Sources of Law | Part 2 | Jurisprudence

Q1. What are the parts of Judicial Decisions ?

Ans. Judicial decisions can be divided into following two parts:
(I) Ratio decidendi (Reason of Decision) :

  • ‘Ratio decidendi’ refers to the binding part of a judgment.
  • ‘Ratio decidendi’ literally means reasons for the decision.
  • It is considered as the general principle which is deduced by the courts from the facts of a particular case.
  • It becomes generally binding on the lower courts in future cases involving similar questions of law.

(ii) Obiter dicta (Said by the way) :

  • An ‘obiter dictum’ refers to parts of judicial decisions which are general observations of the judge and do not have any binding authority.
  • However, obiter of a higher judiciary is given due consideration by lower courts and has persuasive value.

Q2. What was the hierarchy of courts in British India ?

Ans. The British introduced the system of courts in India. By the Regulating Act of 1773, a Supreme Court was established at Calcutta (Kolkata). Later, other Supreme Courts were established in other presidency towns also. After that, High Courts were established in provinces. However, there was no hierarchy of courts between the Supreme Court and High Courts, and they were independent of one another.

The hierarchy of courts was established only when the judicial committee of the Privy Council became the final appellate tribunal. Another milestone regarding the hierarchy of courts was the Government of India Act, 1935, which established the Federal Court. Therefore, as far as hierarchy of courts in India before Independence was concerned, the Privy Council was the final appellate court while other courts below it like the Federal Court, High Court, the Presidency and Moffusil courts were bound to follow the decisions of their superior courts.


Hierarchy of Courts in British India

Q3. When was the Supreme Court established ?

Ans. The Supreme Court of India, was established by the Constitution of India and came into existence on 28 January 1950, under Article 124(1) of the Constitution of India.

Q4. What is the hierarchy of Courts in India ?

Ans. The Supreme Court established on 28th January 1950, replaced the Federal Court established by the Government of India Act, 1935.

  • The Supreme Court of India is the Apex Court in the hierarchy of courts, followed by the High Courts at the State level. Below them are the District Courts and Sessions Court.
  • The structure of the judiciary in all states is almost similar, with little variation in nomenclature of designations.


Hierarchy of Criminal Justice Courts in India

Q5. Explain the hierarchy of civil judicial system ?

Ans. The hierarchy of civil judicial system is as follows:

  • In the civil judicial system, the decisions given by the Supreme Court are binding on all the courts throughout the territory of India.
  • The decision given by the High Courts are binding on the subordinate courts within the jurisdiction of that particular High Court, the decisions of the High Courts are not binding beyond their respective jurisdictions.
  • The decisions of the High Courts, however, have persuasive value for the other High Courts and the Subordinate Courts beyond their jurisdiction.
  • Also to be noted is the Supreme Court is not bound by its previous decisions; with an exception that a smaller bench is bound by the decision of the larger bench and that of the co-equal bench.


Hierarchy of Civil Judicial Courts in India

Q6. What do you mean by “legislation” ?

Ans.  The term ‘legislation’ is derived from the Latin word “legis” which means ‘law’ and “latum” which means “to make” or “set”. Therefore, the word ‘legislation’ means the ‘making of law’. Legislation is considered as the most important source of law.

Q7. What is the importance of legislation as as source of law ?

Ans. Legislation is considered as the most important source of law.

  • it is backed by the authority of the sovereign, and it is directly enacted and recognised by the State.
  • the expression ‘legislation’ has been used in various senses, and includes every method of law-making.
  • in the strict sense it means laws enacted by the sovereign or any other person or institution authorised by him.

Q8. What are the types of legislation ?

Ans. The chart shows the types of legislations :


Kinds of legislation




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