Dissenting Judgments in the Law
Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities Research Institute
Hertfordshire Law School
In this text an expert law team of contributors re-examine nineteen cases deriving from differing areas of law. These each potentially could have influenced how law developed, to drastically varied directions. These cases are chosen for discussion because of their contemporary relevance to current law, or because of the controversial majority decision, made particularly striking as the judge favoured a different result. The contributors of the text aim to re-evaluate special cases. Examples are Scruttons Ltd v Midland Silicones Ltd  AC 446 and YL v Birmingham City Council  UKHL 27. The authors assess the arguments for and against the final decisions, which leads to a discussion on whether the law would actually have benefitted from following the dissenting opinion as opposed to that of the majority of judges. There is an in-depth exploration of the judicial reasoning involved in each case. This is juxtaposed against differing approaches in other jurisdictions. In some cases a comparative analysis is used to illustrate how the law, by not following the dissenting opinion, has developed out of step with other common laws. The authors then explain the impact the dissenting judgment might have had on the law if it had decided the case and predict where the law of that field would subsequently be different.