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Sources of Law

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Introduction

Sources of Law Assignment In England and Wales today the individual citizens, companies, groups, and even political parties must all conform to the Laws which are created by the English Legal System in a number of different ways. These sources of Law are very important. In this essay we will look at the different ways in which Legislation and Law is made, with a more detailed view of two of them, including the advantages and dis-advantages, and their impact. The five main sources of Law include: Parliament, Europe, Statutory Interpretation, Judicial Precedent, and Delegated Legislation. Parliament uses its powers to create new law, or statutes as they are known which tackle major changes in the modern day society. Other methods of the law making process are not strong, nor quick enough to be as suitable as statute law for bigger changes in the law. Also it is worth noting that in a democracy the parliamentary members that have the power to create the new statutes are only able to do so because they have been elected by the very people that the laws will affect. Since 1973, under the European Communities Act 1972, the legal system of England and Wales has had to conform to those laws created by the European Union, making it the top ranking source of Law in the court hierarchy. ...read more.

Middle

Ratio Decidendi translates to mean 'The reason for Deciding' in the judgment, and this is the statement that all judges must give after a court case to justify how and why they ultimately came to their decision. This part of the judgment is extremely important as it creates the precedent which must be followed in future cases. Obiter Dicta are other statements that a judge might make in the judgment outlining why the decision that was made could have been different if the details were slightly different. The literal translation of Obiter Dicta is 'Other things said'. Obiter Dicta comments can be used as guidelines for future judgements, however they persuasive precedent and are not binding precedent and thus do not have to be strictly followed. When judgments are made they will either set a Precedent, or follow one of two different types of Precedent. It is very important to understand the difference between the three different types of Precedent which are: Original, Binding, and Persuasive. Original Precedent is set when a Judgment is made on a case where the details and facts are sufficiently dissimilar from any other case making the Judgment a Law that must then be followed by the courts on the same level or lower in the court hierarchy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps the system could be revised in some way, perhaps even by looking at other forms of Precedent from around the world and applying some of their rules. America for instance, who use the concept of Prospective overruling to help provide more certainty and faith in the legal system. The idea of prospective overruling means that a Judge cannot change the law in the case that he/she is involved in, but can change it for cases in the future. At present any judge in the English Legal System can change the law at any time by simply distinguishing a difference between the cases, and then applying the new law to the case that he/she is involved in, which basically means that the parties involved may be subjected to 'dog's law', the idea that you do not know that you have done wrong until you are punished for it (Martin, 2007). This, however, would then open up the debate that a person could commit a crime, only to plead ignorance, and get away with it. These are just a few of the qualms and responses to Judicial Precedent, so in conclusion there will always be two sides to every argument, but the system has been in place for quite some time and must be followed until the time comes for a reformation in the system. ...read more.

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