Are courts like a slot machine, if so why do we use such great expenditure on it?

Essay by nevchiuUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, December 2003

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The definition of a slot machine for this essay is a machine operated by inserting coins into the machine and by pulling down on a long handle a result would be generated after the correct input has been completed. The main concept of this slot machine is that the result generated would always be the same provided that the input is the same. The concept that the judiciary being similar with this perception of a fixed outcome slot machine will mean that for all similar cases which concern the same legal issues the output should at least in theory be the same.

First we must establish the reason why we might think the judicial system is fixed like a slot machine, it is argued that similar cases should at least in theory be judged the same as they are based on the same legal reasoning and the legal theory governing the similar cases should be the same and thus lead to the same result, this supports the argument of fixity in the legal system.

However, similar cases do not always necessarily have to be judged the same way for example there has been a major change in social perception in the issues concerned in the case since the previous case where the ratio decidendi could affect the outcome of the current one, an example of this situation might be R v R [1992] 1 AC 599 the marital rape case where the courts have stated that times have changed and that the social status of women was that they were not mere property of men but are equals and thus cases should be able to reflect the changing social views and needs to be able to change. There needs to be an element of certainty in the judiciary processes to...