Which Is the Correct Definition of Legal Precedent

Courts may take into account the decisions of other courts that are of equal importance in the legal system. For example, a court of appeal for one district may review a decision of an appellate court in another district. The mixed systems of the Nordic countries are sometimes considered a branch of civil law, but they are sometimes considered distinct from the civil law tradition. In Sweden, for example, case law arguably plays a more important role than in some continental civil law systems. The two highest courts, the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) and the Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen), have the right to set a precedent that has convincing authority for the future application of the law. Courts of appeal, whether judicial (hovrätter) or administrative (kammarrätter), may also issue decisions that serve as a guide for the application of the law, but these decisions are convincing, non-controlling, and can therefore be overturned by higher courts. The lower courts are bound by the precedent set by the higher courts in their region. Thus, a district federal court that runs within the geographic boundaries of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (the Intermediate Court of Appeals hears appeals against decisions of the district courts of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Virgin Islands) is bound by decisions of the Third Circuit Court, but not by the decisions of the Ninth Circuit Court (Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington), since the appellate courts have jurisdiction by geography. Courts of appeal can interpret the law as they wish, as long as there is no binding precedent before the Supreme Court. One of the most common reasons why the Supreme Court grants certiorari (i.e., it agrees to hear a case) is when there is a conflict between district courts over the meaning of a federal law. A persuasive precedent (also a persuasive authority) is a precedent or other legal letter that is not a binding precedent, but is useful or relevant and can guide the judge in deciding an ongoing case. Convincing precedents include cases decided by subordinate courts, peer or superior courts in other geographical jurisdictions, cases decided in other parallel systems (e.B. Military courts, administrative courts, indigenous/tribal courts, state courts against federal courts in the United States), statements in dictations, treaties or academic legal reviews and, in certain exceptional circumstances, cases of other nations, treaties, organs of global justice, etc.

The precedent on an issue is the set of principles proclaimed by the courts that a court should take into account when interpreting the law. When a precedent establishes an important legal principle or represents a new or amended law on a particular subject, that precedent is often considered a landmark decision. The second principle, which refers to convincing precedents, reflects the general guidelines on precedents on which a court can rely in all its decisions. [5] Over time, U.S. courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, have developed a large number of court decisions called “precedents.” These “principles and principles set out in previous cases will feed into future decisions of the Court of Justice”. [30] Compliance with the rules and principles created in previous cases as a basis for future court decisions is called stare decisis. The U.S. Supreme Court considers stare decisis not only an important doctrine, but also “the means by which we ensure that the law not only changes irregularly, but develops in a principled and understandable manner.” [31] Stare decisis aims to strengthen the legitimacy of the judicial process and promote the rule of law. It does this by enhancing stability, security, predictability, consistency and consistency in the application of the law to cases and litigants.

[30] By adhering to the decision-making view, the Supreme Court seeks to preserve its role as “a prudent, impartial and predictable decision-maker who decides cases according to the law and not according to the individual political preferences of judges.” [30] In Vasquez v. Hillery (1986), the Supreme Court succinctly stated that stare decisis “contributes to the integrity of our constitutional system of government, both in appearance and in fact,” perpetuating the idea “that fundamental principles are based on the law, not on the inclinations of individuals.” [31] In common law jurisdictions, case law is the set of decisions of adjudicative tribunals or other decisions that can be cited as precedent. In most countries, including most European countries, the term applies to any set of legal decisions based on previous decisions, e.B previous decisions of a government agency. The publication and indexing of decisions for use by lawyers, courts and the general public in the form of legal opinions is essential to the development of case law. Although all decisions are precedents (although at different levels of authority, as we have seen in this article), some become “important cases” or “historical decisions” that are particularly often cited. In a “first-impression case,” courts often rely on convincing precedents from courts in other jurisdictions that have already dealt with similar issues. A convincing precedent can become binding by its adoption by a higher court. Stare decisis reduces the number and scope of legal issues that the court must resolve in a legal dispute. It is therefore a time saver for judges and litigants. Once a court clarified a particular legal issue, it set a precedent. Thanks to stare decisis, claims can be dismissed quickly and efficiently, as disputes can be resolved using rules and principles that have been previously adopted.

Stare decisis can thus encourage the parties to settle cases amicably, thus increasing the efficiency of the judiciary. [30] “In law, a previous decision, rule or practice that, in the absence of a particular law, has the force and authority that a judge can give him, thus greatly simplifying his task of doing what he wants. Since there are precedents for everything, he only has to ignore those that go against his interests and emphasize those that are in line with his desire. The invention of the previous elevates the process of the weak inheritance of a random trial to the noble attitude of a steerable arbitral tribunal. “Ambrose Bierce On many issues, reasonable people can disagree. If two of these people are judges, the tension between two precedents can be resolved as follows. Both approaches examine different sentences of underlying facts that may or may not point in the same direction – stare decisis gives the most weight to the last understanding of a legal text, while originalism gives the most weight to the older one. Although they do not necessarily achieve different results in all cases, the two approaches are in direct tension. Originalists such as Justice Antonin Scalia argue that “Stare decisis is generally not a doctrine used in civil law systems because it violates the principle that only the legislature can legislate.” [50] Scalia J.

held that America is a civil nation, not a common law nation. In principle, originalists are generally not willing to rely on precedents when precedents appear to conflict with the originalist`s own interpretation of the constitutional text or conclusions of the original intent (even in situations where there is no original source of that original intent). However, there is still room in an originalist paradigm for stare decisis; Whenever the simple meaning of the text has alternative constructions, the precedent of the past is generally considered a valid guide, the qualifier being that it cannot change what the text actually says. The U.S. Supreme Court has final authority over matters relating to the importance of federal law, including the U.S. Constitution. For example, if the Supreme Court says that the First Amendment applies in some way to defamation lawsuits, then each court is bound by that precedent in its interpretation of the First Amendment as it applies to defamation lawsuits. If a lower court judge disagrees with a precedent in a higher court, which the First Amendment should mean, the lower court judge must decide based on binding jurisprudence. Until the higher court modifies the judgment (or the law itself is amended), the binding precedent is decisive for the meaning of the law. The golden rule is used when the use of the literal rule would obviously produce an absurd result.

There are two ways to apply the golden rule: a narrow method and a broad method. In the narrow method, when there appear to be two contradictory meanings to the wording of a law or the wording is ambiguous, the less absurd is preferred. Under the broad method, the court modifies the literal meaning so as to avoid the absurd result. [45] An example of the latter approach is Adler v. George (1964). Under the Official Secrets Act 1920, it was a criminal offence to obstruct Her Majesty`s forces “in the vicinity” of a prohibited place. Adler argued that he was not near such a place, but that he was actually there. The court decided not to take the text of the law literally to avoid an otherwise absurd outcome, and Adler was convicted. [46] A precedent does not bind a court if it finds that there was a lack of care in the original “Per Incuriam”.

For example, if a legal provision or precedent had not been brought to the attention of the previous court prior to its decision, the precedent would not be binding. One law professor described the mandatory precedent as follows: precedents considered against time can be used to establish trends and thus indicate the next logical step in the development of interpretations of the law. If, for example, immigration has been increasingly restricted by law, the next legal decision on the subject may serve to restrict it even more. .