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Judicial Precedent
Important Cases:
Donoghue V Stevenson (1932)

Daniels V White (1938)

Key Terms:
Obiter dicta ­ the notes from the judge which are not necessary to
reaching a decision, but are made as comments, illustrations or thoughts.

Ratio decidendi - is a Latin phrase meaning the reason or the…

Page 2

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Different types:
1. Decisions made by court lower down in hierarchy ­
House of Lords agreed with the same decision made by
the Court of Appeal RvR 1991
2. Decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
­ decisions not binding but respected so judges often
follow them

Page 3

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Certainty V Flexibility
For certainty:

Law Lords Prefer certainty by following Judicial Precedent
Keeps law fair (personal views don't matter)
Predictable which means it's easy for lawyers to advise clients on
suspected outcome

For flexibility:

Need to be able to change law to keep up to date with society


Page 4

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Court and have come to a different agreement. They can reverse
the decision as the Court of Appeal is a higher court.


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