Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Statutory and Common Law Interpretation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kent Greenawalt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756148.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 November 2019

Precedent

Precedent

Importance and Context

Chapter:
(p.193) Chapter 8 Precedent
Source:
Statutory and Common Law Interpretation
Author(s):

Kent Greenawalt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756148.003.0008

Because judges deciding common law cases have no authoritative statutory or constitutional text to guide them, they must rely on other sources: prior cases, or practices of courts or the legal profession, or customs of the broader community, or evaluative judgments about desirable standards, or a combination of these. This chapter focuses on the first source, analyzing how precedents influence subsequent decisions, which features may constitute their special force, and the relative centrality of the distinction between “holding” and “dictum.” The influence of precedents in legal decisions turns out to be multifaceted, and the distinction between holding and dictum both more complicated and less sharp than the terms suggest. This labeling exercise may be less significant than identifying the degree of freedom judges do, and should, consider themselves to have not to adhere to various aspects of earlier decisions.

Keywords:   judges, precedents, common law cases, legal decisions, holding, dictum

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .