Judicial Precedent (Key Terms)


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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 16-02-11 18:18

Judicial Precedent Latin Terms

STARE DECISIS- stand by your decisions and do not change them. This creates precedent and means that the judges need to follow previous decisions set by their own court or higher courts. THIS SETS THE BASIS FOR PRECEDENT.

RATIO DECIDENDI- this means reasons for deciding. At the end of the case the judge or judges give reasons for choosing points of law to help them come to their decisions. This allows future judges to understand the legal points chosen in that particular case. The ratio needs to be followed in all future cases that have the same material facts.

OBITER DICTA- also referred to as 'the obiter'. This means other things said. The judges will give their opinion on the case and whether it would have been different if the facts of the case were different. Judges do not have to follow this but can be used as a PERSUASIVE PRECEDENT!

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Judicial Precedent English Terms

ORIGINAL PRECEDENT- this is when there is no other cases to set precedent. The judges take in account similar cases to try and reach a decision this is called 'reasoning by analogy'. This sets a new precedent for judges to follow in future cases.

BINDING PRECEDENT- this is where there has been a case that binds the current decision made by a judge. It creates fairness and certainty in the law. Even if a judge doesn't agree with it they still need to follow it. A classic example of a judge who didn't follow this rule strictly was Lord Denning.

PERSUASIVE PRECEDENT- this form of precedent is not binding. This can be used to persuade the judge to make a decision. Such persuasive precedents come from; decisions from lower courts, decisions of the privy council, statements make obiter dicta, decisions made by commonwealth countries (Austraila, Canada etc.), and dissenting judgements.

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good explanations

J Drabble


Good explanations of key terminology - good starting resource for revision of the topic, combine with relevant cases and the court hierachy

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