Study Skills: Taking lecture notes

Chapter 10, page 194

Why not experiment with different approaches to note-taking?

Click on the link here to watch a video of a typical lecture.

While watching the lecture take notes using your usual method and then watch it again trying a different approach: if you usually write by hand, try typing and vice versa. You might even like to try listening without making notes and seeing how much information you can retain afterwards. Have a look at the different sets of notes you have created? Can you see much difference in them and, if so, which do you think is the most effective.

Examples of notes taken about the same lecture

Click on the link here to see Example 1 flowchart.

Example 2 linear


Last lecture—doctrine of precedent in the House of Lords.
London Tramways case. 1966 Practice Statement, Lord Gardiner—HL would depart from its own previous decisions. Key phrase—‘where it appears right to do so’.
Precedent in the Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
Key case: Young v. Bristol Aeroplane
CA considered situations in which it would not be bound by its own previous decisions. Decided that it was normally bound, subject to three exceptions:

1. Own previous decisions conflict.

CA can choose which of the earlier decisions to follow.
Status of previous decisions is not affected. CA is not overruling its previous decisions—just attempting to reconciling by choosing which one to follow.
Can happen when CA is unaware of development in law or recent case.
Quite rare—e.g. on handout NatWest v. Powney.

2.   Previous decision of CA has been implicitly overruled by HL
e.g. Family Housing Association v. Jones—CA refused to follow one of its own previous decisions because it was inconsistent with HL decision in Street v. Mountford—even though HL had not explicitly overruled previous CA authority, CA considered that it was bound by HL.
Can also happen when ‘leapfrog procedure’ comes into play—appeal directly from High Court to HL—quite an unusual circumstance.

3.   Previous decision was made per incuriam
Per incuriam = Latin phrase meaning ‘through carelessness’
In Morelle v. Wakeling—decision made in ignorance or forgetfulness—i.e. without due regard for the law (CA made a mistake in coming to its previous decision)

Criminal Division
CA governed by the same exceptions as Young v. Bristol Aeroplane.
But following R v. Gould—CA has more flexibility in criminal cases because liberty of the individual is at stake. The court has due regard to ensure that individual’s rights are not adversely affected by its own previous decisions.

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