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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

Judicial Precedence: The Pillar of a Just and Balanced Society

In examining the complexities of judicial precedence, it becomes evident that this concept is not merely a legalistic tool but a cornerstone in fostering a just and balanced society. The philosophical underpinnings and practical implications of judicial precedence draw upon a broad spectrum of thought from legal, economic, psychological, and security perspectives.

The essence of judicial precedence lies in its commitment to fairness and equality before the law. It echoes the philosophical notion that justice is best served when rules are known and consistently applied. This approach ensures that legal decisions are not based on whims but on a solid foundation of previously established principles. The concept aligns with the belief that the law should be a predictable and stable guide for societal conduct, providing citizens with a clear understanding of their rights and obligations.

From an economic perspective, the predictability that judicial precedent provides is invaluable. It provides a stable environment for economic transactions, reducing the risk and uncertainty that can stifle investment and innovation. This stability is crucial in a dynamic economic landscape where rapid changes can otherwise lead to confusion and inefficiency.

The predictability and stability inherent in judicial precedence also have profound psychological and security implications. By establishing clear expectations for behaviour and consequences, it contributes to a sense of order and safety within society. This predictability is essential not just for the psychological well-being of individuals but also for the overall security environment, where clarity in legal consequences can act as a deterrent to criminal behaviour.

Australia, with its robust legal system, offers compelling examples of judicial precedence at work. One notable case is the Mabo decision of 1992, where the High Court recognised the land rights of the Meriam people, overturning the legal doctrine of terra nullius. This landmark decision not only rectified historical injustices but also set a precedent for Indigenous land rights cases, providing a clear legal framework for similar claims.

Another example is the landmark case of Grant v Australian Knitting Mills (1936), which established the principle of manufacturers' liability for negligence in Australia. This case, drawing on the precedent set by Donoghue v Stevenson in the UK, has had a lasting impact on consumer protection laws in Australia.

Despite its merits, the system of judicial precedence is not without its challenges. One criticism is that it leads to rigidity, making the legal system resistant to change and slow to adapt to new societal norms and values. Additionally, there is the argument that an over-reliance on past decisions can stifle legal innovation and adaptability.

Judicial precedence stands as a fundamental pillar in the architecture of a just and balanced society. It provides a framework for consistency and predictability in the legal system, which in turn supports economic stability, psychological well-being, and societal security. While there are challenges and areas for improvement, the value of this system for contributing to a fair society is undeniable. As seen in the Australian context, judicial precedence not only upholds the rule of law but also plays a crucial role in shaping a just society. From the author.

The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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