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Report No. 95

3.23. Meaning of "consistency".-

It should, of course, be made clear that when one speaks of "consistency" in such a context, one does not imply that there should be a blind and dogmatic adherence to precedent.1 It is not necessary to discuss for this purpose, the desirability or otherwise of recognising, in any court, a power to overrule its precedents. "Consistency" here means that a decision rendered in the past, and the approach underlying the past decision, should be pondered over by the court when deciding a case wherein that approach may have some relevance. Whether to follow it or not, will be a matter to be decided in each individual case, but the court must be at least conscious of the past decision. This task of the court can be more adequately discharged when there is functioning a specialised division, devoted exclusively to constitutional questions.

1. See also para. 3.29, infra,

Constitution Division within the Supreme Court Back

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