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The term "stare decisis" is the lynchpin of the common law system. It creates the concept that the law is to be built on precedent. Within a jurisdiction, this allows for a uniform application of the law. It keeps courts from taking factually similar situations and providing different results. This allows for a level of predictability in the law, and more importantly, fairness for parties in litigation
Stare decisis applies both on the federal and state level through the appellate
court systems, going all the way to the supreme court in each. Each circuit of appellate courts
in the federal system is its own jurisdiction for purposes of case law and precedent. The decisions in one circuit do not affect the views of the same law in the other circuits. If there is a split in the way a law is viewed, the Supreme Court of the United States will take up the matter and decide it in order ot maintain uniformity throughout the circuits. In this way, stare decisis eventually fulfills its purpose and creates the predictability and fairness across all federal courts
Stare decisis outside of a jurisdiction is not binding, but advisory. Litigants can still use out-of-jurisdiction cases to bolster their respective positions if there is no case already decided and on point in their jurisdiction. In this way, cases already decided in other jurisdictions can have an "extra-jurisdictional" effect in "persuading" other courts to accept their holdings and views of the law. In this way, stare decisis has an indirect albeit clear effect on courts outside the jurisdiction where a case has been decided.
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