Precedence Law and Legal Definition

Precedence generally refers to the act or state of going before something else according to some system of priorities.

However term has the following meanings as well :

  • Priority or the right of preceding. For Example Applications arriving first will be given precedence.
  • The order or priority in place or time observed by or for persons of different statuses on the basis of rank during ceremonial events. For Example political dignitaries, high ranking officers etc.
  • Priority claimed or received because of preeminence or superiority. For example the company asserted its precedence as the leading manufacturer of chocolates.
  • In Parliamentary law it refers to the ranked priority that determines whether a motion is in order while another motion is pending, or whether a pending motion yields to another motion. “There is a principle that determines the precedence of motions. The closer a motion is to final disposition of the matter under consideration, the lower it is in the order of precedence. The further removed the motion is from final disposition of the matter, the higher it is in the order of precedence.” National Conference of State Legislatures, Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure 6 (2000). It is also the priority in which a member is entitled to the floor.
  • The order in which persons may claim the right to administer an intestate's estate. The traditional order followed is (1) surviving spouse, (2) next of kin, (3) creditors, and (4) public administrator.