Advantages and Disadvantages of case law

Discuss advantages and two disadvantages of case law

Advantages and Disadvantages of case law

 Advantages of case law  

  • Certainty – The maxim of stare decisis has contributed certainty and consistency in the development of the rules of law.
  • Possibility of growth – Case law grows out of practical problems and thus keeps pace with the changing needs of the society.
  • Rich in detail – Each principle of law or equity is supported by elaborate judgements of distinguished judges. These are tremendous value to judges, lawyers and students of law.
  • Prove some decree of uniformity upon which courts can rely, this is essential if justice is to be achieved.


Disadvantages of case law      

  • Rigidity: Since the decisions of the superior courts bind inferior ones, it apparently destroys original thinking of a judge of an inferior court as he is restricted from using his own reasons.
  • Over subtlety: The concept of binding precedent has led judges sometimes to create artificial distinction in order to avoid following an earlier decision.
  • Bulk and complexity: Much of the case law is contained in voluminous law reports dating back to the middle ages. These reports have to be constantly referred to by those in the administration of justice.

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