Unit 23: Aspects of the Legal System and Law-making Process Assignment 3
Law Making and Interpretation (3/3)
P6 – Explain how precedents are applied in court:
Precedents are a past case that is used as an example or as guidance as it has similar facts and circumstances. There are 3 types of Precedents; Original, Binding and Persuasive. They can be used instead of statutory laws in civil cases. They are created when a new case, which has never been trialled in the UK courts. An example of this was the London bombings in 2005. The rulings for this trial will now be applied to future cases, similar to this. Judges look at a previous case, which is similar and in an equal or higher court and they will then use this information to decide on the verdict. Precedents can be avoided if higher courts have not dealt with a similar case and therefore the lower courts can’t rely on them to determine the outcome. Another reason they may be over-ruled is if the previous case is very old and no longer right to apply.
P7 – Describe the process when making an Act of Parliament:
A bill is the application for a new law or change to an existing one. It is then taken to the government where it will go through a process and a decision will be made whether it becomes a law or not. The bill will start in one of the houses (Lords or Commons) and it will then go through a number of stages and readings. There is also the opportunity to make amendments, which means it will have to go through the houses again before it reaches the royal assent. This process can take weeks, months, or years for a law to be created or changed, depending on the importance and whether amendments have to be made.
P8 – Explain the rules of statutory interpretation:
1. The Mischief Rule
a. If the act does not fall clearly into a specific legislation, the judge can apply the Mischief Rule. This means it takes into account what parliament actually meant when it was made. They will look at the law before the statue was made and take this into consideration when making their judgement. 2. The Literal Rule
a. This is the first rule that judges should apply in court as the words are given in their ordinary meaning and are applied without the judge explaining them in order to make better sense of the statue. 3. The Golden Rule
a. This rule can be applied if the literal rule could lead to an illogical outcome. The court can then apply a second meaning. An example of this rule being used was Sigsworth 1935; He murdered his mother, who hadn’t made a will and therefore he was to inherit everything, but the judge applied the Golden rule and he was entitled to nothing, due to the circumstances.
M2 – Compare and contrast the methods of law making:
Laws can be created two ways, either via precedents or through the Acts of Parliament. Precedents will take in consideration past cases which are similar and then they will then use the case as a guide to determine the outcome. Laws made through Acts of Parliament are new laws or changes to existing ones. They will go through many stages before they are made a law. In court judges use precedents to help them make their decision and if there isn't a previous case similar then they will use the case for future cases and this is known as an original precedent. Acts of parliament start off as ‘Bills’ and are made by either the government or public and they will be approved by both House of Lords and the House of Commons, before finally being approved by the Royal Assent. Once the Act has officially been made into a law it will apply to everyone in the UK. Bills vary in how long they take to become an official law and it usually weeks to years, depending on the importance and whether there needs to be any amendments or not. Precedents on the other hand, do not take long as they...
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E-lawresources.co.uk,. 'Re Sigsworth '. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
E-lawresources.co.uk,. 'Rylands V Fletcher '. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
E-lawresources.co.uk,. 'Statutory Interpretation '. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
Inbrief.co.uk,. 'Precedents: What Are They And When Are They Used? '. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
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UK Parliament,. 'Passage Of A Bill '. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
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