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What Does "Stare Decisis" Mean?

Stare decisis is a Latin term that literally means “maintain what has been decided and do not alter that which has been established.” Specifically, this is legal principle that judges should always consider and that require them to follow whatever agreement they have agreed upon.

On the other hand, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the United States refers to stare decisis as the decision or to be specific “to stand by and adhere to decisions and not disturb what is settled.” It goes to show how it values decisions which are already done and agreed upon and values as well its permanency and implementation to the next agreement. Being referred to as “precedent,” this principle has resulted in different arguments. One of this is its predictability since decisions are already made and made known to the people.

Stare decisis can be further classified into two different components. The first principle states that all the decision under the superior court should be the binding precedent or the mandatory authority. This means that no one, especially those inferior, could alter or change these decisions. These decisions should be able to serve its purpose to the next agreements and shouldn’t just be eliminated owing to the new decisions made.

Another principle points out that the precedents of the court could not be reversed until there is a valid and strong purpose of doing such. Furthermore, if there are strong reasons seen behind it, it should still follow the lateral and inferior courts’ principles to ensure that the procedure is legal and proper.

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