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Precedent Cases
· Hunter V Canary Wharf ltd (1995) Original precedent through analogy. There was a problem with television reception after Canary Wharf put
up a building. The judge called upon the case of Bland v Moseley and decided that as television wasn't necessary to live, just a luxury then the
law would do nothing.
R v R (1991) Persuasive precedent thought lower courts The HOL agreed with the same reasoning as the COA in deciding that rape could be
committed within marriage.
The Wagon Mound Persuasive precedent from the Privy Council The law on remoteness of damages in the law of tort In later cases England
and Wales followed this decision.
A-G for Jersey V Holley (2005) Persuasive precedent from the Privy Council six out of nine judges ruled that in defence of provocation, a
defendant is to be judged by the standard of a person having ordinary powers of self control. This was contradicting what the HOL had stated.
In the later case of R V Mohammed (2005) there the Courts of Appeal decided to follow the decision made by the Privy Council rather then in
Smith (the HOL ruling). Later in the case of R V James; R V Karimi (2006) a five-member COA decided that the decision in Holley would become
R V Howe (1987) Persuasive precedent from the obiter dicta from the HOL the HOL ruled that duress could not be a defence to a charge of
murder, in the judgement the lords also said that duress would not be available as a defence to someone charged of attempted murder. Later
in R V Gotts (1992) a defendant charged with attempted murder tried to argue that he could use the defence of duress, the obiter statement
from Howe was followed as persuasive precedent by the COA.
· Hedley Byrne v Heller & Partners followed dissenting judgements in Candler v Crane Christmas & Co (1951). Dissenting Judgement ­
persuasive precedent
· Re A (2000) Decisions from other countries ­ persuasive precedent "Conjoined twin" Jodie and Mary needed to be separated to save the life of
one the twin, but causing the immediate death of Mary. Declaration approved, operation carried out Mary died Jodie is living a normal life at
the time of writing.…read more

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Precedent continued
· Re Automatic Telephone and Electric Co. Ltd's Agreement (1965) CoA
Precedent ­ example of binding nature of Stare Decisis One judge
dissented in Re Schweppes Ltd's Agreement (1965) CA but when later the
same day the same point was involved in a similar case the judge said he
was bound to follow the decision in the first case.
· Colchester estates (Cardiff) V Carlton industries plc (1984) High court
binding itself High court judges do not have to follow each other's
decisions but will usually do so. Where there were two earlier decisions
which conflicted, then provided that the decision has been fully
considered the latest decision should be followed.
· Taylor, R v [1950] CA stare decisis - rule not applicable where liberty of
subject concerned - criminal division does not apply stare decisis as rigidly
as civil division…read more

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Practice Statement
· London street tramways V London County council (1898) HOL binding itself' From this point until 1966 it decided
it was completely bound by past decisions as certainty was deemed the most important factor of law.
DPP V Smith (1961) Before practice statement The judgement of this case was seen as wrong because had the HOL
ruled that an accused could be guilty if a reasonable person would have foreseen that death. This decision was
criticised as a defendant could be guilty even if they had not meant to kill or cause serious harm. Eventually
parliament changed the law by passing the Criminal Justice Act 1967 because the HOL would not change the law
· London street tramways V London County council (1966) It changed the ruling of the HOL completely binding
itself by past decisions and Lord Chancellor brought in the practice statement.
· Conway V Rimmer (1968) Practice statement the first case the practice statement had been used although it only
involved a small technical point on discovery of documents.
· Herrington V British railways board (1972) Practice statement. This case involved the law on the duty of cared
owed to a child trespasser, the earlier case Addie V Dumbreck (1929) had decided that an occupier of land would
only owe a duty of care for injuries if those injuries had been caused recklessly or deliberately. In Herrington the
Lords held that social and physical conditions changed and so should the law.
· Jones V secretary of sate for social services (1972) Reluctance against the Practice statement This case involved
interpretation of the National Insurance act 1946 and four out of seven judges hearing the case regarded the
earlier decisions in RE Dowling (1967) as being wrong, despite this the lords refused to overrule that earlier case,
keeping to that idea that certainty was more important. The same attitude was shown in Knuller V DPP (1973)
where Lord Reid said "in the general interest of certainty in the law we must be sure that there is some very good
reason before we so act"…read more

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Practice Statement continued
· Miliangos V George Frank (textiles) Ltd (1976) Practice statement The HOL used the practice statement so
damages could be rewarded in something other then sterling. COA tried to overrule HOL later on by not following
what had been said in Havana Railways (1961) which said that damages could only be rewarded in sterling. It did
go to the HOL and they ignored the COA and said that they could not overrule a HOL decision. They then used the
practice statement.
· Murphy V Brentwood District Council (1990) Practice statement HOL overruled the decision in Anns V Merton
London Borough regarding the test for negligence in the law of tort.
· Pepper V Hart (1993) Practice statement & Overruling The previous ban on the use of Hansard in Statutory
interpretation was overruled.
· Horton V Sadler and another (2006) Practice Statement The case involved a personal injury claim, the HOL
departed from their decision in Walkley V Precisions forgings ltd (1979). It departed from Walkley for three
1. It unfairly deprived claimants of a right that Parliament had intended them to have.
2. It had driven the COA to draw distinctions which were correct but were so fine as to reflect no credit on the area of
3. It went against the clear intention of Parliament.
· R v Shivpuri (1986) 1st time the practice statement was used in criminal law It overruled the decision in Anderton v
Ryan (1985) on attempts to do the impossible. A twist was that the decision in Anderton had been made less than
a year before.
· R v R and G (2003) Practice statement in criminal law The HOL used the PS to overrule the earlier decision of
Caldwell (1982) on the law of criminal damage. In Caldwell the HOL had ruled that recklessness included the
situation where the defendant had not realised the risk of his actions. In R v R and G it was held that this was the
wrong test to use. The law lords overruled Caldwell.…read more

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· Balfour V Balfour (1919) and Merritt V
Merritt (1971) Distinguishing In Balfour there
was just an agreement, there was no
separation involved, in the later case of
Merritt the claim was successful because the
agreement was made after they had
separated and it was in writing.…read more

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· Pepper V Hart (1993) Practice statement & Overruling
The previous ban on the use of Hansard in Statutory
interpretation was overruled.
· Davis V Johnson Overruling The COA refused to follow
a decision made only days earlier regarding the
interpretation of the domestic violence and
matrimonial proceedings act 1976. The case went onto
the House of Lords on appeal where the Law Lords,
despite agreeing with the interpretation of the law,
ruled that the COA had to follow its own previous
decisions and said that they `expressly, unequivocally
and unanimously reaffirmed the rule in young and
Bristol aeroplane.'…read more

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