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Potential of Precedent in the Statutory Legal Order

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Edited By Leszek Leszczyński, Bartosz Liżewski and Adam Szot

This book is devoted to various aspects of the potential of precedent as a legal category and the precedential practice as an element of the law in statutory legal orders. It presents a complex approach to the problems involved in precedential practice, including its theoretical consideration and generalization of the practical use of prior judicial decisions as precedents (based on the observation of Polish and European judicial practice) as well as comparative and prospective remarks dealing with the role of precedents in the statutory law order.

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Iwona Rzucidło-Grochowska: The Style of Judicial Opinion and the “Precedential” Potential of the Judicial Decision

The Style of Judicial Opinion and the “Precedential” Potential of the Judicial Decision

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Iwona Rzucidło-Grochowska

Abstract: Judicial opinion has (full) potential for precedence when it combines two features (aspects): it is drafted in a way that makes the use of the decision of other courts possible and it makes a reference to the previous decisions in an appropriate way (explains evocatively the use of other judgments). An appropriate way in this sense is a way which allows a judicial decision to maintain a proper quality (especially, when it provides wide argumentation, is easily understandable and uses language in a proper way). Those two abovementioned sides of that potential are in fact the core of the style of the judicial opinion. Hence, it is the style of the judicial opinion that influences the potential for precedence of the court’s judgment.

Keywords: style of judicial opinion judicial opinion legal argumentation precedent

The concept of precedent has been derived in the culture of case law. For many years there has been a scholar and “practical” discussion on implementation of various elements of the precedent doctrine to the statutory law culture. It is motivated by, among others, the desire to get the advantages from using the case law as judges in the common law culture do. The most important advantage in this regard is the possibility to treat previous decisions (at least in part) as a source of legal norms. It provides also a useful point of reference for elaborating a more systematic description of the phenomenon of various degrees...

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