precedent

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Related to Binding authority: Legal precedent

precedent

Law a judicial decision that serves as an authority for deciding a later case

Precedent

 

in law, a decision delivered by a court in a specific case, the opinion for which becomes a rule that is binding on all courts of the same or lower instance in deciding analogous cases. Soviet law does not recognize precedent and does not permit the decision of criminal cases by analogy, holding that the judicial decision should be based on statutory law alone.

In some countries, including Great Britain, most of the states in the United States, Canada, and Australia, legal precedent is recognized as a source of law and lies at the foundation of the entire legal system. In accordance with the prevailing doctrine in these countries, the judge who creates a legal precedent does not create a legal norm but only formulates that which follows from the common principles of law inherent in human nature. In reality the judge may always reject the application of precedent, citing some insignificant features of the particular case in order to introduce an entirely new rule. The judge also has the freedom to interpret precedent and to select from an enormous number of precedents; in other words, there is an enormous potential for judicial discretion and arbitrary legal actions. In legal writing and in practice, systems of law based on precedent are often called systems of judge-made law.

In a number of bourgeois countries, including France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Belgium, precedent is important for deciding questions of the application of law, filling gaps in the law, and recognizing custom and commercial practices. On the basis of precedent, existing legislation is supplemented, and statutory law is interpreted.

References in periodicals archive ?
Specialties: "Commercial Lines property/casualty; many markets for small binding authority to larger transactional brokerage.
15) On the other hand, Irenaeus unambiguously rejects the binding authority of the Bible for any part of the Law besides the Decalogue.
The budget resolution has no binding authority over specific program funding levels, but the higher the total funding levels in the budget resolution, the higher the likelihood of increases for programs like Perkins.
Whilst the court's decision has no binding authority in the UK, because Australia shares English common law tradition the judgment is highly persuasive here and elsewhere in the Commonwealth.
Delayed renewals, reduced binding authority, class underwriting, limits offered below regulatory requirements and other risk transfer tricks are not new phenomena.
However, no such authority exists in church law granting the conference binding authority over its individual members -- diocesan bishops -- on matters related to the sexual abuse of minors.
58) This issue indeed was presented; the validity of the no-citation rule, as applied to a citation carrying no claim of binding authority, was the question raised by the facts of Hart.
However, he fails to note that where duly constituted diocesan architectural committees have embraced its principles and wording, EACW has assumed the binding authority to wreak havoc on old churches and new.
And the other positive step that would be taken is that, whereas now the commission can only make recommendations to the federal government once it reviews a claim that has been rejected -- and that could take two or three years as well, and at the end of the day we recommend whether or not the government should now accept the claim -- the change under our annual report is that we would have binding authority to make those decisions, so they would no longer just be recommendations.
You have some courts making decisions and others that haven't addressed it yet, then [the latter] look to other courts because they have no binding authority in their own courts to guide them," says Richard Olivieri, a NY-based attorney.
And we rightly rail against the imposition of any binding authority beyond Scripture on the basis of the great Baptist dictum, "No creed but the Bible.
Historically, only during the reigns of the Prophet and his immediate successors were religious and political functions authentically joined under the binding authority of Islamic law.