stare decisissta·re de·ci·sis
a policy of law that requires courts to abide by laws and precedents previously laid down as applicable to a similar set of facts
Origin of stare decisisL, to stand by things decided
The doctrine or principle that precedent should determine legal decision making in a case involving similar facts.
Origin of stare decisisLatin stare d&emacron;c&imacron;s&imacron;s (et n&omacron;n qui&emacron;ta mov&emacron;re), to stand by things decided (and not to move things at rest), stare, to stand, d&emacron;c&imacron;s&imacron;s, ablative neuter pl. of d&emacron;c&imacron;sus, past participle of d&emacron;c&imacron;dere, to decide; see decide.
From the Latin stÄre (“to stand"; “to stay", “to remain"), present active infinitive form of stÅ (“I stand"; “I stay", “I remain") + dÄ“cÄ«sÄ«s = “let the decision stand".
stare decisis - Legal Definition
To stand by what was decided. The doctrine of common law under which courts follow the earlier judicial decisions made on the same points of litigation; following precedent. Stare decisis is not inviolable, but precedent will be overturned only for good cause. The doctrine, however, is essentially useless in constitutional law. See also precedent and res judicata.