Stare decisis is important because it is essential to the doctrine of precedent, according to Cornell University Law School. Stare decisis means a court will stand by a ruling previously issued in earlier cases. This method is used to determine rulings in lower courts as well. Once a court has issued a ruling, all lower courts must have the same response in future cases.Continue Reading
Stare decisis, which comes from the Latin phrase meaning "to stand by things decided," first arose in importance in the 1800s when court cases became more easily accessible to lower courts, lawyers and judges, making it easier for courts to reference previous cases to help inform current ones. As Wikipedia explains, stare decisis sets an interpretation of the law that is expected to be followed in subsequent cases. In the United States, courts seek to follow precedent whenever possible so as to avoid disturbing matters that have already been settled.
Precedents are very rarely overturned, according to The Free Dictionary. When this does occur, it is usually a sign of change in the interpretation of the law. For instance, the landmark case Brown v. The Board of Education overturned a precedent that had been set years earlier by Plessy v. Ferguson. In this case, the courts ignored the precedents already set and ruled racial segregation illegal.
In the United States, stare decisis has been influential in a number of controversial cases. Roe v. Wade in 1973 defined a woman's constitutional right to choose to have an abortion, thereby setting a precedent that has been followed in the majority of related cases tried subsequently, even despite the controversy it has created.Learn more about Law
Equity establishes justice if common law is inadequate in certain circumstances, according to Cornell University Law School. The equity route is only an option when legal recourse has been exhausted.Full Answer >
A counterclaim includes information about relief against an original claim that was filed by a plaintiff, explains Cornell University Law School. The person making the counterclaim is the defendant in the lawsuit, and the counterclaim includes information that directly refutes the original claim or information related to claims about actions that are not specifically related to the original claim. In these counterclaims, the defendant is in the offensive posture and bears the risk of proof.Full Answer >
An example of a counterclaim is if Company A sues Company B for breach of contract, and then Company B files a suit in return that it was induced to sign the contract under fraudulent conditions, according to Cornell University Law School. Counterclaims are typically filed by a defendant against the plaintiff in an effort to gain relief from the original claim in a lawsuit.Full Answer >
Some examples of civil rights in the United States include freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, voting rights and equal protection under the law, according to Cornell University Law School and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Civil rights are personal rights.Full Answer >