Precedent refers to the use of previous court decisions in resolving current judicial questions. Precedent is thus, in some ways, a historical recollection of the development of legal matters or conflicts. Under the common-law concept of precedent, decisions that have been rendered on issues should be exemplars or guides for later cases when similar issue arises. By applying precedent, lower courts are essentially bound by the judgments of higher courts. While precedent is a practice and not a law, its use is binding in judicial decisions. This entry looks at types of precedent, conditions for overruling precedents, and practical application.

Types of Precedent

Precedent can fall into one of two categories: binding or persuasive. Binding precedent is set by higher courts and must be established in ...

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