The Doctrine Of Precedent And The Human Rights Act 1998 ( Hra ) And Alternative Dispute Resolution

2278 Words Mar 20th, 2015 10 Pages
The doctrine of Precedent or Stare Decisis is ‘an indispensable foundation to the common law’ and English legal system (ELS). This paper will examine the importance of the role of precedent in English law and how that role has changed as a consequence of statutory interpretation, the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and alternative dispute resolution (A.D.R) in civil disputes.

The principle of precedent has long been established as a cornerstone of our common law jurisdiction. This was illustrated clearly in the Mirehouse v Rennell ruling of 1833, in which Justice Parke first established binding precedent and ensured that decisions in a particular court would be binding on the same and all lower courts. It allowed the continued case-by-case development of the common law and provided judges, room for manoeuvre when there was little dispute over a ‘point of law’, but disagreement as to the facts of a particular case. Justice Parke’s ultimate objective, as noted in his trial statement, was to deliver ‘uniformity, consistency and certainty’ by applying the same judgment in future cases where the principles were judged too similar to establish any other decision. At a time when legal theorists like ‘Hobbes, Bentham, Austin and Dicey’ were increasingly framing the engagement between society and its citizens in terms of social contracts and a sense of collectivism, the concept of precedent and certainty in the law, were measures synonymous with the pursuit of justice. As such,…

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