This article is written by Rahul Verma, an intern under Legal Vidhiya
Case Analysis Introduction:
Case analysis is a technical method to determine the relevant point and facts of law reveal the various legal issues which are already mentioned in case arguments of both parties and brief contention of judgement. Case analysis provide significant insight into the whole case which reduce the time to reading the lengthy judgement in a simple word it is a very tedious task to reading the whole judgement. it is always a good idea to read a gist of the whole case first either from the case notes itself or from other resources such as judgement from authentic website, some referral books, if available. Also, while reading the case, you can work through the judgment in sizeable chunks and skim through the judgement looking for the most relevant parts which answer your questions. It is advisable to slow down your pace while going through these relevant parts in order to grasp the legal principles and their application in the factual matrix of the case.
Preparation of brief:
A legal and case brief must have a clear and simple objective, written logically and clearly so as to lay down the petitioner’s reason for filing the case, the end remedy petitioner seeks and why the court must favour the petitioner’s case. There are certain other things to be kept in mind while writing a legal brief. In a simple way to understand a case is to write a whole case summary in a gist of it. It clears all the hurdles in your mind with the result being a clear understanding of the judgement which is always easy to remember. Writing a case summary forces you to ask yourself essential questions and find the answers to the same through the entire process of writing the case brief. It helps you to develop a better grasp of the contents of the decision, learn the application of the legal principles, recall them quickly and make critical remarks.
These are the main component content of Case brief:
- Title and Citation
- Authorities Name(Court and Jurisdiction)
- Relevant Facts
- Issue/contention wise judgement (with reasoning)
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions (if any)
- Law Points / Key Takeaways
Title and Citation:
The proper title of the case must tell you when you write the case summaries. One party initiating legal action to another party in civil litigation so here first party called Plaintiff and to whom against case file in the court is called Defendant. In a simple word the title of the case shows who is opposing whom vs separate the two parties in a case.
Citation of the case helps the reader to find gist of the full judgement. There are various ways to cite an article. You can read about them, here.
Name of Authorities:
Court Name: The name of the court of case tells the exact jurisdiction and power of the court where matter can be conclude. For the example The Supreme Court of India, High Court of Delhi, District Court etc.
Jurisdiction of Court and Power :
Jurisdiction means and includes any authority conferred by the law upon the court, tribunal or judge to decide or adjudicate any dispute between the parties or pass judgment or order. Jurisdiction is key question for the court which goes to the root of the case and decide the fate of matter either at preliminary stage or on merit. If any order passed without jurisdiction, it becomes nullity and not enforceable by law. The jurisdiction of civil courts can be divided on the basis of pecuniary, Territorial, and subject matter.
Pecuniary Jurisdiction : Section 15 of the civil procedure court provides that every suit shall be instituted in the court of the lowest grade competent to try it. As per Civil Courts Act the pecuniary jurisdiction of the courts is as follows: Suits amounting up to Rs.3,00,000/- lie before the Junior Civil Judge’s Courts. Suits over 3,00,000/- and but not exceeding Rs. 15,00,000/- lie before the Senior Civil Judge’s Courts and exceeding Rs. 15,00,000/- lie before District Courts. It is an important to note that High Court has no Pecuniary Jurisdiction and only appeal lies before it
.Territorial Jurisdiction: Section 16 to 20 of C.P.C deals with Territorial jurisdiction of a court. Whereas Section 16 to 18 relates to immovable property and Section 19 deals with suit for compensation for wrongs to persons are movable property. Section 20 of C.P.C is residuary provision and cover all cases not falling under Section 16 to 19.
Summarizing and elaborating facts of a case in a simple way is the most difficult task of writing a case brief. The most challenging task here is to determine precisely which facts can be excluded from the case brief. The entire objective of preparing a case brief is to present the case in the most lucid and simplified manner keeping it very precise and to the point. Therefore, facts with unnecessary detail must be burnt out from the brief so that the final statement of facts lose any extra flab and attains the perfect zero figure. This can be done by cutting down on the use of proper nouns and irrelevant dates and figures. For instance, use of terms like “the Plaintiff” or “the Defendant” to describe the parties would suffice in order to convey all the relevant facts without mentioning their names. You also need to figure out if details like whether the car used for kidnapping was Tata Safari or a Maruti Swift or whether the incident took place on a highway, or a city lane are at all relevant.
Statement of facts should set out the nature of the litigation, parties involved, cause of action, relevant laws or key words involved and
the course of decision through lower court/s to the present court. To sum up, here you need to answer five relevant questions –
1. What is the nature of the litigation?
2. Who is asking this particular court for what?
3. Why did they sue?
4. What are the relevant laws in question?
5. What has already been decided so far?
The most important issues is decided by the Judge of the case that what points a particular case came before the court to decide? What are the most significant issues in the case? Try to identify the issues or questions judges explicitly set apart to discuss and decide upon.This part of the case brief should be framed in terms of questions. The issues should never be fact-specific. Each issue should ideally be no longer than a sentence.
The all contentions raised by both the parties to prove their case. Corresponding contentions of opposing parties should be clubbed together.
Based on the contentions, what did the court bench decide? Give briefs points on the same. Did the court decide in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant? What remedy, if any, did the court grant? If it is an appellate court opinion, did the court affirm the lower court’s decision, reverse it in whole or in part, or remand the case for additional proceedings?
There may be cases where one of the judges may differ from the majority opinion. In that case, it is important to write the dissenting opinion. However, you should make sure that the dissenting opinion should be as crisp and precise as possible. There may also be a case in which even though a judge concurs with the other judges he/she may reason differently to reach the same outcome. In that case, it is also important to mention the concurring opinion.
Law points / key takeaways:
To list out all the relevant legal principles used in the judgement as its basis. You will be able to do it only when you have read the judgement in its entirety. The legal principles should be framed as a declarative statement and must not be fact specific.
Analysis / conclusion:
To evaluate the significance of the case, its relationship to other cases, its place in history, and what is shows about the Court, its members, its decision-making processes, or the impact it has on litigants, government, or society. It is here that the implicit assumptions and values of the Justices should be probed, the “rightness” of the decision debated, and the logic of the reasoning considered.