The House of Lords and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council are both British courts of last resort. The House of Lords is the final court for the United Kingdom and reviews cases from the English Court of Appeals and equivalent courts of Scotland and Northern Ireland; the Judicial Committee hears appeals of cases from the colonies and dominions and ecclesiastical cases.

Readers of Professor Gray's lectures on The Nature and Sources of the Law are aware of the distinction he notes between the attitude of the British House of Lords, on the one hand, and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the United States Supreme Court, on the other hand, as to the binding force of previous decisions by each of these courts in subsequent cases before the same court. Since the cases referred to by Professor Gray, this question has again been raised in both of the British courts, and the course of previous opinion and rulings has been traced in some detail. It should be of interest to examine the line of development in these courts because of its possible bearing on the position of the United States Supreme Court in connection with some of its recent decisions.