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How to write a Case Note

How to write a Case Note

Defining a case note

Before learning how to write a case note, it is crucial to understand the definition of a case note. A case note is basically a summary and evaluation of an individual case, unlike an article which, involves examining a particular field of the law. A case note must highlight all the facts associated with the case, ratio decidendi, and present a clear evaluation of the decision. The evaluation needs to involve the accuracy of the decision with regard to scholarly opinion, accepted logic, and case law. Additionally, how to write a case note perfectly involves ensuring the case note includes analyzing the effects of the decision on any cases in the future, more so if the decision stems from a former area of law.

How to write a case note is a skill that involves writing a brief and clear case note and is a legal ability, precisely in common legal systems that function a precedent doctrine such that judicial decisions form a section of the laws of the land. How to write a case note is a skill any law student is required to master and perfect as it comes in handy when requested to write at one point in their studies, and without basic knowledge, this can be a difficult task.

Factors to consider when choosing a case

How to write an outstanding case note involves choosing an ideal case, so suppose you are given an option of choosing the case you would prefer to write about; the following are several factors you need to focus on:

  • Attempt picking a topical issue or an area of paramount concern
  • Brainstorm whether the case ignores logic or common sense
  • Investigate whether there is a recent case where the judicial system differs from precedent or a position accepted by other jurisdictions.
  • Analyse to understand if the decision will have major and further legal consequences.
  • Determine whether the decision brings better results in future cases
  • Determine whether the case was the initial one in a particular newly registered jurisdiction.
  • Determine whether there has been a significant academic commentary already written on this specific case. Frequently, it might be better to write a fresh case or one with less discussion for the sake of authenticity.

What is the purpose of knowing how to write a case note?

Mastering the ability of how to write a case note provides significant academic insight into the judicial decisions. They are important to, not limited to, practitioners and individuals working in the voluntary field who might not have sufficient time to sit and thoroughly read a topic comprehensively. Also, it is vital for academics studying in the same or similar fields, to the judiciary to help them make decisions for future judicial cases, and to learners studying in the discipline.

How to write a case note

Writing an outstanding case note involves various steps that are meticulously followed to the latter result in a perfect case note.

Researching the case

Similar to all legal writing, the first stage of learning how to write a case note is carrying out relevant and thorough research. Read the case multiple times and carefully write down the ratio decidendi and all the facts. The case needs to align with the context of the topic of law generally, comprehending how the case is connected to the existing principles and the key in creating an analysis and critique is case law.

More attention should be given to determine if the law is currently applicable or applicable and whether it is still perceived as a strong precedent. Typically, a case note does not depend on academic sources; unlike a legal essay, it is still important to explore academic commentary involving the case, from which a significant approach can be obtained.


There is no fixed format for learning how to write a case note; however, this article will try to provide a basic format and guide on how to write a case note effectively. It is important to note that many incredible case notes do not particularly adhere to this format and can frequently deviate from it drastically; hence do not feel pressured to adhere to this format.

Similar to legal writing, writing a case note involves breaking down this second step into various distinct headings. This process makes it effortless to comprehend and follow the case note’s content while guiding the reader to the significant components of the note. When composing a case note in the legal field or even a school assignment, emphasis should be directed on word count when selecting how the particular subtitles are; suppose there is less word count, it would be important to merge some headings.

(i)The introduction

When learning how to write a case note,, you need to properly introduce the case and state the court where it was ruled. It ought to present the case note format and describe the case’s importance, implying that the case alters the changes to the law. Finally, briefly highlight your views regarding the case.

(ii)The case’s facts

When learning how to write a case note, the following section briefly outlines the facts related to the case. It is key to bear in mind that a case note summarizes the case, and the facts play a crucial element in establishing the background for your evaluation. This section need not belong as the objective is to present the facts that were important to the court’s reasoning instead of the generalization of the factual circumstances. This is basically an ideal place to state the lower courts’ ruling in regards to the case you selected.

(iii)The judgment and reason

When learning how to write a case note, this section involves determining the main reason that resulted in the court’s judgment or decision. More emphasis needs to be placed on the primary decisions and the reasoning or the ratio decidendi. Besides, in this section, details must be presented on the case law that the court used or deviated from, and a brief elaboration of the reasoning regarding these decisions must be stated. How the judgment was dealt with ought to be highlighted; for instance, the decision was suspended to let the government to look into the problem, as this frequently indicates the court’s attitude in connection to the problem at hand.

(iv) Extensive discussion

When learning how to write a case note, it is important to know that the main objective of a case note is to carefully evaluate a specific decision and its effect on the law. Carefully evaluating might be an ambiguous phrase, therefore bearing in mind the following questions might be helpful and an important start point:

  • Is the reasoning logical? Do you fully agree with it? If yes or no, then why?
  • Does the decision differ from the previous judgments? Does it adhere to several aspects and not others?
  • How does the decision compare in regards to international precedent?
  • Does the decision affect cultural, political, or economic extensions?
  • Does the decision pay attention or not to legal or extralegal consequences it might have?
  • Has the decision not acknowledged any significant questions?
  • Are you in total agreement with the judgment? If yes or no, then why?

Additionally, when learning how to write a case note, it is important to know that crucially evaluating does not imply you need to disagree with a decision; the ideal crucial evaluation gives credit to some aspects of the decision and disagrees with others. Commentary on formerly associated issues might be helpful when offering your views on the case and assist in the critical evaluation.

It is advisable that some emphasis be given to how the case might have a permanent effect, and it should be considered whether the case may be open to appeal or not. Although similar to any legal writing, it is recommendable that a specific level of critical evaluation is webbed across the piece instead of pushed to one part.


The conclusion needs to concisely summarise the judgment, the limitations and wins that have been described in the case note, and your general view. An overall rule for any form of writing is that the significant fresh arguments that have been presented in the case note must not be introduced in this section. Finally, some remarks of conclusions can be presented regarding the effects of the case on the section of the law and how it could affect future cases.



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