.

  2. Law and Morals

    legality of it could be viewed as merely reflecting attitudes at the time - that a woman should be allowed to exercise rights over her body. This is an example of the law upholding the moral values of a group in society; however those against it could argue that the law on abortion goes against moral beliefs.

  1. Law and Morals

    The Hart and Devlin debate followed the publication of the Wolfenden Report. It recommended the legalisation of prostitution and homosexuality 'should not intervene in the private lives of citizens or seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour further than necessary' to protect others.

  2. Penal Studies for Professional Practice

    Also, allowing individual choice and decision making are integral to avoid re-offending and allow effective re-integration. Finally, I am aware that men do face resettlement needs, which may differ from those of females but can also be as problematic. Nevertheless these appear to be more effectively addressed in accordance with

  1. THE ACCESS to JUSTICE ACT 1999 Civil Cases The state funding of civil cases ...

    and thus it is hoped that it will release funds to support the other cases and thus give better coverage for the public. The 1999 Act does make provision for the Lord Chancellor to fund cases which otherwise would be excluded (as an exception)

  2. Policing Using New Technologies

    Advantages of the police to be able to use Tasers are a less lethal option of force that a Police officer can use in a dangerous situation like a hostage situation or a fight, they were found to be more effective then guns which are incorporated the by Queensland police

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work