Neil Duxbury examines how precedents constrain legal decision-makers and how legal decision-makers relax and avoid those constraints. There is no single principle or theory which explains the authority of precedent but rather a number of arguments which raise rebuttable presumptions in favour of precedent-following. This book examines the force and the limitations of these arguments and shows that although the principal requirement of the doctrine of precedent is that courts respect earlier judicial decisions on materially identical facts, the doctrine also requires courts to depart from such decisions when following them would perpetuate legal error or injustice. Not only do judicial precedents not 'bind' judges in the classical-positivist sense, but, were they to do so, they would be ill suited to common-law decision-making. Combining historical inquiry and philosophical analysis, this book will assist anyone seeking to understand how precedent operates as a common-law doctrine.
What is the justification for following precedents? Are judicial pronouncements on precedent rules, or just conventions? Contributors to this book address these and other intriguing questions vital to the understanding and interpretation of precedent and the workings of law.
Philip Hamburger’s Law and Judicial Duty traces the early history of what is today called "judicial review." The book sheds new light on a host of misunderstood problems, including intent, the status of foreign and international law, the cases and controversies requirement, and the authority of judicial precedent. The book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the proper role of the judiciary.
This is the second edition of the highly successful book first published in 1989. However, it has been extensively revised in content and updated: Eight out of 14 chapters are new including chapters such as The Constitutional Framework of Powers, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and The Singapore Legal System and International Law; and the law on all subjects has been updated.
This book, which relies on primary and secondary printed sources and a series of interviews with affected persons, lawyers, judges, and customary court presidents in Nigeria, focuses on the place of due process in the Nigerian legal system. Uwakah is concerned about the abuse of this important fundamental right in his country. The purpose of the book is to examine how due process operates in Nigeria and whether the coexistence of the customary law, the English common law, the Moslem law, and the martial law systems in Nigeria hinders or enhances due process in the country. Finally, the study investigates the suitability of the British version of due process to Nigeria, since the concept is imported to the country. The book concludes that the British version of due process is unsuitable to Nigeria because the country's political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds substantially differ from those of Britain. This conclusion is premised on the consensus of the interviewees. Uwakah recommends the country's immediate transition from military to civilian rule.
Why is the law notoriously unclear, arcane, slow to change in the face of changing circumstances? In this sweeping comparative analysis of the lawmaking process from ancient Rome to the present day, Alan Watson argues that the answer has largely to do with the mixed ancestry of modern law, the confusion of sources—custom, legislation, scholarly writing, and judicial precedent—from which it derives.
Although precedent in the International Court of Justice is not binding, the Court relies on its previous judgments as authoritative expressions of its views. In this book, Mohamed Shahabuddeen, a judge in the International Court of Justice, shows the extent to which the Court is guided by previous decisions, and how parties to cases themselves use the Court's decisions when framing and presenting their cases. He also traces the possibilities for future development of the system. Judge Shahabuddeen's analysis of the Court is a major contribution to this important subject.
Not a day goes by in present South Africa when the role of law, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the future of constitutional democracy is not debated. This book will take the reader into the heart of the legal system, the understanding of which is necessary when wrestling with these pressing questions. The book examines a series of key cases over the past 60 years, the judgements in which changed the political or social landscape of the country. The choice of cases for inclusion in the book was made both to tell compelling and significant historical stories, as well as to illustrate the possibilities inherent in law, and the potential for its abuse and use. All of the chosen cases were ones where the country held its collective breath before judgement was delivered. Through the stories told, the reader will not only engage with critical aspects of South African history, but will be exposed to the manner in which the possibility of our new constitutional democracy is linked to the legal precedents, traditions and culture which were built up over the past century.