Precedent: A Principle Source of Law

Nikhil Gangappa Mantur
Asst. Prof., BLDE Law College, Jamkhandi, India.

Volume II – Issue I, 2020

Every developed legal system possesses a judicial organ. The main function of the judicial organ is to adjudicate the rights and obligations of the citizens. In the beginning, in this adjudication, the courts are guided by customs and their own sense of justice. As society progresses, legislation becomes the main source of law and the judges decide cases according to it. Even at this stage, the judges perform some creative function. In the cases of the first impression, in the matters of interpretation, or in filling up any lacuna in the law made by legislation the judges, to some extent, depend on their sense of right and wrong and in doing so, they adopt the law to the changed conditions . The Doctrine of judicial precedent is concerned with the importance of case law in our system. Really it is the lawyer’s term for legal experience. The American jurist and Supreme Court Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes. Jr famously said that the life of the law was not logic but experience.  Miles Kington put it another way in Punch,” Judicial precedent manes a trick which has been tried before, successfully. ”

Key words: Precedent, Legislation, Judicial, Interpretation, case law


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