I believe that Judicial Precedence is a key elementin our justice system, as it allows judges of inferior courts to reach verdictsin shorter spaces of time than if they were to act alone. However, I think itrestricts some cases into receiving verdicts that they do not deserve due tocourts lower in the hierarchy being unable to overrule or refuse earlierprecedencies.However, when larger scale cases are in court(murder, rape, fraud).
Trial will take place in a ‘superior court’. Thesecourts possess the power to overrule any prior verdicts that could impact theoutcome of a current case. For example, the previously mentioned cases held atthe House of Lords; Anns v Merton LBC &Murphy v Brentwood District Council are extremely similar.
However, afterevaluating the facts it was decided that the original precedence would beoverruled and therefore changed.In conclusion, it isclear how Judicial Precedence is usedwithin the English Legal System. It provides set laws based upon previouslyjudged cases. Research has shown me that when smaller scale cases are in court(civil matters/disagreements), judges will refer to these previous outcomesrather than using up valuable time and money distinguishing a new verdict.
Thisis because these past decisions are viewed as ‘good law’, and are in place toaid the judge in trying to come to a conclusion of a case.Although,much unlike Anns v Merton LBC, thelocal authority were not held responsible. This is because the situation wasseen as pure economic loss, rather than negligence. There was no liability inthe absence of physical injury and the case overruled Anns v Merton LBC becoming the updated piece of “good law”.
(Ball, 2014)The House decided to overrule this precedent whenreaching a verdict for Murphy v BrentwoodDistrict Council. This case was regarding a similar scenario that tookplace in 1990. Again, the local authority were supposed to carry out checks onsome recently constructed foundations, but failed to do so. Because of this,the structure became unstable beyond the allowable tolerance. (Ball, 2014)