[Bell Historians] Great Malvern

John Camp camp at 3HOJh1jsqCzfHFlqkMX3CEy_sn0jfBK2nvhIOlmqkRyHa63QhHKlzLu3W9oTd0Vrey1ONQ1PR0Au6bKPA6_p.yahoo.invalid
Tue Mar 10 14:27:01 GMT 2009

At 10:21 on 10 March 2009, Dickon Love wrote:
> Rod:
>>  As a cardinal issue is involved, and  the decisions are at a high level,
>>  and the precedence set is critical, 

> This is a difficult one.  The precedence isn't critical as this
> judgement is not binding on any other judgements, but it will be
> persuasive.  Of course, if it is taken to the Court of Arches who
> rule in favour of the Chancellor then it will be binding across the
> country.

Assuming you both mean 'precedent', not 'precedence', I think that
there is a misunderstanding.  The only thing that can create a binding
legal precedent is a ruling about the law.  A ruling of fact can never
be a binding precedent, whether it's in the Consistory Court or the
Court of Arches (or the House of Lords, if it comes to that).
Dickon's last sentence doesn't really mean anything.  How can a
decision about Great Malvern be 'binding across the country'?  If the
Court of Arches were to lay down some principles of law which had to
be adopted when considering the replacement of bell-frames (pretty
unlikely), then those principles would be binding, but even then it
wouldn't mean that the next case about replacing a frame would be
decided the same way as the Malvern one.

What the Chancellor in the Malvern case has done it to apply existing
and well-known principles to the facts of the particular application.
Now you might think that he's got it wrong, but talk of 'precedent' is
alarmist and wide of the mark.

John Camp


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