Law Of Precedent Essay
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Law of Precedent
One of the major considerations on how someone is tried in a court of law depends upon the previous convictions of similar cases. This law of precedent (stare decisis) was founded hundreds of years ago as part of our common law. The literal translation of stare decisis is "that like cases be decided alike." Precedents in law play a fundamental role in the judicial processes of Canada. From stealing a loaf of bread ranging to murder in the first degree, there are precedents for any type of case that has ever occurred in Canada, and even many cases from Britain (prior to 1949 and the abolishment of the JCPC). Unfortunately, the law of precedent does have its downfalls.
Despite the…show more content…
Unfortunately, sexual harassment at the workplace is going too far. It used to be a threat of one's job in return for sexual favors to qualify as quid pro quo harassment. Yet in today's context, simply inquiring about an employee's sexual status is de emed as sexual harassment.
There are problems with old laws and precedents that may need to be rectified. Previous decisions by judges do not necessarily embody the law. Here is where a judge's duty is to apply the law, not another justice's determination of it. "The law and the opinion of the judge may not always be one and the same." For judges, it is important to correct any precedent that is now viewed as a mistake. Making sure that precedents are kept "in check" is a vital role of the courts.
The second case of changing precedent is that of court sentencing and decision making. This part of stare decisis troubles many people along with myself for a good reason, court cases are getting out of hand! Here offered is another example. Fifty years ago, a convicted serial killer would have been hung by the laws of capital punishment. Yet nowadays, the taking of a convicted killer's life is deemed as cruel and unusual punishment, even if he murdered the
Prime Minister on national television. If that example is too drastic, here is another, more reasonable example. In the United States, court rulings dealing with personal injury or damages are becoming out of this world. Here are a couple of
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