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Title: Two ways to understand the common law
Authors: Jaffey, Peter
First Published: 18-Sep-2017
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Jurisprudence, 2017, 8 (3), pp. 435-460
Abstract: I distinguish between two ways of understanding the effect of a decision as a precedent in the common law, which I refer to as the individual rule approach and the holistic approach. I consider the different versions of the common law that they would be expected to give rise to, which approach is more closely reflected in the practices of the common law, and why the holistic approach is preferable as a method for finding and developing the law in adjudication. I explain why under the holistic approach the common law contains principles as well as rules, and I consider the two approaches in the light of the requirement of the rule of law, and I show how the holistic approach explains a version of the policy/principle distinction.
DOI Link: 10.1080/20403313.2017.1361696
ISSN: 2040-3313
eISSN: 2040-3321
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, Taylor & Francis. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Law

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