Outline the main features of judicial precedent.

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Judicial precedent begins with stare decisis meaning to stand by a decision, creating consistency. The ratio decidendi is a binding precedent, and literally translates to the reason for deciding. In R v Howe the ratio decidendi was that duress is not a defence for murder, meaning it will be applied to all future cases of similar facts. In R v Brown the ratio decidendi was that consent is not a defence for sado-masochistic acts.

The obiter dicta is the other thing said in a case and is a persuasive precedent, meaning the judge can choose to apply it to the case. Once the obiter dicta is applied to a case it becomes the ratio decidendi, the binding precedent. In R v Howe the obiter dicta was that duress is not a defence for attempted murder, then applied to…


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