Business Law – Lecture 3 – 05/08/2013
Primary legal materials:
Legislation – the law made by parliaments
Case law – the law made by judges
Secondary legal materials:
Textbooks, books and journal articles; do not comprise the law itself but explain and expand upon the
primary legal materials
The ratio decidendi (‘reason for the decision’) is that part of a judge’s decision that sets out the legal
principle upon which the decision was based, and which is binding precedent.
The obiter dicta (‘saying by the way’) is not binding, and includes the identification of the relevant
evidence, and discussion of alternative legal principles, alternative decisions if the facts had been
different, and the historical development of the legal principles used in reaching the final decision.
GENERAL RULES golden rule
give each to each
Literal Rule – always begin by reading a legal text literally, with words and phrases given their ordinary