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A Question about The Legal System with regard to Precedents

February 4, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I know very little about law, but there is something I mustn’t understand because if things were as I understand them to be the legal system is just plain wrong and unfair, something that it defiantly should not be.

Consider this. Entity A sues entity B over something X. Now entity B may be poor and have no time so when the case goes to court they fail to provide any argument or reasoning at all as to why they should win the case. Entity A has heaps of time and money and comes up with lots of arguments and reasons as to why they should win. As a result the judge rules in favour of entity A. Then another entity C comes along which is doing the same thing as entity B, however this time they have taken the time and effort to come up with arguments of why they should win the case. Now lets assume that under the law entity C’s arguments are valid and prove that entity C should win. However because the case is the same as A vs. B, A will win in A vs. C because of the legal precedent set by A vs. B.

I am curious (I’m from Australia so I’m not sure about other legal systems) about what part of the above argument is incorrect, or is it correct and is the legal system really corrupt like this? Please leave your comments.

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Categories: law
  1. James K
    February 5, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Andrew

    This is the part that is incorrect:

    “Entity A has heaps of time and money and comes up with lots of arguments and reasons as to why they should win. As a result the judge rules in favour of entity A.”

    In particular the words “[a]s a result”.

    While the judge may indeed rule in favour of entity A, it will not be because A has heaps of time and money, or even because A has lots of arguments.

    It will be because the judge is satisfied that A should win according to law.

    While it is undoubtedly the case that judges are better assisted by submissions from both parties, where there is only one party (an ex parte hearing) or where either or both parties are not legally represented, the judge will conduct his or her own research into the matter.

    Ordinarily whichever side is legally represented will get grilled by the judge on their arguments, and they’ll only win if they survive the grilling – in which case they probably would have won against the other party anyway.

    Judges aim to administer justice according to law. While not all judges are created equal, untempered injustice is usually not something you have to worry about with Australian judges, unless the law is wrong. Then they have no choice.

  2. Andrew Harvey
    February 5, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Ahh, that makes sense, I though that part was the problem. So in certain types of cases the lawyers do assist the judge in some way, but then they have to “survive the grilling”. What if they don’t “survive the grilling” but according to the law they should win? Is this why it helps to have lawyers who know what they are talking about rather than someone who hasn’t studied law?

    I know, I should really get a law textbook. I’m delving into things that I know little about.

    Thanks James.

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