Judicial Precedent Law & Legal Definition


Judicial precedent is a legal case law establishing a principle or rule that a court or other judicial body may apply while deciding subsequent cases involving similar issues or facts. For instance, a published decision by a U.S. District Court clearly may serve as a judicial precedent that provides a "reasonable basis" for a taxpayer's treatment of its workers, even when the Internal Revenue Service disagrees with the decision. A judicial precedent which must be followed in a case is also known as blinding precedent, alternately metaphorically precedent, mandatory or binding authority. And, a judicial precedent that is not mandatory but which is useful or relevant is known as persuasive precedent or an advisory precedent. According to the doctrine of stare decisis, a lower court must honor findings of law made by a higher court that is within the appeals path of cases the court hears.