Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The doctrine of precedent, as it has evolved within the common law, is constituted by a system of conventions through which the decisions of earlier courts in particular cases somehow generalize to constrain the decisions of later courts facing different cases, while still allowing these later courts a degree of freedom in responding to fresh circumstances. Although the techniques for reasoning with precedents are taught early on in law schools, mastered with relative ease, and applied on a daily basis by legal practitioners, it has proved to be considerably more difficult to arrive at a theoretical understanding of the doctrine itself, a clear articulation of the underlying system of conventions.|
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