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11 Cards in this Set

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What is meant by Judicial Precedent ?

the system by which decisions made by Judges in courts higher in the hierarchical court system is used by judges in lower courts to reach their decision in a new case which is based on similar facts

3 Elements of the system of Precedent

Hierachy of courts, ratio decidendi, law reporting

Describe Court Hierarchy in Criminal cases


UK Supreme Court

Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)

Queens Bench Divisional Court

Crown Court

Magistrates Court

Describe Court Hierarchy in Civil cases


UK Supreme Court

Court of Appeal (Civil Division)

Civil Divisional Courts

High Court

County Court

What is meant by ratio decidendi

The legal rule or rules upon which a courts decision is directly based

Give case example of ratio decidendi

Donogue v Stevenson (1932) -

What are Obiter Dicta

Novel statements of law used as part of a judgement but do not form part of the actual decision

What enables the HOL / Supreme Court to overrule their own previous decisions

The Practice Statement 1966

When can HOL use the Practice Statement to overrule one of their own cases

Where it appears right to do so

Where following a past case would lead to injustice and hamper the proper development of the law

Where there has been an important change in circumstances since the original decision was made

When can HOL not use the Practice Statement to overrule one of their own cases

Simply because previous case was wrongly decided

Where there is a danger of making retrospective changes to contractual, fiscal or property matters

Where it would cause uncertainty in the law

Name case which allows Court of Appeal (civil) to depart from previous decisions

Young v Bristol Areoplane Co Ltd (1944)