Sources of Law



By the end of this unit you should be able to explain [AO1]

  • Ÿ  Describe how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
  • Ÿ  Explain the different types of bill and when they might be used
  • Ÿ  Describe what is meant by the terms ‘separation of powers’, ‘sovereignty’ and ‘supremacy’
  • Understand and explain the constitution of Parliament

You should also be able to evaluate [AO2]:

  • Ÿ  The current process of law making in Parliament

In addition, for an example of a Bill, so you know what to do and how it should look, take a look at the Assisted Dying Bill (it’s also useful to look at the website which shows the progress of this Bill as a summary of the legislative process.)

Now the actual stuff! The handout is Leg Handout and the slides are below:

… in addition the dominoes to check you have actually understood all this are here: Dominoes for Starter (Leg)

Precedent 2: Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal

By the end of this unit you should be able to explain [AO1]

  • How the Supreme Court can avoid precedent by using the Practice statement
  • How the Court of Appeal can avoid precedent by using Young
  • The general approach to precedent by both of the superior courts

You should also be able to evaluate [AO2]:

  • Whether the lower courts should have more power to avoid the precedent of the higher courts (the ‘Denning’ argument)
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the system of precedent.

So, the next unit. The overall handout is here: UKSC&CA2014 and the dominoes (yes, I know some of you hate them, but they are a useful way of me finding out how much you know!) for consolidation of the Practice Statement are here: Dominoes for Starter (HL)  and the first set of PowerPoints is below:

… and it includes the Court of Appeal. Before you complete the handout etc, have a go at the following introduction exercise. CA intro task What else can you learn about the powers of the Court of Appeal from this?


Precedent 1: Mechanics

By the end of this unit you should be able to explain, with examples (AO1):

  • The court hierarchy in England and Wales
  • The meaning of the terms stare decisis; obiter dicta and ratio decidendi
  • The different types of Precedent (Binding, Original, Persuasive)
  • The different methods used by the courts to follow or avoid precedent [FORD]

You will also be able to evaluate (AO2):

  • The justifications for judges following binding precedents
  • The advantages and disadvantages of precedent as a theory (doctrine)

To start with, if you want your own set of court cards to sort out the hierarchy, they are available here! As usual, the handout is available here: Precedent in case you have lost or misplaced yours… and the wonderful PowerPoint slides, are below for you to wonder and admire over, including the introductory notes and intro to the topic using duress…

In addition, copies of the dominoes types for the starter, if you want to make your own for revision are available here:Dominoes for Starter (Types) as are the mix and match cases and terms for the basics! Mix and Match Cards (Starter)

Finally, to check that you have understood, there are some sample question Bs.Mechanics short problem questions Remember that you need to use the source to identify what you should be applying, and then give reasons and examples!

And lastly… the partially completed brainstorm on this section is available here (Brainstorm (Mech of Prec) for ILP day) and you should aim to complete it to show your understanding!

The PowerPoint for this topic (and the end of unit assessment) is below:

Your end of unit task is here: Mechanics of Precedent G152 [E0U] 2014 Remember, that at this stage of the year, we are not panicking about time, or indeed if you can remember everything about the topic! We are focusing on the skills you will need to be successful



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