Právny obzor


Ročník 105



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MORAVČÍKOVÁ, A.: Position and nature of case-law in the new procedural law

Právny obzor, 99, 2016, č. 4, s. 259 – 273.

Abstract. The author reflects on the position of case-law in the legal system of the Slovak Republic and on its nature and searches for answers to the question what decisions should be regarded as binding case-law also in the context of the new civil-law codification. The case-law is related to the term “judicial law-making” and always results from interpretation of legal norm based on certain facts, when the norm does not give unambiguous answer to an issue put before a judge, whose creativity in the continental system of law is strictly limited by the law and interpretation rules. She refers to certain deformations in use and excessive use of the term “case-law” in legal argumentation. She concludes that this term bears an element of designation of the judicial decision in general, but in the context of its correct use in argumentation decisive for achievement of the purpose of unification of a certain legal opinion on the case in question we can talk about a binding character of case-law only when referring to decisions of the supreme judicial authorities. The author works with several key judgments of the supreme and constitutional courts, makes references to decisions of lower courts, which address the term “case-law” and its binding character, defines the terms “cassation and judicial binding force” of higher instance judgments and points out to the problematic taking over of the terms of the common law system into the continental law system. In connection with use of legal sentences extracted from published judgments of the supreme court she expresses the concern about their unsuitable application similar to the application of generally binding legal norms and points out to so-called “casuist positivism”. A large part of the work is devoted to the analysis of law regulating the method of adoption of case-law by the Supreme Court of SR, the new regulation on civil proceedings in the area of formulated binding force of case-law and the introduced obligation to respect decisions of the supreme judicial authorities by lower courts, as well as the obligation to provide sufficient and convincing reasons for any justified deviation from them. Finally she expresses her belief that the basis of legal certainty is transparent, comprehensible and correct adjustment of legislation taking into account social and economic needs of the country, i.e. stable norms that are respected also in the light of caselaw created on their basis without need of their continuous completion and improvement.

Key words: case-law – established court practice – judicial law-making – precedent

ISSN 2729-9228

ISSN 0032-6984


Právny obzor is peer-reviewed journal and is indexed in SCOPUS and HeinOnline database (INDEX TO FOREIGN LEGAL PERIODICALS).


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