What is the Law of Precedent?

In Irish common law, precedent refers to a legal case that establishes a principle or rule for future cases which deal with similar facts.

In Latin, legal precedent is referred to as “store decisis” or in English “stand by that decided”. Precedent leads to consistency in legal decisions.  Generally, after looking at the legislation which is relevant, based on the facts in a case, a judge in Ireland will review a repository of similar cases (if they exist), note the rulings and assess whether there are adequate grounds for legal precedent. If no precedent exists, the ruling of the judge will establish a legal precedent for future similar cases.

HD Keane has access to the full repository of Irish legal cases and will advise clients if precedent exists and what the most likely outcome of your case will be.