Stare decisis is a Latin phrase for “to stand by things decided” or to adhere to precedents of earlier cases as sources of law. When an issue has already been ruled upon by a court, other cases involving the same issue must receive the same response from that court or lower courts. The purpose of this doctrine is to promote consistent and predictable rulings on cases of similar nature and to save time. To further explain this, we shall use the example of “bail pending appeal” (where a person may apply for bail after conviction as one awaits their hearing in court) which is now a principle of law due to previous cases and is now used as precedent to grant someone an opportunity to apply for bail.

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