The Authority of Precedents in Civil Law Systems

Bojan Spaić


In this paper, precedents are analysed in terms of reasons that they can give to judges in various legal systems, with the purpose of identifying the ways in which precedents can be authoritative in judicial reasoning. The analysis starts with the distinction between two kinds of precedents – precedents of solution and precedents of interpretation. The ways in which both precedents of solution and precedents of interpretation affect the reasoning of future courts are identified and described, in order to focus on instances in which this affection can be considered practically and epistemically authoritative. Finally, conditions for considering under which it can be justified to treat precedents as authoritative are laid down, with a special emphasis on the possibility of justifying the epistemic authority of interpretative precedents.


precedent; authority of precedents; precedential practice; epistemic authority; practical authority

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Data publikacji: 2018-05-02 07:55:19
Data złożenia artykułu: 2018-02-07 22:42:04


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