Other Bases for Decision

Kent Greenawalt

in Statutory and Common Law Interpretation

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199756148
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979523 | DOI:
Other Bases for Decision

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This chapter explores further what judges do in common law cases when they decide in the absence of a controlling precedent or ask themselves whether to overrule or avoid a precedent that does appear to apply. After looking at considerations that are relevant in common law adjudication, it provides a summary analysis of three accounts of the overall task of judges who are resolving common law issues. It then examines questions about how judges should regard precedents that apparently apply, and what it should take to distinguish them or undertake full or partial overruling. The chapter focuses on appellate courts; these are not bound by the legal rulings of the courts below them.

Keywords: judges; common law cases; legal decision making; precedent; common law adjudication; appellate courts

Chapter.  16106 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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