Judicial precedent.

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                        Judicial precedent.

  1.  Give another name for judicial precedent. Case law is another name for judicial precedent.
  2. What is judicial precedent? Preceding cases/trials setting new legal principals for cases to follow and developing them along the way.
  3. Name two major developments which assisted development of judicial precedent. The judicature acts 1873-75 (laid down modern hierarchy of courts) and the development of an efficient system of law reporting (creation of the council of law reporting – 1865).
  4. What is Res Judicate?  The judge’s decision.
  5. What is the ratio decidendi? The reason for the judges decision
  6. What is obiter dicta? Matters spoken by the way.
  7. When a legal principal is established, what is it known as? It is known as precedent.
  8. What is binding precedent? Precedent that binds courts below it. I.e. the House of Lords binds the Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal binds the Divisional Court etc.
  9. What is persuasive precedent? Decisions not binding on the lower courts but may strongly influence their decisions and use them as support.
  10. Explain how the system of binding precedent works in relation to the following courts;

The House of Lords; its decisions are binding on all lower courts, in the 20th century it had regarded itself as bound by its own decisions until the 1966 practice statement which allows them to depart from their previous decisions when it appears right to do so. The practice Statement did not alter the fundamental House of Lords precedent but allowed the House of Lords more flexibility in changing its mind. The House of Lords has emphasised the need for certainty, and the power to depart from their previous decisions has been used sparingly.

The Court Of Appeal; both divisions are bound by the decisions of the House Of Lords and their own previous decisions but the decisions of each division do not bind each other. In Young V Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd (1944) the court of appeal stated that the civil division is bound by its own decisions but that there were three exceptions to this, i.e. in the following situations the civil division could depart from its own previous decisions

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        Where there are conflicting Court of Appeal decisions the Court of Appeal may choose one to follow

        If a previous decision of the court of appeal is inconsistent with a later House of Lords ruling.

The Court of Appeal may disregard a previous decision if it was made Per Incurium –without due care. This does not allow the Court of Appeal to ignore decisions of the House of Lords.

 There is also the possibility that the Court of appeal can ignore a previous decision of its own which is inconsistent with European Community law or with a later decision of ...

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A helpful series of q & a's. 3 Stars.