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    Hello everyone,

    I have exams coming up and am unsure of what case to use to issustarte a point / provide authority.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm assuming that using multiple cases to illustrate the exact same point would be redundant, for example, in relation to ulta vires in Judicial Review I could use two cases:

    -Ahmed and others v HM Treasury (2010), which concerned two orders in council being held ultra vires as the court decided that the United Nations Act 1946 did not confer the power to make orders that overrode funtamental rights (which the orders did).

    -R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex p Leech (1993), where prison rules made by the secretary of state under the Prison Act 1952 were held to be ultra vires as the court felt it could not have been parliament's intention to restrict access to the courts (Which a rule did).

    The bit that confuses me is that they basically make the same point: you can't act outside your legal powers. For this reason, as I stated earlier, it would be reduntant to mention both of them, not to mention that it would feel like a waste of time as the exam is timed. Additionally, Leech is the leading case in Ultra Vires but Ahmed is a much more recent case, so do i use the recent one or the leading one?

    Could someone please help clear up my confusion, thanks in advance.
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    If you were to define it i'd probably look to as where the doctrine or law was established
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    (Original post by jetan18)
    If you were to define it i'd probably look to as where the doctrine or law was established
    So I need to look for the case which created the original precedent?

    Going with the Ultra Vires example, the doctine seems to have been established in
    Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Co Ltd v Riche (1875) which is a case that my lectures have never mentioned, nor is it in my text books... would it not be better to give the leading case, which appears to be ex p Leech? Or if the date really matters would it not be the recent case (in this example, Ahmed) that would be better to provide?

    Sorry, I'm still a bit unsure, but what your saying is that, out of the leading case, a recent case and the case that established the doctrine, the one that established the doctine should be the one you give?

    On another note, how much does it matter what exact case you give if they all highlight the same principle? I originally asked this question because out of the two cases, both have been mentioned by lecturer's / are in my books but I was unsure which one to use when demonstrating a point (if it matters at all in the first place).
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    what textbook(s) are you reading? really don't want to point you in the wrong direction especially if that case is not mentioned in your course material
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    (Original post by jetan18)
    what textbook(s) are you reading? really don't want to point you in the wrong direction especially if that case is not mentioned in your course material

    These two

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/British-Gov...w+colin+turpin

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unlocking-C...nistrative+law

    The confusion came about when I read another book on writing law essays that said that if you use a case to illustrate a point / provide authority, you shouldn't give another case unless it enhances your answer (however both cases in the orginal post are essentially raising the same point). I completely understand this as I would essentially be repeating myself. The problem is that the book goes on to say that you should use the leading cases to illustrate your point but also has a whole section on making sure you are giving up-to-date and recent cases in your essay.

    In the two books i've listed above Leech and Ahmed both appear but Leech seems to be the 'leading' case and yet both books also talk about Ahmed, specifically refering to it as a more recent case.

    So basically the book I've read on writing law essays has said to only give one case, give the leading case and give a recent case. This contradiction is what has confusted me and is what led to me asking on here
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    in finding the 'unlocking constitutional and administrative law' book the page I've found (257/258?) all the cases referenced Leech, Fulham... demonstrate that the executive has gone beyond powers granted by statute. Ahmed v HM Treasury does this but the only purpose I can see in the author mentioning it is that because it is recent it is still good law so I probably would not use it in talking about ultra vires unless the question maybe prompts you to either by asking how the law has developed.


    I do though in studying public/administrative law remember most out of all of those the Fulham case. I'm really sorry if I've confused you, if so please do disregard it and take the material to a tutor and ask why those case examples have been used specifically as there are so many.
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    also i've found 'how to write law essays and exams' by S.I Strong a good book, think you can find it online it may provide better guidance
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    The cases you use ought to be in this order of importance from most to least important:

    1) Analogous cases. Sometimes, the facts in the hypothetical scenario will be so similar to the facts in an actual case. If you fail to cite the analogous case, you will lose your chance to shine in that particular problem question.

    2) Leading cases. The main cases that textbook authors cite for general propositions of law are the leading cases that you should cite for those legal propositions. These are the cases that markers are familiar with and are looking for, especially if your lecturer wrote the textbook (I had quite a few instances of this happening)!

    3) Other cases. I don't care if the case is recent or if it was the case that established the doctrine. If it is neither analogous to the facts nor is it a leading case, it should be the case cited last and only if you have extra time at the end.

    The reason why recent cases that don't end up in textbooks or that only end up in a tiny footnote in textbooks aren't important in exams is because they usually don't add to or change the law much. If a recent case brings about a major change in the law, you can bet that it will soon appear as an important case in the latest edition of your textbook with a clear explanation of how it modified the law. It would then end up in category 2, i.e. leading cases.

    If the case that established the doctrine isn't cited as a leading case in lectures/textbooks, it is likely that the law has either changed since then or the law wasn't stated clearly in that particular case. Lecturers and textbook authors pick key cases that explain the law well and that have not been overruled to illustrate principles of law and you should do likewise.

    Do remember, lecturers write textbooks and the same lecturers set exams! So take note of what they think is important and emphasise in textbooks/lectures.
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    (Original post by jessjanellbhons1)
    The cases you use ought to be in this order of importance from most to least important:

    1) Analogous cases. Sometimes, the facts in the hypothetical scenario will be so similar to the facts in an actual case. If you fail to cite the analogous case, you will lose your chance to shine in that particular problem question.

    2) Leading cases. The main cases that textbook authors cite for general propositions of law are the leading cases that you should cite for those legal propositions. These are the cases that markers are familiar with and are looking for, especially if your lecturer wrote the textbook (I had quite a few instances of this happening)!

    3) Other cases. I don't care if the case is recent or if it was the case that established the doctrine. If it is neither analogous to the facts nor is it a leading case, it should be the case cited last and only if you have extra time at the end.

    The reason why recent cases that don't end up in textbooks or that only end up in a tiny footnote in textbooks aren't important in exams is because they usually don't add change the law much. If a recent case brings about a major change in the law, you can bet that it will soon appear as an important case in the latest edition of your textbook with a clear explanation of how it modified the law. It would then end up in category 2, i.e. leading cases.

    If the case that established the doctrine isn't cited as a leading case in lectures/textbooks, it is likely that the law has either changed since then or the law wasn't stated clearly in that particular case. Lecturers and textbook authors pick key cases that explain the law well and that have not been overruled to illustrate principles of law and you should do likewise.

    Do remember, lecturers write textbooks and the same lecturers set exams! So take note of what they think is important and emphasise in textbooks/lectures.
    Thanks so much, this is exactly what I was looking for!
 
 
 
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