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The Practice Statement [1966] 3 All ER 77[1] was a statement made in the House of Lords by Lord Gardiner LC on July 26, 1966 on behalf of himself and the Lords of Appeal in ordinary, that they would depart from precedent in the Lords in order to achieve justice.


Until the year 1966, the House of Lords in the United Kingdom was bound to follow all of its previous decisions under the principle of stare decisis, even if this created "injustice" and "unduly restrict(s) the proper development of the law" (London Tramways Co. v London County Council [1898] AC 375). The Practice Statement 1966 is authority for the House of Lords to depart from their previous decisions. It does not affect the precedential value of cases in lower courts; all other courts that recognise the Supreme Court(formerly the House of Lords) as the court of last resort are still bound by Supreme Court decisions. Before this, the only way a binding precedent could be avoided was to create new legislation on the matter.


This is the text of the Practice Statement:

Lord Gardiner's statement in the House of Lords, July 26, 1966.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See also [1966] 1 WLR 1234; [1966] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 151; (1986) 83 Cr. App. R. 191 (Note); (1966) 110 S.J. 584

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