CURSUS CURIAE EST LEX CURIAE

Cursus curiae est lex curiaeis a Latin maxim which means practice of the Court is law of the Court, i.e. the course of procedure followed by the Courts becomes the law of the Court especially in absence of any other prevailing law. This maxim was established by Coke C.J. in Burrowes v. High Commission Court, 3 Bulst. 48, 53; (1701) 3 Bulst. Calcutta HC. The maxim was re-iterated by the Apex Court in various Indian Judgements, for instance, in Collector of Central Excise, Madras Vs. Standard Motor Products and Ors. [AIR 1989 SC 1298] and Jamal Uddin Ahmad v. Abu Saleh Najmuddin [(2003) 4 SCC 257]. The maxim holds great significance since it is often applied by the Courts in various cases.

In Indore Development Authority v. Manohar Lal [2019 SCC Online SC 1392] the Supreme Court denied a plea seeking the recusal of a judge on the grounds that he had already adjudged on the similar subject matter and held that since it is the practice of the Indian Courts that the judges do hear the same cases, the non-recusal by retired justice Arun Mishra was valid in law. However, this maxim cannot be applied in presence of explicit laws unless the situation demands otherwise i.e. unless the laws do not extend to the extraordinary situation.

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