Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

What's the difference between ratio decidendi and obiter dictum?

Announcements Posted on
Applying to uni this year? Check out our new personal statement advice hub 28-11-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Explain please.
    • 17 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Ratio decidendi = essentially the main point of the arguement, the deciding factor; literally "the rationale for the decision"
    Obiter dictum = other things which support the main point, additional information; literally "said by the way"
    • Thread Starter
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DiZZeeKiD)
    Ratio decidendi = essentially the main point of the arguement, the deciding factor; literally "the rationale for the decision"
    Obiter dictum = other things which support the main point, additional information; literally "said by the way"
    They could both mean that the points for the case are null and void, depending on the situation?
    • 17 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by *mMmMm*)
    They could both mean that the points for the case are null and void, depending on the situation?
    Yup, essentially you could use these phrases arguing for or against, just like you'd use novus actus interveniens, etc.
    • Thread Starter
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Thanks For any part of law and not just negligence though?
    • 17 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by *mMmMm*)
    Thanks For any part of law and not just negligence though?
    I believe so, yeah. Feel free to blame me if I'm wrong lol
    • 22 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by *mMmMm*)
    They could both mean that the points for the case are null and void, depending on the situation?
    Er, not quite. The ratio is the basis of decision of a case, and is law. If a case is not in point, it means that its facts are different, so it can be distinguished from the case/situation you're considering. The ratio is still law, it's just not relevant to the case under consideration.

    Obiter dicta are statements made which don't go to the conclusion of the case, and are not law--they're persuasive authority for a proposition. Dicta can, however, be applied in subsequent cases, in which case they become law. An example would be Lord Reid's dicta in White v Carter and McGregor, where he outlined exceptions to the principle that an innocent party to a contract which had suffered repudiatory breach could perform its obligations and demand payment. These exceptions were then applied in the Puerto Buitrago and in the Alaskan Trader.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: March 18, 2011
New on TSR

Vote for your favourite Christmas film

Win a bundle of Xmas DVDs

Article updates
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.