Part ILaw and ManagementAccording to the Oxford Compact English Dictionary, law is, "a rule or system of rules recognized by a country or community as regulating the actions of its members and enforced by the imposition of penalties". Law is classified based on the legal sources of law which may include the constitution, the legislation, case law and customs. Many of the rules of law came into existence because of the colonization of West Indian Territories and the fact that they are based solely on the roots that are in England.
The constitution may be defined as the supreme law of the land, or the rules that govern the country. However constitutional law is described as determining the constitution of the state or country including the manner in which the country is organized and the fundamental principles that govern the country. In reference to the constitution, every law or action should be able to stand against the constitution to determine its validity. In article 2 of the Bahamian constitution it is stated; "This constitution is the supreme law of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and subject to the provisions of this constitution if any other law is inconsistent with this constitution this constitution shall prevail and the other law shall to the extent of its inconsistency be void". The statute is the type of legislation that is enacted by parliament whereas, the subordinate legislation is that not enacted by lawmakers as superior as parliament and therefore parliament has the authority or power to override the legislation with another statute.
However, parliament has the authority to delegate or give power to subordinate law makers who are then able to make regulation, rules, and orders - in - council, orders, proclamations and by-laws.
In addition to the constitution and the legislation there is case law. In reference to case law, judges are required to research relevant laws that are applicable to a case and from there; base his decision on available cases that are relative to the case that he must pass judgment. (Conley, 1988, 467-507) However, a judge is only able to do this if there are no applicable statutes that may be used for a certain case. a) The Distinction between Binding and Persuasive PrecedentCase laws are the basis of common law, meaning that they develop from precedent to precedent.
Precedents are cases that serve as examples or models for future cases or actions. This infers that cases are based on the principle of law, which they contain, and not so much on the cases itself. There are two types of precedents, the doctrine of binding precedents and persuasive precedents. The doctrine of binding precedents state that a court is bound to apply to a case, laws or facts as stated in the previous case that is identical or similar in fact.
In persuasive precedents, judges tend to analyze factual situations in earlier cases and from their consider the reasoning of the earlier judges before making a decision for a particular case.