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Precedent

  • Pierluigi Chiassoni
Chapter
Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 128)

Abstract

The chapter is dedicated to a realistic and analytical exploration of three basic issues in the theory of judicial precedent. These are: (a) the notion of ratio decidendi; (b) the interpretation of precedents; (c) the practical relevance of precedents. Dealing with the first issue, three notions of ratio decidendi are proposed by way of a rational reconstruction of on-going concepts. Dealing with the second issue, the whole set of common law techniques for coping with precedents is considered through the spectacles of the distinction between textual interpretation of judicial decisions (as the whole documents containing opinions plus normative conclusions), textual interpretation of a previously identified ratio decidendi, and meta-textual interpretation of a previously identified ratio decidendi. Finally, dealing with the third issue, a few basic conceptual distinctions will be introduced, the influential proposal by the legal theorists of the Bielefelder Kreis will be analysed, and, thereafter, a purportedly comprehensive typology of eight ideal-systems concerning the de iure relevance of judicial precedents will be outlined, to be used as an analytical device for understanding and classifying actual legal systems.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierluigi Chiassoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di GiurisprudenzaUniversità di GenovaGenovaItaly

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