Explain Judicial Precedent and the Types of Precedent

Topics: Stare decisis, Common law, Precedent Pages: 2 (471 words) Published: November 13, 2012
Judicial Precedent means the process whereby judges follow the decisions made by previous judges in similar cases where the facts are of sufficient similarity. In deciding a case, there will be basic tasks, establishing what the facts are, meaning what actually happened, as well as how the law applies to those facts. The idea of judicial precedent is that once a decision has been made in a set of particular facts, similar facts in later cases should be treated in the same way. The rules concerning which courts are bound by which are known as the rules of judicial precedent, or stare decisis, this may provide consistency and predictability in the law.

The decision made by the judges, also known as judgment, in which containing the explanation of the legal principles on which the judges has made a decision, this is called the ratio decidendi, in Latin stands for ‘reason for a decision’. The judges may speculate his decisions would or might have been if the facts are different, it includes the judges thought processes, this is called obiter dicta, in Latin stands for ‘things said by the way’.

If there are similar facts in a case, the judges may choose to follow the decisions made in previous cases as to produce a decision, or to distinguish the facts, see if they are different from those of the previous one, the judges may choose not following the earlier one. The judges may overrule the previous decision if they disagree with it and was made in a lower court, however, it is only used warily because it may weaken the authority and respect of the lower courts. Besides of overrule, the judges may also reverse the earlier decision unless he thinks that the law applied in the previous case is misinterpreted.

There are different types of precedent, basically it can be divided as 3 types, which are binding, persuasive and original precedent. All judicial decisions in a specific court’s jurisdiction heard at that court’s level or higher are considered to be...
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