LAW 1101 Chapter 2: Types of Law Schools and National, International Law

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7 Feb 2017

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I. Common Law Tradition:
a. Early English Courts:
i. King’s courts wanted to establish a uniform set of rules for the country as
a whole
ii. Common law: a body of general rules that applied throughout the entire
English realm
iii. Precedent: a court decision that furnished an example or authority for
deciding subsequent cases involving identical or similar legal principles or
iv. Written and recorded in Year Books
b. Stare Decisis:
i. Stare decisis: to stand on decided cases
ii. The importance of precedents in judicial decision making:
1. Judges are obligated to follow precedents:
a. A court should not overturn its own precedents unless there
is a strong reason to do so
b. Decisions made by a higher court are binding on lower
2. Binding authority: any source of law that a court must follow
when deciding a case
a. Includes constitutions, statutes, and regulations
iii. Stare Decisis and Legal Stability:
1. Stare decisis allows the courts to be more efficient
2. Makes law seem stable and predictable
iv. Departure from Precedent:
1. Can depart if precedent seems incorrect or technological or social
changes have rendered the precedent inapplicable
2. Case example: Brown vs. BOE
v. When There is No Precedent:
1. “Cases of first impression” courts look at precedents established in
other jurisdictions for guidance
2. Persuasive authorities: court doesn’t need to follow what they
have written
c. Equitable Remedies and Courts of Equity:
i. Remedy: means given to a party to enforce a right or to compensate for
the violation of a right
ii. Courts of law: remedies at law. Compensation
iii. Equity: focused on justice and fair dealing
iv. Courts of equity/ remedies in equity
1. A court of equity: decree for specific performance
2. Injunction: directing a party to do or refrain from doing an act
3. Rescission: cancellation of the contract
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