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Essay: R v Collins case

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  • Subject area(s): Law essays
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  • Published: 9 August 2018*
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  • Words: 848 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)

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In the case of R v Collins, the defendant would have first appeared in the Magistrates court. This would have been to determine whether he should stand trial in a crow court and to deal with issues of bail and legal funding. The defendant would then have appeared in front of the crown court, where his case would have been heard and a verdict reached.

This decision was made in the court of appeal, criminal division.


Once this decision had been made in the court of appeal, all courts below, i.e. crown court and magistrate court and those equal, i.e. other criminal appeal courts, would have been bound by it.

“Once a regular system of law reporting had developed and reports published, judges began to be guided by decisions in previous cases; and eventually it became established practice that judges were bound to follow the decision of higher courts in similar cases. The general rule was established in the nineteenth century and consistently followed since was of binding precedent.”(Barker and Padfield 2002). People have to know where they stand with in the law, justice must be done.

Young v. Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd ([1944] KB 718 CA) established that the Court of Appeal is bound to follow its own decisions except when: the court has to decide between two previous conflicting decisions; the court is compelled to depart from a previous decision of its own which cannot stand with a decision of the House of Lords; the court is not bound to follow a decision of its own if the decision was given per incuriam, (lack of care) e.g., if there was an existing statute or a rule that would have affected the decision but was not brought to the attention of the previous court. There are other exceptions to the court hierarchy system that allow a judge to deviate from precedent. A higher court can overrule decisions from a previous case based on alternative legal perception, Pepper v Hart (1993) and Davis v Johnson (1978) an appeal court can reverse a previous decision, R V Collins [1973]QB 100] and distinguishing, where it allows the judge to discern that the material facts of the case are have substantial differences. Balfour v Balfour (1919) and Merritt v Merritt (1971).


The ratio decidendi is a Latin phrase meaning ‘the reason’ or ‘the rationale for the decision’. In the case of R v Collins the reason given for the decision was that the jury were never invited to consider the vital question as to whether this young man did enter the premises as a trespasser.


The obiter dictum is Latin for ‘other things said’. They are comments made by the judge that can be influential but are not binding. In this case a comment was made questioning if the young women in house could give permission to enter the building seeing as she was neither the tenant nor the occupier. Thought it would not effect this case, it could serve a judge in a later case of similar standing.

Task 2


If the EU where to pass a Directive regarding nutrition classes for every child, it would either be to all member states or to specific member states. This allows those who are not in line with current EU standings to be singled out and told to address particular issues. It can have a time frame for completion attached to it and it’s binding in respect to this outcome, though only under particular circumstances is it directly applicable. Professor Klaus-Dieter Borchardt (2010 pg. 89) adds “ a directive leaves it to the national authorities to decide on how it is to be incorporated it into their domestic legal system “. If the EU had passed it as a regulation it would have been for all member states and directly binding in its entirety and member states would have to implement it as directed with no power to pick or choose which parts it wants to integrate into its legal system or leave out.


Sovereignty of Parliament means that the legislation created has supreme authority over all forms of law in England and Wales, and includes the ability to create and repeal laws. As such there are set stages which any new bill must go through before it becomes an act of parliament. It begins life as a Green Paper. This sets out the government’s proposition and invites experts and interested parties to offer opinions and comment on its practicality, can it and will it actually work as an act of parliament. Once this process has been completed it becomes a White Paper, this sets out the proposed new law and is sent on to either the House of Lords or the House of Commons and will be sent between the two until everyone is in agreement. Regardless of where it starts it follows the same procedure. All bills are granted time to be debated and negotiated to ensure that when they are presented for Royal Assent and to be made legislation it is the most comprehensive version of the act that it is possible to be.

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