Dealing With and Answering Tort Cases

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Case Analysis:
Students are obliged to pre-prepare a two-page outline of their answers to the stated cases/problems in the given tutorial. The faculty will ask individual students to deliver an oral summary of their outline answer to the tutorial problems. These answers, written and oral, will form the basis of the tutorial proceedings. Here is a “rough guide” to the seven headings under which any case should be analyzed: 1. Case History = what was the legal basis of the claimant’s claim? When was the case decided? By what court was the case decided? If the case went on appeal, what had the lower court(s) decided?

2. Material Facts = what facts did the court treat as material? What factual aspects of the case can be ignored?
3. Key Question = what precise question or questions was the court required to decide?
4. Decision = did the court find for the claimant or defendant? If there was more than one issue to be decided, how did the court decide each issue? Did the court fail to decide any questions? What precisely was the outcome of the case? If the case went to the High Court or the Supreme Court was their decision unanimous?

5. Ratio/Principles Applied = what principles of law did the court lay down as the basis for deciding the case? Were there any qualifications or restrictions or dissensions to the principles stated by the court?

6. Reasoning = what was the underlying rationale given by the court for adopting the principle or principles which it applied?
7. Critique of the Case = Is the case still good law? To what extent has it been interpreted/applied in subsequent cases? Has it been interpreted/applied broadly or narrowly? Is the decision or reasoning inconsistent with earlier or later decisions? To what extent has the case been welcomed in subsequent commentary? Is it a good/fair/reasonable decision? If so, why? If not, why not?

Here is a “rough guide” to the headings that might help your technique of dealing with and answering tort cases.
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