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Doublethink and District Judges: High Court precedent in the County Court

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

JournalLegal Studies
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2012
DatePublished (current) - Sep 2012
Issue number3
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)421-447
Early online date19/03/12
Original languageEnglish


This paper considers an often ignored topic in the English system of precedent, the role of High Court precedent in the county court. In doing so it reveals the many weaknesses of the existing approach to lower court precedent. It is argued that the High Court, (generally) a first instance tribunal, which does not bind itself and can come to contradictory decisions in different cases, the later not overruling the earlier, should not bind any court below it. A model of how multi-tiered first instance tribunals, such as the High Court and county court, should interact is demonstrated by the approach taken between the Court of Session, Outer House, and inferior courts in Scotland.

    Research areas

  • Precedent

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