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Chapter

This chapter considers an essential source of law in the English legal system: judicial precedent (or ‘case law’). This chapter discusses the rules and principles of the doctrine of judicial precedent, including how precedents are created, developed, and followed. The chapter considers the rule that forms the precedent—the ratio decidendi, or the reason for the decision—as well as the importance of other judicial statements that do not form part of those reasons—the obiter dicta. The principle of binding precedent is captured by the expression ‘stare decisis’ (stand by what is decided) and binding precedent relies on a hierarchy of courts. The hierarchy can help to establish whether a particular ratio decidendi binds a particular court and whether an appellate court is bound by its own previous precedents. The chapter is packed with case law examples and it also highlights the role of non-binding precedent which may still be deemed persuasive for a particular court. Again, the relationship between the English courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is considered. Finally, the chapter considers how a court may avoid following a particular precedent by the process of overruling, distinguishing, or reversing.

Chapter

Judge-made law to be found in the case law is governed by the doctrine of judicial precedent. The rule on which a case is decided is called the ratio decidendi and other statements of law not affecting the outcome of a case are termed obiter dicta. Whether one court is bound by the ratio decidendi of another court depends upon the position of the court in the hierarchy of the hierarchy of the courts. The doctrine of binding precedent is alternatively known as the doctrine of stare decisis. A precedent may be avoided by the processes of overruling, distinguishing and reversing. The relationship between the English courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) and the European Court of Human Rights is considered.

Book

Steve Wilson, Helen Rutherford, Tony Storey, Natalie Wortley, and Birju Kotecha

English Legal System gives an understanding of the operation of the law and the legal system which is essential to the laying of a solid foundation upon which to build further legal studies. After offering practical advice on how to study the English legal system, an overview is given of the nature of law, the sources of law, how the English legal system operates, the courts of England and Wales, and some of the important institutions and personnel of the law. How legislation is made and how it is interpreted are discussed. How judges make law and how this process is governed by the doctrine of judicial precedent are explored. The rule coming from a case, the ratio decidendi, and other statements of law, obiter dicta, are explained. The book considers the impact of membership of the European Union (EU) and being a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The institutions and personnel of the law, such as juries, judges, and lawyers are covered. The criminal process, from arrest to trial to sentencing, is explained and analysed. Resolution of disputes through the civil courts and tribunals is explained, as is the civil process. Alternative methods of dispute resolution, e.g. mediation and arbitration, are also considered.

Chapter

This chapter explains how to use cases. It first looks at the ‘anatomy’ of a law report, before considering the means by which the key legal principles can be extracted from the case. Once the legal principles are known it considers the extent to which those principles are binding on other courts via the doctrine of judicial precedent. Finally, it examines the impact of both the Human Rights Act 1998 and EU law on the operation of precedent.

Chapter

The Q&A series offer the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary and illustrative diagrams and flowcharts. This chapter examines proprietary estoppels.

Chapter

This chapter explains how to use cases. It first looks at the ‘anatomy’ of a law report, before considering the means by which the key legal principles can be extracted from the case. Once the legal principles are known it considers the extent to which those principles are binding on other courts via the doctrine of judicial precedent. Finally, it examines the impact of both the Human Rights Act 1998 and EU law on the operation of precedent.

Book

Steve Wilson, Helen Rutherford, Tony Storey, and Natalie Wortley

English Legal System gives an understanding of the operation of the law and the legal system which is essential to the laying of a solid foundation upon which to build further legal studies. After offering practical advice on how to study the English Legal System, an overview is given of the nature of law, the sources of law, how the English legal system operates, the courts of England and Wales, and some of the important institutions and personnel of the law. How legislation is made and how it is interpreted is discussed. How judges make law and how this process is governed by the doctrine of judicial precedent are explored. The rule coming from a case, the ratio decidendi, and other statements of law, obiter dicta, are explained. The book considers the impact of membership of the European Union (EU) and being a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The institutions and personnel of the law, such as juries, judges, and lawyers are covered. The criminal process, from arrest to trial to sentencing, is explained and analysed. Resolution of disputes through the civil courts and tribunals is explained, as is the civil process. Alternative methods of dispute resolution, e.g. mediation and arbitration are also considered.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the sources of English law, legislation, custom, case law, and EU law. It includes detail of how an Act of Parliament is created, an explanation of delegated legislation, and how legislation is interpreted by the courts. In considering case law, the importance of judicial precedent and how the system of precedence functions is fully explained. The chapter also discusses the major institutions of the EU including the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The sources of EU law, treaties, regulations, directives, and decisions are outlined. The chapter outlines the 2016 referendum and the position of EU law in the UK during the negotiation period for the UK’s exit from the EU and the likely impact of the UK’s exit from the EU. Detail is given of the rights protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998.