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Legal System, English


Stare Decisis, the Doctrine
Last updated: 12-Jun-2015

Per Brett MR in The Vera Cruz (No. 2) (1884) 9 P.D. 96 at p. 98 (C.A.):

It was the custom for each of the Courts in Westminster Hall to hold itself bound by a previous decision of itself or of a Court of co-ordinate jurisdiction. But there is no statute or common law rule by which one Court is bound to abide by the decision of another of equal rank, it does so simply from what may be called the comity among judges. In the same way there is no common law or statutory rule to oblige a Court to bow to its own decisions, it does so again on the grounds of judicial comity.

Scruttons Ltd v Midland Silicones Ltd [1962] AC 446 per Viscount Simonds:

I would cast no doubt upon the doctrine of stare decisis, without which law is at hazard. But I do reserve the right at least to say of any decision of this House that it does not depart from a long- established principle, and particularly does not do so without even mentioning it, unless that is made abundantly clear by the majority of the noble Lords who take part in it.


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