Judicial Precedent Essay

608 Words3 Pages
Describe how Judicial Precedent operates. Describe advantages and disadvantages of precedent. The system of law used in England is common law in which decisions are arrived at by judges, this is also known as judicial precedent. The judicial precedence is the decision made by the judge, a judgement gives the facts of the case and the principles of law used to come to the decision. The Racio decedendi, point or principle of law, in the case in the case in which the decision of the judge is based upon is the part of the judgement that creates the law (the precedent) and the rest is known as the Orbiter dicta (other things decided). The orbiter Dicta is the afterthought speculating on what might be the outcome of the case had the facts been different. The Orbiter Dicta, however, is not binding is is there as more of a suggestion based upon speculation but jugdes could use this as a Judicial precedent in future cases. The Orbiter Dicum is a very important feature of the law as it can be used if the Racio decidendi is difficult to identify. If a Judge has a case he may use the Racio decidendi of a previous case that has similar facts and take it into consideration for the Racio decideni of his own case. If this previous decision is by a court above his own in the hierachy, he must follow it. Precedents are binding on all lower courts. If A judge comes across a decission made by a court lower than his own he may accept this as a persuasive precedent, the judge does not have to use this as his precedent and can adapt where suitable. Persuasive precedents are also used when the court is a commonwealth or american court, not an English one. Judges can however, overrule the decision from a previous case if they do not belive it was correct. Judges also distinguish their Racio decedendi from that of previous cases which have been used to inform their decision, this makes
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