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 stāre dēcīsīs (et nōn quiēta movēre) to stand by things decided (and not to move things at rest) stāre to stand dēcīsīs ablative neuter pl. of dēcīsus past participle of dēcīdere 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.