It is well known that precedent in the modern legal systems based upon the Roman law does not play the important role that it performs in the United States and Great Britain. A decision in an Anglo-American supreme court not only determines the point at issue but establishes a rule under which decisions may be made in the future. A decision in a Latin-American, or in a Continental supreme court has only the value of a judgment on the particular point in question. The body of decisions rendered upon the same point of law is not considered in the countries of South America and of Continental Europe as a formal source of law, but is merely treated as evidence of the law, and the courts arc not bound by that aggregate of decisions. There has been, however, a tendency in the Roman law courts to give to a settled line of decisions (usus fori) the value of the precedent in Anglo-American courts, and the word jurisprudence is used by the civilians to describe this usus fori. If the decisions are consistent, the jurisprudence, that is, the usage of the courts, is said to be settled, and when thus settled it has formal legal value.