Legal Precedent

June 8, 2024

Legal precedent in India refers to the principle that decisions made by higher courts in earlier cases serve as binding or persuasive authority in subsequent cases with similar facts or legal issues. It is a fundamental aspect of the common law system, ensuring consistency, predictability, and coherence in judicial decision-making. In India, legal precedent is established primarily by the judgments of the Supreme Court of India and various High Courts, which serve as authoritative interpretations of law and establish legal principles to be followed by lower courts. Precedents are categorised into two types: binding precedents and persuasive precedents. Binding precedents, also known as stare decisis, are decisions that must be followed by lower courts within the same jurisdiction. These include decisions of higher courts on points of law that are directly applicable to the case at hand. Persuasive precedents, on the other hand, are decisions from courts in other jurisdictions or from lower courts within the same jurisdiction that are not binding but may be considered as persuasive authority in the absence of binding precedent. Legal precedent plays a crucial role in the development and application of law, ensuring that legal principles evolve incrementally over time through the accumulation of judicial decisions and interpretations.


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