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How to MootA Student Guide to Mooting

How to Moot: A Student Guide to Mooting (2nd edn)

John Snape and Gary Watt
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date: 02 December 2023

9. Authorities – advanced considerationslocked

9. Authorities – advanced considerationslocked

  • John SnapeJohn SnapeAssociate Professor in Law, University of Warwick
  •  and Gary WattGary WattReader and Associate Professor in Law, University of Warwick


This chapter discusses what it means to ‘handle precedent’, to ‘interpret statutes’, and to do justice ‘fitted to the needs of the times in which we live’. It provides answers to the following questions: When and how should policy arguments be used? How should foreign case names be pronounced in a moot? What is the correct way to refer to a case? Is it acceptable to give a personal view of the relevant law? When is an authority binding on a moot court? How can one escape from an inconvenient authority? In what circumstances can a case be overruled? How and when can a case be distinguished in law from another? How and when can a case be distinguished on its facts from another? What is the distinction between a judge's finding of fact and his or her decision on the law? What is the status of a judgment of the Divisional Court? Is a ‘Jessel’ better than a ‘Kekewich’? When is a change in the law a matter for Parliament and when is it a matter for the courts?

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