Treatment Types

Treatment Types

When one case is referred to within another, it can be dealt with by the judge in a number of different ways. Judicial treatments can be characterised as either positive, neutral or negative.

Positive Treatments: Any instance in which the case has been cited with approval will be entered as a positive treatment. This will include subsequent cases which actively follow the reasoning in the instant case and decisions of appellate courts which approve decisions of inferior courts as correct.

Positive treatments are coloured green within JustisOne.

Neutral Treatments: This means that the case was referred to in a subsequent case but, while it did not form the basis for the subsequent decision, neither was it dismissed as wrong, outdated or irrelevant. It is usual for a number of cases to be cited in building the reasoning behind a case (the point they deal with might not be in contention).

Neutral treatments are coloured yellow within JustisOne.

Negative Treatments: This means that the case was referred to in a subsequent case, but the judge in the subsequent case either overruled it or otherwise declined to follow it, either because they considered it irrelevant or incorrect, or because they considered themselves bound by, or simply preferred, some other authority. Once a case is overruled it is no longer considered an authority for any question of law it decides and so it is vital to know which cases have been overruled to avoid using them in court. 

Negative treatments are coloured red within JustisOne.

Who determines case treatments?

Our crosslinks are generated by our legally trained editors and are a result of their analysis of the citing judgment. They mark up case relationships as 1 of 14 treatment types, which can also be grouped into positive, negative or neutral treatments.

I don’t understand the definition of this treatment

JustisOne treatment types are manually marked up by a team of legally trained editors. 

The full list of treatment types and their associated definitions can be found below:

Applied  Previous case/dicta/judgment applied to circumstances before Justices in present case 
Affirmed  Decision of lower case which has been appealed confirmed by appellate court 
Approved  Previous case in inferior court approved as correct 
Cited  Name and reference no. of case given 
Considered  Case/dicta/judgment in previous case considered in judgment by Court in current case 
Disapproved  Case/dicta/judgment held to be invalid/no longer recognised as good law/doubted 
Distinguished  Previous case’s facts materially different to case at hand and therefore not applicable 
Followed  Past case decided by similar or superior court accepted/taken as established point of law 
Not applied  Case/dicta/judgment not applied 
Not followed  Previous case decided by similar court not accepted 
Overruled  Decision of previous case in inferior court held to be incorrect and no longer valid 
Referred to  Justices in present case referring to specific case in which relevant issue considered/decided 
Relied upon  Decision of previous case used to explain/clarify fact in issue before Justices in present case 
Reversed  Decision of lower court in current case reversed 

If you want a definition of each treatment type, you can hover your mouse over the treatment to open a short definition of the treatment type.