Business Law

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Week 1: Law or Rule?

The decisions by national sporting organizations like NRL or AFL for player suspension following an offense is considered to a rule/ regulation of that game, and therefore it is not legally enforceable or binding. All laws are considered to be rule, but all rules are not laws in reality (Turner, 2018). 

Law and rule making are both jurisdictions and/or the exclusive domains of government  (Turner, 2018). The legislative wings like central of federal governments can constitute the law and rules that are legally enforceable and become the rule of law  (Turner, 2018). However, the roles and regulations of sport bodies or associations are not legally enforceable. For the similar reason, the decision of an umpire or a referee for player suspension cannot be appealed in a court of law as it is not legally enforceable  (Turner, 2018).

Week 2: Binding Precedent

English laws rely heavily on the judge-made rules or the case laws. However, the freedom of judges in making laws is quite limited. In the majority of cases, the judges are required to apply the already established principle provided that they are sufficiently clear and there is no requirement for judges to make amendments (Rush & Ottley, 2006). The principles are either set by legislative bodies or might be secured in earlier cases. The later one is known as precedent.

There are two types of precedents; 

  • Binding Precedent: The decision on the law that the court is obliged to follow even if disagreements are apparent (Rush & Ottley, 2006).
  • Persuasive Precedent: The decision on the law that the court is not obliged to follow, however it can use the case as a guide (Rush & Ottley, 2006). 

In case of binding precedents, the doctrine requires the judge to follow a decision of the courts above him in the hierarchy of judiciary (Rush & Ottley, 2006). The judge may also be constrained to follow the court decisions on same level in special cases. When judges follow decision of upper courts its referred to as vertical stare decisis and when it follows the court decision of same level court, its referred to as horizontal stare decisis (Rush & Ottley, 2006)

In case if the lower court believes that there might be some vagueness or room for amendment over the binding precedent, the only option is to allow an appeal to higher court. The hierarchy of binding precedents is shown in figure below;

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