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How to Read Judgments


Judgments interpret the law and, sometimes, even make laws. Thus, there is perhaps nothing more important for law students, lawyers and judges than to have the ability to closely and critically read judgments – often, many of them in a very short time. Reading case summaries and notes does not suffice in acquainting them with the applicable law; it merely tells them the holding in a particular case. Thus, judgment reading has no substitute.

This course apprises you with ways to read, understand, interpret and use caselaws/judgments in the most efficient and targeted manner. It acquaints you with smart and productive ways to read judgments, thus helping you cut down on the number of long, tedious hours wasted in deciphering lengthy texts. Further, the course explains how to identify judgments through their citations and where to find these judgments in law reporters, online databases, etc.



After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Comprehend the importance and reasons for reading a judgment
  • Understand the various parts of a judgment
  • What to look for when you read a judgment
  • Familiarise with various law reporters, journals, online databases and how to find judgments
  • Case Citation system and legal citation
  • Distinguish between different kinds of opinions – concurring, dissenting, binding, obiter dicta, ratio decidendi etc.


  • Module 1 – Introduction to Judgment Reading and its Importance
  • Module 2 – Sources of Judgments: Law Reports, Online Databases, etc.
  • Module 3 – Methods of Reading Judgments
  • Module 4 – Practical Guide to Understanding and Interpreting Judgments
  • Certification Exam/ Assessment



Honors Badge


  • Law Students
  • Lawyers
  • Judges
  • Legal Researchers
  • Legal Academicians

Level: Beginners

Language : English

Duration: 6 Months


Progress will be tested by way of quizzes and assignments at the end of each Module. Learners must attempt the exam at the end of the course and secure at least 50% marks to obtain course certificate.

About the Author

Stuti Joshi is an advocate and legal consultant. She graduated from Gujarat National Law University in 2014 and has completed her Masters in Constitutional Law. She has been associated with Manupatra as a consultant.

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