Page 462 (6th edition) or pg. 439 (7th edition) of your set text contains information about a case called Ryland’s v Fletcher. Read this information and then read the two sentences below which are taken from the judgment delivered in Ryland’s.
When you have read the sentences indicate which contains the ratio decidendi and which obiter dicta. You must justify your answers. Obiter Dicta: He can excuse himself by showing that the escape was the consequence of vis major, or the act of God; but, as nothing of this sort exists here, it is unnecessary to inquire what excuse would be sufficient.
– obiter dicta: this contains statement of varying legal importance and interest often in a form of similarity and theory, it can be convincing at most, but at high standard.Ratio Decidendi: We think that the true rule of law is that the person, who for his own purposes, brings on his land, and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril, and, if he does not do so, he is prima facie answerable for all the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape. – ratio decidendi: this is the majority decision of an appeal that contains the all necessary legal principle that decided the result in facts the judges are expected to justify their decisions and the reasons to provide a basis of appeals in which it is the only part of a judgement that can be “binding”. A minority of the court can also be reported and appears as a dissenting judgement, it may still be valued but justified and defended in a higher court in a later case.