Judicial Precedent in Zambia

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Mulenga, Comfort
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This research essay is centred on the doctrines of judicial precedent as well as stare decisis, which is a subject tackled in both Legal Process and Jurisprudence. However, even after covering this topic in the two aforementioned courses, these doctrines were still vague in my mind. This was further compounded by the fact that there is a general tendency by most people to use them interchangeably. Therefore, I felt compelled to engage upon a study in this area in order to clarify them more.The essay is divided into five chapters.Chapter one focuses on the general doctrine of precedent and also stare decisis. It seeks to show that there is actually a distinction between the two.The next chapter looks at the conditions that are necessary for the existence of precedent:-a settled or established judicial hierarchy and an efficient system of law reporting.Chapter three looks at the instances when the courts may depart from precedent. This may happen when a court overrules, reverses or distinguishes a case.Chapter four focuses on other issues worthy of consideration under the broad doctrine of precedent. These issues are: the obvious need to do justice, social change, public policy and the principles of constitutional and parliamentary supremacy.Recommendations and conclusions are discussed in the final chapter.
Stare Decisis