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What Makes An Important Case? An Agenda for Research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2012

Abstract

This paper is drawn from a presentation, by John Morison, that was made to a plenary session of the 43rd BIALL Annual Study Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland 2012. The presentation introduced the audience to a research study, recently funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, entitled “What Makes an ‘Important Case’? A Study of the Creation, Transmission and Validation of Legal Knowledge”, and being carried out with Professor Gordon Anthony. The presentation to BIALL also attempted to engage the audience of legal information specialists with the specifics of the project and enlist their help in understanding how an important aspect of legal practice actually works. This paper has the same objective, and, additionally, it reports on some of the initial findings of the research which aims to develop a comprehensive sociology of legal knowledge.

Type
Selected Papers Delivered at the BIALL Conference
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2012. Published by British and Irish Association of Law Librarians

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References

Footnotes

1 ESRC Reference ES/I032630/1.

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33 See further The Barrister's World op cit passim.

34 See The Barrister's World op cit at pp. 201 et seq.

35 See Frank (1949) op cit at p. 237.

36 ”Transcendental Nonsense and the Functional Approach”, Columbia Law Review Vol 38 at 844.

37 Assange v The Swedish Prosecution Authority [2012] UKSC 22.

38 Mosley v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2008] EWHC 687 (QB) and MOSLEY v. THE UNITED KINGDOM - 48009/08 [2011] ECHR 774.

39 (A v Home Secretary [2005] 2 AC 68). Lord Bingham described this as the most important case that he had decided, commenting that “It was the first serious challenge under the Human Rights Act, and one felt the stakes were quite high.” (See http://ukscblog.com/lord-bingham-a-tribute).

40 Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Others, Ex Parte Pinochet [1999] UKHL 17.

41 Special Issue 135 Years of the Law Reports and the Weekly Law Reports (edited by R. Williams and P Magrath) ICLR, 4th Reprint 2007.

42 (1884) 14 QBD 273 DC.

43 [1893] 1 QB 256 CA.

44 [1932] AC 562 HL (Sc).

45 [1948] 1 KB 233 CA.

46 [1975] AC 396 HL(E).

47 Fleck, L (1979) Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (originally published 1935)Google Scholar.

48 Quoted in Introduction to the ICLR Special Issue op cit at p. xi.

49 See the Practice Direction (Judgments: Forms and Citation) [2001] 1 WLR 194.

50 There is also BAILII's Open Law Project which seeks to identify leading cases from the past and to make these freely and openly available on the internet. (See further http://www.bailii.org/openlaw/introduction.htm.). This too will be an interesting aspect to our study particularly around the idea of importance.