Stare Decisis

Definition - What does Stare Decisis mean?

Stare decisis is a legal principal that states that courts can use the rulings from a previous trial to set a precedent for identical issues that may be brought to them. Stare decisis is a Latin phrase that means "to stand by things decided." It is not required that courts use stare decisis every time they see a new issue that is identical to one that has already been dealt with in the past. However, they often do.

Justipedia explains Stare Decisis

Stare decisis can save the courts a lot of time and money. The reason is because if an issue has already been decided in the past and an identical issue is brought to them, they can simply cite the old ruling using stare decisis. However, society often goes through changes and sometimes the court will not use stare decisis. Instead, they re-evaluate an issue and potentially make a new ruling on it. If it makes a new ruling, then that ruling can be used for stare decisis in the future.

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