The Judiciary

Historically, law was regional as different regions had different laws.   However, once Great Britain was established, the same law was applied by judges across the country and this became known as the ‘common law’.   In today’s society, Lord Simon of Glaisdale said ‘I am all for recognising frankly that judges do make law’.   There is unpredictability in case law as to when a court will make law and when law making will be left to Parliament.   However, in R v R [1992] 1 AC 599, the courts abolished a 256-year-old rule that rape was not possible in marriage.   The problem of fixity, law being inflexible, was solved by allowing the courts to set precedent.   As the status of women changed, the judges assisted with law making in adapting it to society as it changed.   Lord Keith stated that ‘the common law is […] capable of evolving in the light of changing social, economic and cultural developments’.   This statement is quite true in modern times.
In following precedent, the judiciary provides consistency and fairness in the law by deciding cases on a like-for-like basis.   Also, since precedent ensures certainty, it can assist in predicting the outcome of cases.   This makes the legal process more efficient and saves time for judges, lawyers and clients as cases to not have to be reargued and it gives people knowledge on how to behave in order to avoid breaking the law.  
In setting precedent, judges create and refine the law.   This gives flexibility to their role and solves the issue of fixity.   Although there is a court hierarchy and precedent is usually followed, there are exceptions which allow the court to be able to make law.   In Young v British Aeroplane Co. Ltd [1994] 2 All ER 293 these exceptions are listed.   This allows for the courts to overrule cases and assist with law making.
As mentioned in R v R [1992] 1 AC 599, judges can overrule precedent and therefore create new laws.   They can also distinguish cases, by deciding that the ratio, which is the binding...