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The Role of Ratio Decidendi in Judicial Precedent.

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The Role of Ratio Decidendi in Judicial Precedent Ratio decidendi plays a very important role in judicial precedent as it is the legal principle underlying the decision in a particular case. Therefore, it creates the precedent for future cases and is considered the most important part of a judge's speech. Judicial precedent, which is case law, has been and still is a major source of law in the English system. The decisions from previous cases create law for future judges to follow. The English law system is based on the Latin principle of stare decisis, which means 'stand by what has been decided and do not unsettle the established,' i.e. ...read more.


The case was about a 250m high tower that Hunter said caused interference with television reception. A decision needed to be made as to whether the tower did cause problems, but because this was an unusual case the judge didn't have a directly related ratio decidendi to refer to and so he found a case with a similarity. The judge found a case from 1611 and came to the judgment that interference with television broadcasts was analogous to blocking a view out of a window. He also said that television wasn't a necessity and so ruled that Canary Wharf Ltd weren't liable. Binding precedent is where a judge is forced to follow a decision even if he/she doesn't agree with it. ...read more.


R v R in 1991 * Decision were made by the judicial committee of the Privy Council * Statements were made in an obiter dicta * There has been a dissenting judgement The obiter dicta is another principle of law. Basically it is just the other things said by the judge. Sometimes it is difficult separating the ratio decidendi from the obiter dicta as they are written in continuous prose. Also it is sometimes hard to make a judgment because there are more than one ratio decidendi. Overall I think the role of ratio decidendi in judicial precedent is a significant one. It helps guide judges to give consistent judgments; it also helps prevent appeals for injustice. The ratio decidendi offers direction if a judge doesn't want to exactly follow the decision from a previous case. Rajveer Khera - Law ...read more.

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