• Precedents are the main source of law today.
They tend to strengthen the laws and judicial
system of the country and help us to improve
the legislative process of the country and
adapt it to the respective situations. However,
the basic problem with the application is the
unavailability of the appropriate records for
efficient implementation, which improves the
situation and makes the system more flexible.
• In general, the term "precedent" means "a
previous lawsuit or case which may be used as
an example of a rule for subsequent cases or
which may establish or justify a similar act or
• According to Gray, "the precedent includes all that is said or
done which constitutes a rule for a subsequent practice".
• According to Keeton, "a precedent is a tribunal with special
• According to Salmond, "it basically only understands
reported case law that can be cited and followed by the
• Strictly speaking, this case law must be followed, which is
not only very restrictive, but must also be followed.
• According to Bentham, the precedents are "laws made by
• According to Austin, the precedents are "judicial law".
5. • In the court system, this usually means giving directions or
powers to past decisions for future cases. Only decisions
that establish a new rule or principle are called precedents.
The application of these court decisions is governed by
different principles in different legal systems. These
principles are known as the “Doctrine of the Precedent”.
For this case to be resolved, these precedents must first be
reported, possibly cited and possibly followed by the
courts. Second, the precedent must be followed in certain
• Thus, we can conclude that the precedents are:
– Advice or authority on past decisions for future cases.
– Precedents must be reported, possibly cited and possibly
followed up by the courts.
– Opinio-juris must have precedents.
– These must be broadcast for a long time and must not violate
6. Nature of precedent
• They must be purely constitutive and in no
way abrogative. This means that a court
decision can legislate but not modify it. If
there is an established rule of law, the judge is
bound to respect it. They cannot replace the
established rule of law with their opinion. The
function is limited to filling vacant positions in
legal systems and filling existing gaps with a
7. History of the precedent
• Indian law is largely based on English common law due to
the British colony's long period of influence during the
British Raj. Precedents did not become a source of law until
British rule in India. The Indian Government Act of 1935
established a Federal Court and a Privy Council, the
decisions of which are binding on all other courts in the
country. This was the beginning of the use of precedents to
reach judgment, which over time became a precedent.
• Meaning of precedent: A precedent is an event or action
that occurred earlier and serves as a guide for similar
situations. According to Bentham, precedents are a matter
of judicial law. A specific precedent establishes a principle
or rule that will be followed when making similar decisions
8. Advantages of the precedent
• Anyone who handles a similar matter is treated the
same, there is equality and fairness in justice.
• It serves as a guide in deciding future cases.
• Precedents save time and convenience, because once
an issue has been determined, it saves judges and
lawyers time and effort.
• Precedents help prepare new legal laws and adapt to
changing conditions in society.
• Cases that make them more practical.
• A precedent for binding sets a rule that helps maintain
9. Against the precedent
• A precedent compels a lower court to obey, sometimes
forcing it to make fewer or harsher decisions than is
• It is rigid to change a precedent once it is followed.
• There are many precedents in many cases and
therefore it is difficult to set the right precedent in the
• When distinguishing a case, it is not necessary to
follow a precedent.
• Some situations are not recognized under the previous
ones because they are not taken into account
10. Classification of precedent
• Precedents are an important source of law. You
have enjoyed great authority at all times and in
• There are four types of precedent which can be
classified under the following headings:
1. Authoritative precedents
i. Absolute precedents
ii. Conditional precedents
2. Convincing precedents
3. The original precedents
4. Previous declarations
11. 1. Authoritative precedents
According to Salmond, an authoritative precedent is one
for judges to follow whether they approve or not.
Relevant precedents are the legal sources of law.
Authoritative precedents establish the right to a
particular rule of law that gives them that effect.
Relevant precedents should be followed by the judges,
whether or not they agree with them.
There are two types of authoritative precedent: absolute
In the case of absolutely authoritative precedents, they must be
followed by the judges, even if they do not agree. You have the right
to implied obedience.
In the case of relevant precedents with conditional powers, the Court
may, in certain circumstances, disregard them. They are usually
mandatory, but in special circumstances they can be ignored.
12. 2. Convincing precedents -
A compelling precedent is one that judges do not have to follow, but one that they
will heed and attach great importance to, as they seem to deserve. The convincing
precedents are only historical. If convincing precedents succeed in establishing
laws, they do so indirectly by serving as the historical foundation for a later
decisive precedent. As such, they have no legal force or effect. Compelling
precedents can only convince the judge, but it is up to the judge to follow them or
3. The previous originals -
According to Salmond, an original precedent is a precedent that creates and
enforces a new rule. In the case of the original precedent, this is a law of the
future as it applies now. The number of original precedents is small, but their
importance is very great; they alone develop the law of the land. They are good
evidence for the future.
4. Previous declarations -
According to Salmond, a declaratory precedent is only the application of an
already existing rule of law. In the case of declaratory precedents, the rule applies
because it is already required by law. In the case of advanced countries, there are
more reporting precedents. A declaratory precedent is a good precedent as a
source of law.
The legal authority of both is exactly the same. An original precedent is an
authority and a source of law, but original and declaratory precedents have their