A precedent is a ‘considered decision’ of a court which provides a rule for the determination of an identical or similar question of law. The only theory on which it is possible for one decision to be an authority for another is that the acts are alike, or , if the facts are different, that the principle which governed the first case is applicable to the variant facts.
Binding Authority of Judicial Precedent or ‘Stare Decisis’:
The binding authority of the precedent is based on the principle of ‘stare decisis’ which means ‘stand by things
decided’. Precedents enjoy value in a judicial system, due to the following factors:
Binding (Compulsory or unavoidable)
- Justice is administered by an establishment of judges.
- Judges are specialists of law.
- They represent the collective conscience of society.
- A case once decided stands correct unless reversed by the higher court.
Represent (Symbol of)
Collective (Joint or combined)
Conscience (Sense of right and wrong)
Society (The general public)
Unless (If not)
A rule formulated through precedent is a model implemented on the subsequent cases. It brings fairmindedness and impartiality in judicial decisions.
Subsequent (Following or successive)