Stare Decisis in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Morelle Ltd v Wakeling
    • Court of Appeal
    • 03 Mar 1955

    As a general rule the only cases in which decisions should be held to have been given per incuriam are these of decisions given in ignorance or forgetfulness of some inconsistent statutory provision or of some authority binding on the Court concerned: so that in such cases some part of the decision or some step in the reasoning on which it is based is found, on that account, to be demonstrably wrong.

  • Rickards v Rickards
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 20 Jun 1989

    However the rule is not without exceptions, albeit very limited. These decisions show that this court is justified in refusing to follow one of its own previous decisions not only where that decision is given in ignorance or forgetfulness of some inconsistent statutory provision or some authority binding upon it, but also, in rare and exceptional cases, if it is satisfied that the decision involved a manifest slip or error.

  • Boys v Chaplin
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 06 Dec 1967

    But in Young's case it was only final judgments of the Court of Appeal which were under consideration. Young's case, which I loyally, if regretfully, accept as binding upon me, dots not, as I think, preclude this Court from declining to follow the ratio decidendi of a previous interlocutory order of the Court of Appeal if this Court thinks that the ratio decidendi was wrong. In the present state of juristic opinion, I would not extend the doctrine of stare decisis any further.

  • John Arthur Charles Gould
    • Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
    • 18 Jan 1968

    In its criminal jurisdiction, which it has inherited from the Court of Criminal Appeal, the Court of Appeal does not apply the doctrine of stare decisis with the same rigidity as in its civil jurisdiction.

  • Williams v Fawcett
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 14 Feb 1985

    If we are bound by these decisions, and we are unless they can be treated as having been reached per incuriam, they represent a very considerable change in the law for which, so far as I can see, there is absolutely no warrant. The change to which I refer is, of course, a requirement that these notices shall be signed by the proper officer.

  • Langley v North West Water Authority
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 27 Mar 1991

    Any departure from previous decisions of this court is in principle undesirable and should only be considered if the previous decision is manifestly wrong. Even then it will be necessary to take account of whether the decision purports to be one of general application and whether there is any other way of remedying the error, for example by encouraging an appeal to the House of Lords.

  • Trendtex v Central Bank of Nigeria
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 Jan 1977

    Seeing that the rules of International Law have changed - and do change - and that the Courts have given effect to the changes without any Act of Parliament, it follows to my mind inexorably that the rules of International Law, as existing from time to time, do form part of our English Law.

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