On Precedents in General and in a Statutory Legal System

Alexander Bröstl


The article touches upon the issue of precedent (in both the codified law and common law systems) as a source of law. The author presents concepts of the law philosophers, often contradictory to one another, which refer to the understanding of the very term ‘source of law’. The possibility of qualifying judicial rulings, including precedents, as a source of law, is also examined. The author compares the functioning of precedents (quasi-precedents) in legal systems of a number of countries (including the USA, England, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, and Sweden), with special emphasis on Slovakia. It is also emphasised that the rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Slovak Republic have a binding power for courts, provided they are petitioners of the proceedings. The Supreme Court rulings have two kinds of a binding power. The first of them is a cassation power (in a case being the subject of the proceedings), and the second one is a precedential binding power, which is characterised by the lack of obligation of being applied by common courts.


precedent; quasi-precedent; source of law

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2018.27.1.177
Data publikacji: 2018-05-02 07:55:30
Data złożenia artykułu: 2018-02-12 22:27:04


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