Judicial Precedent

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  • Judicial Precedent
    • Definition
      • Precedent is a system that requires judges to follow decisions made on the same points of the law by higher courts in earlier cases.
      • Precedent is based on the principle of 'stare decisis'
        • This means 'let the decision stand' in latin. Once the decision has been made on how the law applies to the facts of the case. Similar cases should be treated in the same way.
      • For precedent to work, it requires that courts are prdered into a strict hierarchy.
    • Law reporting
      • For precedent to work, accurate records must be kept of the decisions of the superior courts. These are recorded in law reports.
      • Highly Regarded Law reports: are produced by the ICLR. They're responsible for reporting the appeal cases. They cover the superior court, court of appeal and high court.
      • Private reports: such as All Ebgland Reports which cover cases heard in the Superior courts.
      • Newspaper published reports: The Times publish law reports and are also found online including those for the Superior courts.
    • Hierarchy of the Courts
      • Courts are organised into a strict hierchy which places each court in a position of superiority or inferiority in relation to the other courts.
      • Precedent always operates on a system from the top down. It is always binding all courts below but not above.

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