Precedent | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee

 

Course: Introduction / Procedural Law

In law, a precedent is a court decision in an earlier case with facts and legal issues similar to a dispute currently before a court.

Judges will generally “follow precedent” – meaning that they use the principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have similar facts and raise similar legal issues. A judge will disregard precedent if a party can show that the earlier case was wrongly decided, or that it differed in some significant way from the current case.


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Last Modified: 07/06/2021

 

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