Stare Decisis Definition

stârē dĭ-sīsĭs
A policy of law that requires courts to abide by laws and precedents previously laid down as applicable to a similar set of facts.
Webster's New World

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.

Webster's New World Law

Origin of Stare Decisis

  • Latin 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 decide

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From the Latin stāre (“to stand"; “to stay", “to remain"), present active infinitive form of stō (“I stand"; “I stay", “I remain") + dÄ“cÄ«sÄ«s = “let the decision stand".

    From Wiktionary

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