In many systems of government, the legislative branch is not alone in its power to create law. In nations that allow courts to create and interpret their own precedent, the judiciary may also play an important role in lawmaking. A precedent is a legal decision that establishes a principle or rule that a court follows when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. While a formal doctrine of precedent does not govern all legal systems, it is part of common law legal systems, including those followed in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

In other jurisdictions, courts are not required to rely on earlier relevant cases. Instead, courts may or may not have the authority to discuss earlier cases in their opinions, ...

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