Civil Law

Topics: Common law, Law, Contract Pages: 2 (435 words) Published: October 13, 2012
Civil Law
Aims, Parties, Why we require civil law and areas of civil law. A civil case is a lawsuit between one person (or organisation) against another. To right a perceived wrong in a legal sense. It can include cases of defamation, neighbour disputes, negligence leading to personal injury or the recovery of debts. Judgements in a civil case could include payment of damages (and court costs) or an enforceable court order. The purpose of civil law is to uphold the rights of individuals and can be won on the basis of probability. Civil cases are decided by a judge and very rarely a jury in a county or high court. For example in the case of Donoghue v Stevenson[1932] AC 562, (Case summary). The House of Lords held that a manufacturer owed a duty of care to the ultimate consumer of the product. This set a binding precedent which was followed in Grant v Austalian Knitting Mills [1936] AC 85 (Case summary). Also in Shaw v DPP [1962] AC 220 (Case summary) the House of Lords held that a crime of conspiracy to corrupt public morals existed. This was followed in Knuller v DPP [1973] AC 435 (Case summary). In order for the doctrine of judicial precedent to work, it is necessary to be able to determine what a point of law is. In the course of delivering a judgment, the judge will set out their reasons for reaching a decision. The reasons which are necessary for them to reach their decision amount to the ratio decidendi of the case. The ratio decidendi forms the legal principle which is a binding precedentmeaning it must be followed in future cases containing the same material facts. It is important to separate the ratio decidendi from the obiter dicta. The obiter dicta is things stated in the course of a judgment which are not necessary for the decision.

Contract law encompasses any laws or regulations directed toward enforcing certain promises. In Australia contract law is primarily regulated by the 'common law', but increasingly statutes are supplementing the...
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