Judicial Precedent Q2

Briefly explain;

a) Judicial precedent
b) Coercion
c) Battery
d) Arbitration

(20 marks, 2012 Q2)

a) Judicial precedent

Judicial precedent are asked in:
MIA QE 2008/3 Q1 (c) State briefly the advantages of the doctrine of binding judicial precedent.
MIA QE 2009/3 Q1 (c) Explain how judicial decisions form part of the law of Malaysia.
MIA QE 2014/3 Q1 (a) Explain the meaning of “binding judicial precedent” in the context of unwritten law in Malaysia.
MIA QE 2012/9 Q1 (a) ‘Judicial Precedent’ is one of the sources of “unwritten laws” in Malaysia.
MIA QE 2014/9 Q1 (a) What is meant by ‘judicial precedent’?
Precedence - is it always followed? Advantages and Disadvantages.
2012 D02 Q2 briefly explain Judicial precedent.
Briefly explain the challenges of Stare Decisis in Malaysian Courts.
What is meant by "Stare Decisis"?

Judicial precedent: A judgment of a court of law cited as an authority for deciding a similar set of facts; a case which serves as authority for the legal principle embodied in its decision. The common law has developed by broadening down from precedent to precedent.
A judicial precedent is a decision of the court used as a source for future decision making. This is known as stare decisis (to stand upon decisions) and by which precedents are authoritative and binding and must be followed.
In giving judgment in a case, the judge will set out the facts of the case, state the law applicable to the facts and then provide his or her decision. It is only the ratio decidendi (the legal reasoning or ground for the judicial decision) which is binding on later courts under the system of judicial precedent.
Any observation made by the judge on a legal question suggested by the case before him or her but not arising in such a manner as requiring a decision is known as obiter dictum (a saying by the way). There may several reasons for a decision provided by the judge in any given judgment and one must not assume that a reason can be regarded as 'obiter' because some other 'ratio' has been provided. Thus, it is not always easy to distinguish ratio decidendi from obiter dictum when evaluating the effects of a particular decision.
A single decision of a superior court is absolutely binding on subsequent inferior courts. However, certain of the superior courts regard themselves as bound by their own decisions whilst others do not.
Judicial precedent is an important source of English law as an original precedent is one which creates and applies a new rule. However, the later decisions, especially of the higher courts, can have a number of effects upon precedents.. In particular, they may be:
  • Reversed: where on appeal in the same case the decision is reversed, the initial decision will cease to have any effect
  • Overruled: where in a later case a higher court decides that the first case was wrongly decided
  • refusal to follow: this arises where a court, not bound by the decision, cannot overrule it but does not wish to follow it so it simply refuses to follow the earlier decision
  • Distinguished: where an earlier case is rejected as authority, either because the material facts differ or because the statement of law in the previous case is too narrow to be properly applied to the new set of facts
  • Explained: a judge may seek to interpret an earlier decision before applying it or distinguishing it, thus the effect of the earlier case is varied in the circumstances of the present case.
(b) Coercion
See more at:
MIA QE 2012/3 Q1 (b)(i) Coercion
MIA QE 2014/3 Q1 (c)(i) Coercion
MIA QE 2014/3 Q1 (c)(i) which render a contract voidable
What constitute a voidable contract?
Briefly explain 'coercion'
LPPEH 2012 D02 Q2