First Principles of Business Law

Sources of law: case law
7. Information in law reports

7.1. The structure of a law report



In the process of deciding a case, judges produce a written 'judgment' setting out the facts of the case, their decision and their reasoning. This judgement forms the basis of an edited report of the case, known as a 'law report'.  

By locating and reading the report of a previous case, you can find out what the facts of the case were, what rules the judges applied, and how they reasoned their way to a decision.

Law reports are often long and complex but with experience, you will notice a pattern to their structure.  It is important to be able to identify and understand all the information in a law report. In what follows you will be shown examples from an actual law report and different aspects of the report will be explained.

The ability to understand law reports, and apply case law properly, are essential skills for anyone studying the law.



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