Legal English – Peter’s Pills – Lesson 72 – Types of cases: Cornerstone and Milestone cases

Legal English for Notaries - By Federnotizie

Types of cases: Landmark cases


Hello! Last week we looked at landmark cases in the common law system and how they change the scenario and our perception of the law. Today we look at two other types of cases, namely Cornerstone cases and Milestone cases.

Cornerstone cases

A cornerstone (pietra angolare) is the stone that forms the base of a corner of a building or joins two walls together. It is the base on which you build the rest of the building.

Cornerstone cases refers to an important judicial decision that serves as the foundation upon which subsequent legal rulings (decisioni) are based and create a legal doctrine (principio di legge).

An example of a cornerstone case is Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932). This case established the modern concept of negligence (colpa) in the common law. It involved a woman who fell ill after consuming a ginger beer that contained a decomposed snail (lumaca). The House of Lords held that the manufacturer owed a duty of care (aveva un dovere di diligenza) to the ultimate (finale) consumer, even though there was no contractual relationship between them. This ruling laid the foundation (questa sentenza ha posto le basi) for the modern law of negligence, shaping (plasmando) the principles of duty of care, breach (violazione), and causation.

Milestone case

A milestone (pietra miliare) is a stone set up (collocata) beside (accanto) a road to mark the distance in miles (miglia) to a particular place.

A milestone case refers to a legal decision or judgment that marks a significant point of progress or development in the law.

An example of a milestone case is Ghaidan v. Godin-Mendoza (2004). This case involved a challenge (sfida) to the interpretation of the Rent Act 1977, which granted certain rights to tenants (inquilini), including succession rights for same-sex partners. The House of Lords interpreted the Rent Act 1977 in a manner consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, ruling that same-sex partners were entitled to succeed to secure tenancies (succedere agli affitti sicuri) in the same way as married couples or heterosexual partners. The decision expanded the scope of legal recognition for same-sex relationships and affirmed the principle of equality before the law and contributed to broader (più ampi) legal and social changes aimed at achieving (volti a ottenere) non-discrimination.

Thank you very much, and see you next time for more Peter’s Pills to improve your legal English.

Read the whole Ghaidan v. Godin-Mendoza (2004) case here: “Judgments – Ghaidan (Appellant) v. Godin-Mendoza (FC) (Respondent)” (.PDF).

Vuoi ricevere una notifica ogni volta che Federnotizie pubblica un nuovo articolo?

Iscrivendomi, accetto la Privacy Policy di Federnotizie.

Attenzione: ti verrà inviata una e-mail di controllo per confermare la tua iscrizione. Verifica la posta in arrivo (e la cartella Spam) e conferma la tua iscrizione, grazie!