Ten most momentous cases

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Here are ten momentous cases, argued by barristers, which have influenced the law and the way we live.


Bushel’s case

This case gave the world through British law an independent jury.

Woolmington v DPP

R v Woolmington (1935) This case set the law on how far the prosecution must prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" its case in order to get a conviction.

Dimes v Grand Junction Canal

Thanks to this case a judge isn’t allowed to have a stake in the outcome of a case he’s judging.

Carill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company

Carlill V Carbolic Smoke Ball Co (1893) The case that ruled that newspaper adverts can sometimes result in contracts.

Donoghue v Stevenson

Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) The first case of negligence, setting the standard of care we owe to each other in law.

Associated Provincial Picture v Wednesbury Corporation

Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation (1948) This case decided that it can be unlawful for public officials to make unreasonable decisions.

Bolam v Friern Hospital Management

Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee (1957) A case that decided at what point patients can and cannot sue a doctor.

R v Blaue

A court ruled that a defendant could not be acquitted for blaming his victim’s fate on their belief system.

Terence Sutherland v Penelope Hatton

Places onus on employers when an employee contracts stress-related illnessess in the workplace.

R v D (2006)

A bully may be guilty of manslaughter if their victim commits suicide.

UK LAW