One of the primary sources of law that you will be expected to read during your law degree is case law. [Latin: the reason for deciding]The principle or principles of law on which the court reaches its decision. When a judge delivers judgement in a case he outlines the facts which he finds have been proved on the evidence. That is, the reasoning applied in an individual decision, referred to as the ratio decidendi, must be applied to similar future cases (see Example 10). The legal principle upon which the decision in a specific case is founded.

A case decided by, for example, the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court will usually contain more than one judgment. There may, however, be disagreement over what the ratio is and there may be more than one ratio. The ratio decidendi of a case is not the actual decision, or order, like ‘guilty’ or ‘the defender is liable to pay compensation’. It … It is my submission that with regard to these phrases Simpson has failed to note their ambiguity. Then he applies the law to those facts and arrives at a decision, for which he gives the reason (ratio decidendi). The importance of the distinction is that the ratio decidendi of a previous case is binding on a later court (depending upon the rules of stare decisis) whereas an obiter dictum is not binding, being merely persuasive. Two important meanings of the phrase ‘‘ ratio decidendi ” to on my article 1 (1957) 20 M.L.R. Guidance on reading cases.

The ratio decidendi is also known as the rationale for a decision. The whole judgment of a case is not binding only a part of the judgment is binding and that part is the ratio decidendi. 2 (1957) 20 M.L.R. When a judge makes his judgement in a case, he outlines the facts which he finds have been proved on the evidence.

It is a concept derived from English common law, whereby a judgment comprises only two elements: ratio decidendi and obiter dicta.For the purposes of judicial precedent, ratio decidendi is binding, whereas obiter dicta are persuasive only. Individual decisions by a court are binding on that court and lower courts; judges are obligated to decide future cases 'in the same way.'
ratio decidendi: [ Latin, The ground or reason of decision. ] It is said to be the statement of law applied to the material facts. Reading a case . Case law sources are reports of what judges decide following a dispute or issue having been brought to court. Goodhart’s theory is that what is binding on later judges is a rule which may be logically con- By sharing our collective experience through interesting patient cases, we can make a real difference in how people are imaged and diagnosed. Obiter dictum (usually used in the plural, obiter dicta) is the Latin phrase meaning "by the way", that is, a remark in a judgment that is "said in passing". Specifically, in law, it refers to a passage in a judicial opinion which is not necessary for the decision of the case before the court.

The classical theory is that the ratio decidendi of a case is binding on later judges. To ascertain the ratio of a case, certain methods are as follows: Classical or abstraction method: The higher the abstraction, the wider the ratio decidendi. Obiter dictum, Latin phrase meaning “that which is said in passing,” an incidental statement. The ratio decidendi of a case is the important part of establishing precedents that binds inferior courts in the hierarchy. The ratio decidendi in this case can be summarised as that in a case concerning racially or religiously aggravated offences, to determine whether the words used come under the definition of a racial group, a broad, flexible construction of the definition of a racial group is required.

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