Stefano Civitarese, ‘A European Convergence Towards a Stare Decisis Model?’

Abstract:
The article revolves around the doctrine of precedent within the so-called European legal space, wondering whether and to what extent we can speak of a convergence towards a stare decisis model boosted by the harmonizing role of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The article argues that although there are still some differences between civil law and common law legal systems they regard more the style of reasoning and the deep understanding of the relationship between the present decision of a court and past judicial decisions than the very existence of the constraints of the latter upon the former. The article concludes that a sort of mechanism of stare decisis has in fact been created, even though, on the one hand, uncertainty remains as to the way in which the binding force of a precedent concretely operates in the system, and on the other hand, this mechanism relates exclusively to the relationships between past and future decisions of higher courts (horizontal effect). This change, far from being a shift towards a truly judge-made law system or a consequence of the final abandonment of the dictates of the rule of law, enhances legal certainty contributing to the fundamental requirement of stability of law as a feature of the ideal of the rule of law.

Civitarese, Stefano, A European Convergence Towards a Stare Decisis Model? (January 22, 2016). REVISTA DIGITAL DE DERECHO ADMINISTRATIVO, No 14, Julio – Diciembre de 2015.

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