Key facts chart for Precedent and Acts of Parliament

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Stare decisis
'Stand by what has been decided.' Follow the law decided in previous cases for certainty and fairness.
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Ratio decidendi
'Reasons for deciding.' The part of the judgement which creates the law.
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Obiter dicta
'Other things said.' The other parts of the judgement -these do not create law.
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Binding precedent
'A previous decision which has to be followed.' Decisions of previous courts bind lower courts.
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Persuasive precedent
'A previous decision which does not have to be followed.' The court may be persuaded that the same legal decision should be made.
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Original precedent
'A decision in a case where there is no previous legal decision or law for the judge to use.' This leads to judges making law.
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Distinguishing
'A method of avoiding a previous decision because facts in the present case are different.' e.g. Balfour v Balfour and Merritt v Merritt
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Overruling
'A decision which states that a legal rule in an earlier case is wrong.' e.g. in Pepper v Hart the house of Lords overruled Davis v Johnson on the use of the Hansard
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Reversing
'Where a higher court in the same case overturns the decision in the lower court.' This can only happen if there is an appeal in the case.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

'Reasons for deciding.' The part of the judgement which creates the law.

Back

Ratio decidendi

Card 3

Front

'Other things said.' The other parts of the judgement -these do not create law.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

'A previous decision which has to be followed.' Decisions of previous courts bind lower courts.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

'A previous decision which does not have to be followed.' The court may be persuaded that the same legal decision should be made.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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