Understanding Precedent

November 26th 2016

Yet this inconstancy is such
That you too shall adore
I could not love thee near so much

Loved I not honour more.

Introduction

Precedent involves a court making a decision in a case by invoking a decision that was made in a preceding case. Lawyers refer to the preceding case as a precedent. Precedent is the reason that a common law rule, once made, is followed in subsequent cases. Precedent is also the reason what when interpreting law a court can interpret a provision by applying a precedent which has interpreted the provision on a previous occasion.