case law

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Case Law

Legal principles enunciated and embodied in judicial decisions that are derived from the application of particular areas of law to the facts of individual cases.

As opposed to statutes—legislative acts that proscribe certain conduct by demanding or prohibiting something or that declare the legality of particular acts—case law is a dynamic and constantly developing body of law. Each case contains a portion wherein the facts of the controversy are set forth as well as the holding and dicta—an explanation of how the judge arrived at a particular conclusion. In addition, a case might contain concurring and dissenting opinions of other judges.

Since the U.S. legal system has a common-law system, higher court decisions are binding on lower courts in cases with similar facts that raise similar issues. The concept of precedent, or Stare Decisis, means to follow or adhere to previously decided cases in judging the case at bar. It means that appellate case law should be considered as binding upon lower courts.

case law

n. reported decisions of appeals courts and other courts which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents. These interpretations are distinguished from "statutory law" which is the statutes and codes (laws) enacted by legislative bodies, "regulatory law" which is regulations required by agencies based on statutes, and in some states, the Common Law, which is the generally accepted law carried down from England. The rulings in trials and hearings which are not appealed and not reported are not case law and, therefore, not precedent or new interpretations. Law students principally study case law to understand the application of law to facts and learn the courts' subsequent interpretations of statutes. (See: case system, precedent)

case law

law established by following judicial decisions given in earlier cases. See PRECEDENT, STARE DECISIS.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mahumapelo said the panel s main responsibility will be to evaluate each legal case and costs related to it, before devising the intervention plan to address the identified loss or potential loss.
Several people feel frustrated that they cannot follow through with their legal cases due to financial restrictions," sources said.
The warning from Red Shirts members came as opponents of Yingluck and her party have filed legal cases against her.
BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Interior Ministry sources reported that the security forces arrested today 37 persons who were charged for different legal cases.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Although the Ministry of Justice denied last week claims of reshuffling in the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK), it was found that a certain department within the institution was subjected to removals amid talk of retrying critical legal cases such as Ergenekon.
If she wins at the Court of Appeal, other legal cases could potentially follow from Muslims and Jews.
Summary: Tunisian authorities have prepared 18 legal cases against former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, including "voluntary manslaughter" and "drug trafficking," the state TAP news agency said on Wednesday.
Tunis, April 14 (Saba) - The Tunisian caretaker authorities, trying to assert their authority and gain legitimacy in the eyes of protesters who forced the transition, have prepared 18 legal cases against former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, including "voluntary manslaughter" and "drug trafficking", according to Qatar News Agency (QNA).
The legal cases against some Israeli officials in some EU courts is nothing but a ploy, resorted to by the West, to "domesticate" the Jewish state and put it back on the right track after it strayed away from its previous path under its extreme right wing government, Noureddin said.
Each year the SLO deals with a huge range of legal cases, and the students' work is a fully assessed part of their course.
If granted, Birmingham will become the only place outside London and Belfast to be able to sit top level legal cases.