Judicial Precedent Persuasive Precedent Persuasive precedent is precedent that doesn’t necessarily have to be followed- it is not binding. However it can be used to help judges make decisions in future cases, using it to guide their own decision-making. Persuasive precedent includes examples of situations that are later considered persuasive. Decisions made in lower courts to the one a judge is sitting in can be followed as persuasive precedent. For example a law lord might consider a decision made in the county court, this helps them to make a judgement. An example of this is R v R (1991), where the House of Lords agreed with the reasoning of the Court of Appeal, in that rape within marriage cannot be excused. An obiter dicta is also considered persuasive precedent, this is simply the reasoning behind the judgement that is not binding, also known as other things said. This was present in R v Howe (1987) this included the judges deciding that duress is not held an acceptable dismissal of murder. The obiter dicta from this case was later used in R v Gotts (1992). Decisions made outside of the English Legal System are also, quite obviously not binding, and therefore persuasive. For example a case in America – Re AC (1990) had similar facts of a later case within the English Legal System, it was used as persuasive precedent to help the judges make a judgement. Reasoning by the Privy Council can only be used as persuasive precedent as it is outside the English Hierarchy of the Courts. The Privy Council is made up of Law Lords, who also sit in the House of Lords.
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