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Definition of Case Law

Case law is part of common law. It includes judgments, also called precedents, which are followed by all courts in the same jurisdictions. The law is recognized, affirmed, and enforced by the subsequent court. Case law varies from statute laws which are laws enacted by legislatures.

Under some conditions a judge may decide to rule against established case law in the hopes that the courts will begin to review established precedents which may be outdated given the current societal "climate." If a judge rules against a precedent this may force the case to be appealed to a higher court and the established law may be overturned.

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