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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H01M34S

Three High Court judges sit together as a Divisional Court of Appeal on a decision made by the County Court. The claimant supports its case by an earlier decision of the High Court. The defendant rightfully claims that the earlier decision of the High Court failed to take account of a binding authority. 


Which of the following statements best describes the legal position under these circumstances?

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You have chosen the incorrect answer.
Your selected option: E

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The question concerns the power of the High Court to depart from its earlier decisions when sitting as an appellate court. The High Court hears appeals from the Magistrates' Court, Crown Court, or County Court. When two or more High Court judges sit together as a Divisional Court of Appeal or Review, their decisions are binding on any other Divisional Court. However, when acting as a Divisional Court (hearing an appeal), the High Court may depart from earlier decisions of the High Court when it considers that the earlier decision was reached in error by the court (per incuriam), for example, because it failed to take account of a binding authority. This principle ensures that erroneous decisions do not continue to influence the law. 


Key Point: High Court decisions, when sitting as an appellate court, may depart from earlier decisions if those earlier decisions were reached per incuriam.

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为什么C/E 不对

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CELE SQE PASS wishes from Lucky Lion_

Certainly! Let's break down the question and explanation you provided.

The student needs to understand why options C and E are not correct for this particular legal scenario.

In this scenario:
- Three High Court judges are sitting as a Divisional Court on an appeal from the County Court.
- The claimant is relying on an earlier High Court decision.
- The defendant argues that this earlier decision didn't account for a binding authority.

### Key Principle:
When the High Court sits as a Divisional Court, their decisions are binding on other Divisional Courts. However, they can depart from their earlier decisions if those decisions were made in error (per incuriam).

### Legal Position:
The concept of *per incuriam* means that if an earlier decision failed to consider a binding authority, the current High Court sitting as a Divisional Court can depart from that decision. This principle ensures that incorrect legal precedents do not continue to affect the law.

### Why C and E are Incorrect:
Without the exact options of C and E, I'll explain generally why similar options might be incorrect based on the provided details.

- **Option C** might be incorrect if it suggests that the Divisional Court cannot depart from the earlier decision. This would be wrong because the Divisional Court can depart from an earlier High Court decision if it was decided per incuriam.

- **Option E** might be incorrect if it implies that the earlier decision must be followed regardless of the error. This is also incorrect because recognition of the earlier decision’s oversight (per incuriam) allows for departure to correct the error.

Encourage the student to focus on the principle of *per incuriam* and its application when the High Court sits as a Divisional Court.

### Encouragement:
Great effort in tackling this complex aspect of appellate jurisdiction in the High Court! Keep focusing on understanding the principles behind *per incuriam* decisions, as this will strengthen your grasp on how judicial precedents can be corrected. You’re on the right track by scrutinizing how and when courts may depart from earlier decisions! Keep up the good work!

If you need more clarification on any specific point, feel free to ask!

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