Thursday, 21 November 2019

Basic concept of doctrine of prospective overruling

Doctrine of Prospective Overruling originated in the American Judicial System. The literal meaning of the term ‘overruling’ is to overturn or set aside a precedent by expressly deciding that it should no longer be controlling law. Similarly ‘prospective’ means operative or effective in the future.  So, combined together, prospective overruling means construing an earlier decision in such a way that it would not have a binding effect to the parties of the original suit or to the cases decided on the basis of that judgment, and yet changing the law, applying it only prospectively to the future cases. For example, if principle A is laid down in the case of X v. Y and later on the court disagrees with the Principle A, it changes the principle prospectively without affecting the judgment of X v. Y and thus the new principle will apply only to the future cases.
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