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 ?
(b) where there is no binding authority any authority decided by an Australian appellate court; and
Binding Authority: Property, GL, Liquor Liability, Homeowners, Difference-in-Conditions, Inland Marine.
(15) On the other hand, Irenaeus unambiguously rejects the binding authority of the Bible for any part of the Law besides the Decalogue.
Leitch of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, said statements made by Justice Schnall in her ruling "are not binding authority on the question whether Charter remedies can ever be available in a child protection proceeding."
The Binding Authority Reporting Implementation Guide accommodates the property and household lines of business for U.S.-based risks.
Career and technical education programs are part of the category known as "Function 500--Education, Training, Employment and Social Services." 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.
However, the Threadgill court s pronouncement has been expanded well beyond its express context by many bankruptcy courts to deem themselves not bound by higher district court decisions on the basis that "there is no law of the district." Understood and applied in the context in which the court stated that a decision of a district judge has no binding authority on district judges of the same court, (59) the notion bears little, if any, relevance to the issue of a lower, Article I bankruptcy judge being bound by the decisions of a higher, Article III district judge within their judicial district.
Delayed renewals, reduced binding authority, class underwriting, limits offered below regulatory requirements and other risk transfer tricks are not new phenomena.
It is not binding authority on states, but it is nonetheless persuasive evidence of the current law.
(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.