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'Overruling' Watch

    • Thread Starter

    I have an essay question as to whether a case should be overruled, and just want to check that my reasoning is correct.

    I am arguing that the case was rightly decided on its particular facts. However, the reasoning in the case was flawed (and obiter comments etc) and thus the court should clarify this as soon as a similar case reached the Supreme Court.

    Surely this still means that it should not be OVERRULED?

    I'm not 100% sure about this but I don't think a court would overrule a judgement which it agreed with. However, it might disapprove of the judgement (or, more specifically, it's reasoning) to the extent that the former case might as well be overruled because the new rule is clearly the one in the later judgement.

    Your argument sounds like it is well considered. I wouldn't worry too much about the technicalities of whether your position technically constitutes overruling, as it sounds like your conclusion is pretty clear and directly answers the question.

    I am not 100% sure but I don't think this would actually constitute overruling. The courts sometimes do say that cases were correctly decided but should be confined to their own specific facts. Overruling means that a case is no longer good authority, in this situation I guess the reasoning would be doubted and the effect of the case would be reduced but the case itself would still be good authority for its particular factual situation. However, practically speaking the effect is very similar to overruling so I don't think it matters much how you describe it as long as your conclusion is clear.
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Updated: March 6, 2012
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