Meaning of Precedent :

              Precedent means decision given by the superior courts is binding on inferior courts and to be followed in future in similar cases Doctrine of Precedent bring certainty, predictability and uniformity in law.


Here are some advantages of Precedent :

Advantages of Precedents : 

1) Case law being an outcome of continuous judicial process, it is more in keeping with the needs of the society. Precedents enable the judges to re-shape law according as an effective requirements and at the same time binding authority of the precedent acts as an effective check on the arbitrary discretion of the judge.


2) Precedent being the result of concrete problems, which actually arose in the case, gives rise to practical and perfect law whereas the law enacted by legislature is mostly based on assumptions and imagination and therefore, it is an imperfect and abstract law.

3) The law contained in case law is certain and easy to understand. Once a case is decided people know it with certainty as to what  would be ruling in similar cases, which arise in future. Therefore, precedent helps people to now the intricate (complex) principles of law to a considerable extent.

4) Precedents provide useful guideline for the Judge in deciding cases before them

5) Citing of precedent and case law helps the members of Bar to substantiate their argument without waste sof unnecessary time and energy. Much of the time of the judges and Advocatets is saved in searching the relevant law from law books.


6) Precedents provide flexibility  to the law to adapt itself to new situations and social conditions. The case law relating to right to property in India from Sankari Prasad AIR 1951, SC 458 to Minerva Mills , AIR 1980 SC 1789, cases and changes in the judicial trend in this regard sufficiently illustrates this point.



Other Advantages :


1. Certainty 

                The president brings certainty to law because similar principles are applied and are recognised to similar cases. This process makes the law certain. 



2. Uniforrmity 

                President brings uniformity to law because of past decision is followed and applied through out the Court and country.


3. Conformity  

               The decisions in the subsequent cases are given based on the similar principles laid down earlier for the similar fact of the case. The earlier decision is conferred which brings conformity to law.


See also...

             Kinds of Precedents 

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