It is interesting to note that very occasionally the obiter dicta parts of the

It is interesting to note that very occasionally the

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leads to the decision and it is this legal rule that is binding on a later judge. It is interesting to note that very occasionally the obiter dicta parts of the judgment may be of the most importance for the future development of case law. This happened with Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd [2017]. The ‘material’ facts of a case are the facts that are important to the decision. Not all facts in a case will be relevant to the decision and the judge will generally make fairly clear which facts are relevant. So, for example, in the famous case of Donoghue v Stevenson [1932 ] the court dealt with the question of whether a manufacturer of a food product could be liable for causing injury to the ultimate consumer of the product as a result of negligent manufacture. In this case Mrs Stevenson was made ill as a result of consuming ginger beer poured from a brown bottle which contained a dead snail. The brown bottle was the material fact and while the ginger beer was not the material. This case has established a principle which is ‘neighbour principle’ and developed the tort law (duty of care).
It seems like UK Judges are flexible to make or change the law in English Legal System. Therefore, the this essay will be divided into a few part the show whether the doctrine of judicial precedent allow judges in the English courts the flexibility to make or change the law of the English legal system. The English common law system, the doctrine of binding precedent means that judge in a lower court must apply a decision made in a similar case in a higher court or indeed, in a court at the same level. These are concepts of vertical and horizontal precedent . Vertical precedent means a court applies precedent from a higher court. Horizontal precedent refers to a court adhering to its own precedent. However, there is some extent that the doctrine of judicial precedent allowed judges in the English courts the flexibility to make or change the law of the English legal system although they practised vertical and horizontal precedent. The UK Supreme Court binds all of the courts below it in the court hierarchy. There have been some occasions in the past when the Court of Appeal has challenged this principle. Until the mid-19th century the House of Lords took the view that it was not bound by its own decisions, but in 1898 in the case of London Street Tramways Ltd v London County Council [1898] AC 375 the House confirmed that they would in future be bound by their own decisions. However, in the period that followed the London Tramways decision it was felt that the effect of the decision was to constrain the development of the common law and that rather than ensuring predictability and certainty in the law, the effect was rather the opposite. As a result, in 1966, all of the judges in the House of Lords joined together to issue a Practice Statement (a statement by the court of a procedure that it intends to introduce) providing that in future the House would no longer regard itself as bound by its own earlier decisions. The statement was carefully worded to communicate that this new power to depart from decisions would be used sparingly to avoid creating uncertainty in the law.

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