Life with a Law Student: The use of the term “Stare Decisis”

Scene 1

Me: “Will you mind helping me with hanging out the laundry?”

Mr. Cinical: “Yes, I do mind.”

(stare down for 5 seconds)

Mr. Cinical: “You know, you can actually instruct me to help. If you assume that you are a higher court and I’m a lower court, you can apply the term stare decisis. Given that I’ve always helped out, stare decisis binds the lower courts to follow the precedent set by the higher courts.

Scene 2

Mr. Cinical was positively grinning from ear to ear whilst sending me off at the ferry terminal for my weekend in Bintan with the girls.

Mr. Cinical: Stare decisis is not going to apply this weekend… You are in a different jurisdiction!”

*Stare Decisis: The principle that precedent decisions, particularly made by a higher court is to be followed by a lower court. This principle only operates when the courts are in the same jurisdiction. In separate jurisdictions, these decisions are not binding.

** I maintain my objection to Mr. Cinical’s claims of stare decisis applicability. I am of the opinion that our relationship is one based (more or less) on equality of Parties. Oh, and one of my pictures from the Bintan weekend. 😛

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