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READING & USING CASE CITATIONS. REVIEW OF PRECEDENT. PRECEDENT =Something that has been done that can later serve as an example or rule for how other things should be done. Came about when a case & its decision became common knowledge in the legal system

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review of precedent
REVIEW OF PRECEDENT

PRECEDENT=Something that has been done that can later serve as an example or rule for how other things should be done.

  • Came about when a case & its decision became common knowledge in the legal system
  • Lawyers and judges today refer to earlier decisions on cases that are identical or similar to the ones they are dealing with as ‘precedents’
  • Courts are bound (within prescribed limits) by prior decisions of superior courts
review cont precedent helps achieve 2 things
REVIEW cont...PRECEDENT HELPS ACHIEVE 2 THINGS
  • Judges establish the same standard of judging offences throughout the country.
  • Ensures that the law develops only in accordance with the changing perceptions of the community (therefore reflects the morals and expectations of the community)
review cont problems with the rule of precedent
REVIEW cont...PROBLEMS WITH THE RULE OF PRECEDENT
  • Following the precedent too closely can cause a problem if the precedent is not recent.
  • All cases are not judged on their own merit but in reference to past judgements.
slide5

A system based on precedent will be rational (without making reason its god), will be adaptable to varied and changing circumstances, will take into account human experience, will be highly practical and will be composed by the finest minds of many generations, tuned to a fine balance and learned in the art of detecting legal issues and resolving legal problems. The gradual developments of the system will avoid the pitfalls of hasty and counterproductive reformation.

case citations
CASE CITATIONS
  • Is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past court cases
  • Can be found in special books called ‘Reporters’ or in law reports
  • Often located in a law library or law database online
information found in a case citation
INFORMATION FOUND IN A CASE CITATION
  • Title of the reporter
  • Volume number of the reporter
  • Page number in the reporter
  • Series of the reporter
  • Year of decision and/or report
  • Court
each court has its own court code
EACH COURT HAS ITS OWN COURT CODE
  • Supreme Court of Canada = SCC
  • Federal Court of Appeal = FCA
  • Federal Court = FC
  • Provincial Courts of Appeal = A two letter province identifier + ‘CA’. E.g. ABCA, BCCA, ONCA
  • Provincial Superior Courts = A two letter province identifier + a two letter superior court identifier (which varies depending on the name of the superior court. E.g. ABSC, BCSC
  • Provincial Inferior Courts = A two letter province identifier + a two letter inferior court identifier. E.g. ABPC, BCPC
breakdown of info in case citation standard case citation r v big m drug mart ltd 1985 1 s c r 145
BREAKDOWN OF INFO IN CASE CITATIONStandard Case Citation:R. v. Big M Drug Mart Ltd., (1985) 1 S.C.R. 145.
list of major canadian print law reports series
LIST OF MAJOR CANADIAN PRINT LAW REPORTS SERIES

The following lists the major report series. It is not a complete list. Many older series and some less frequently used series are not listed.

National Reports

Dominion Law Reports (DLR)Federal Court Reports (FCR)Federal Trial Reports (FTR)National Reporter (NR)Supreme Court Reports (SCR)

Regional Reports

Atlantic Provinces Reports (APR)Eastern Law Reporter (East)Maritime Provinces Reports (MPR)Western Weekly Reports (WWR)

supreme court of canada cases
Supreme Court of Canada Cases

http://scc.lexum.org/decisia-scc-csc/scc-csc/en/nav.do