Best way to read a full case/judgement quickly??

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Cityking94
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How would one go about reading the dictum of judgements of cases relatively quickly and obtain all the important key ideas/issues that was said?
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cliffg
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(Original post by Cityking94)
How would one go about reading the dictum of judgements of cases relatively quickly and obtain all the important key ideas/issues that was said?
One suggestion - although it will be greeted by howls of protest from lecturers and dedicated law students - is not to read the case. You might consider the following alternatives if you want to maximize the amount of case law you can get through without wading through each judgment in full.

Use a good case book. The compiler has gathered the important cases for you, summarised the facts and reproduced the important paras of the judgment, with a commentary on the reasoning behind the decision. They have done the donkey work of ploughing through the verbiage.

If using the likes of Westlaw or Lexis to locate cases look for related articles, especially case comments or case notes. Once again you will get a summary of the judgment and comment on it. Follow the footnotes and they will direct you to the relevant paras in the judgment should you wish to extract them and use in your work.

If looking for UKSC or ECtHR cases consider using the UKSC website or the HUDOC database instead of Westlaw and open the press summary of the case as opposed to the full judgment. These are well written and again summarise the case and the legal principles. They also provide references to the relevant paras. The UKSC website frequently also includes a comment blog on the case - often very well written and useful.

Consider Googling the case name and looking for any blogs which refer to it, comment on it or use it in some way. Many respected academics are writing very useful blogs although often they are dealing with recently decided cases. The caveat here, of course, is to check on who the writer is.

Finally, if none of the above prove useful for a particular case, I think it just comes down to practising finding the kernel of the reasoning as you skim read the drivel of some excessively verbose judges. The use of headings by many courts now in their judgments can help you locate the important parts quicker.
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Cityking94
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(Original post by cliffg)
One suggestion - although it will be greeted by howls of protest from lecturers and dedicated law students - is not to read the case. You might consider the following alternatives if you want to maximize the amount of case law you can get through without wading through each judgment in full.

Use a good case book. The compiler has gathered the important cases for you, summarised the facts and reproduced the important paras of the judgment, with a commentary on the reasoning behind the decision. They have done the donkey work of ploughing through the verbiage.

If using the likes of Westlaw or Lexis to locate cases look for related articles, especially case comments or case notes. Once again you will get a summary of the judgment and comment on it. Follow the footnotes and they will direct you to the relevant paras in the judgment should you wish to extract them and use in your work.

If looking for UKSC or ECtHR cases consider using the UKSC website or the HUDOC database instead of Westlaw and open the press summary of the case as opposed to the full judgment. These are well written and again summarise the case and the legal principles. They also provide references to the relevant paras. The UKSC website frequently also includes a comment blog on the case - often very well written and useful.

Consider Googling the case name and looking for any blogs which refer to it, comment on it or use it in some way. Many respected academics are writing very useful blogs although often they are dealing with recently decided cases. The caveat here, of course, is to check on who the writer is.

Finally, if none of the above prove useful for a particular case, I think it just comes down to practising finding the kernel of the reasoning as you skim read the drivel of some excessively verbose judges. The use of headings by many courts now in their judgments can help you locate the important parts quicker.
Thank you mate much appreciated!
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Maura Kat
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(Original post by Cityking94)
How would one go about reading the dictum of judgements of cases relatively quickly and obtain all the important key ideas/issues that was said?
I am sorry that only one person replied to you.
the rest are busy at the Oxbridge threads talking about magic circles, training contracts and other 'important' things.

I normally download the judgments and read it through.
i then read a case book to see what the author has pointed out that needs another relook.
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Cityking94
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(Original post by Maura Kat)
I am sorry that only one person replied to you.
the rest are busy at the Oxbridge threads talking about magic circles, training contracts and other 'important' things.

I normally download the judgments and read it through.
i then read a case book to see what the author has pointed out that needs another relook.
Haha I'm sure the first person covered most things anyway but thank you for commenting also. You surely wouldn't download the judgements for every single case which illustrates a principle though? That must be painstaking if you so do. I think for this academic year I might read whole cases in full for the important/landmark cases which demonstrate a key principle and the reasoning for the Ratio Decidendi if you like. I think it's also good to be able to discuss in response to problem questions or a straight essay question in the exam.
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cliffg
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(Original post by Cityking94)
You surely wouldn't download the judgements for every single case which illustrates a principle though? That must be painstaking if you so do.
Clearly there will be some cases which you either need or want to read in full. They may be, for example, leading cases,a case that a seminar is going to revolve around or a case which you are going to use extensively in a coursework essay. I have always tended to print such cases out. A hard copy is so much easier to work with than scrolling backwards and forwards on a lap top trying to relocate a passage I need to re-read. I also tend to read these cases quickly on a first run through - to get the gist of what is going on, not bothering to go back and re-read paras I don't quite follow. I just want to get an initial sense of the judgment. I leave it for a day and then go back for either another quick read or what you might describe as a sort of "study" reading of the case. That works for me - might not work for you - everyone is different. I just find that reading a case quickly, for two or even three times, is more beneficial to me than spending a lot of time reading it in detail and studying it on first reading. By the time I get to making notes on the case it has become familiar to me - but everyone finds their own way of doing it.
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tehforum
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Read the head note

then read case notes/journal articles which summarise the judgement in the first few pages
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Cityking94
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(Original post by cliffg)
Clearly there will be some cases which you either need or want to read in full. They may be, for example, leading cases,a case that a seminar is going to revolve around or a case which you are going to use extensively in a coursework essay. I have always tended to print such cases out. A hard copy is so much easier to work with than scrolling backwards and forwards on a lap top trying to relocate a passage I need to re-read. I also tend to read these cases quickly on a first run through - to get the gist of what is going on, not bothering to go back and re-read paras I don't quite follow. I just want to get an initial sense of the judgment. I leave it for a day and then go back for either another quick read or what you might describe as a sort of "study" reading of the case. That works for me - might not work for you - everyone is different. I just find that reading a case quickly, for two or even three times, is more beneficial to me than spending a lot of time reading it in detail and studying it on first reading. By the time I get to making notes on the case it has become familiar to me - but everyone finds their own way of doing it.
Excellent advice may I say, I might just have to incorporate them into my study plan. I do agree with you though, it becomes extremely tedious scrolling through Westlaw up and down trying to locate a passage of text. Maybe highlighting and writing notes at the side of the text would also be helpful in aiding understanding. I guess reading the case more than once from the initial interaction helps in clarifying your understanding of the case in terms of remembering the principles and the logic by which the particular judge took to arrive their judgement.
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Maura Kat
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(Original post by Cityking94)
You surely wouldn't download the judgements for every single case which illustrates a principle though? That must be painstaking if you so do.
i guess 'study smart' is the way to go?
look at tehforum's advice. its good!

(Original post by tehforum)
Read the head note

then read case notes/journal articles which summarise the judgement in the first few pages
excellent advice!
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tehforum
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(Original post by Maura Kat)
i guess 'study smart' is the way to go?
look at tehforum's advice. its good!



excellent advice!
thank you
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Maura Kat
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(Original post by tehforum)
thank you
your contributions to the law threads have been impeccable.
kindly continue to do so.
we young punk are in dire need of such advice.
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