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Overruling, Distinguishing and Reversing in the UK court sys

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kieran todd

on 13 November 2014

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Transcript of Overruling, Distinguishing and Reversing in the UK court sys

Distinguishing
Distinguishing is the method which can be used by a judge to avoid following a past decision which he would otherwise have to follow. It means that the judge finds the material facts of the case he is deciding are sufficiently different for him to draw a distinction between the present case and the previous precedent.

For example Belfour v Belfour(1919) and Merritt v Merritt (1971)
Overruling, Distinguishing and Reversing in the UK court system.
Overruling is where a court in a later case states that the legal rule decided in an earlier case is wrong.

Overruling may occur when a higher court overrules a decision made in an earlier case by a lower court, for example, the Supreme Court overruling a decision of the Court of Appeal or when the House of Lords used its power under the Practice Statement to overrule a past decision of its own

For example Pepper v Hart (1993) which overruled the earlier decision in Davis v Johnson.
Reversing
This is where a court higher up in the hierarchy overturns the decision of a lower court on appeal in the same case.

For example, the Court of Appeal may disagree with the legal ruling of the High Court and come to a different view of the law; in this situation it reverses the decision made by the High Court.
Overruling
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