dictum

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Dictum

[Latin, A remark.] A statement, comment, or opinion. An abbreviated version of obiter dictum, "a remark by the way," which is a collateral opinion stated by a judge in the decision of a case concerning legal matters that do not directly involve the facts or affect the outcome of the case, such as a legal principle that is introduced by way of illustration, argument, analogy, or suggestion.

Dictum has no binding authority and, therefore, cannot be cited as precedent in subsequent lawsuits. Dictum is the singular form of dicta.

dictum

n. Latin for "remark", a comment by a judge in a decision or ruling which is not required to reach the decision, but may state a related legal principle as the judge understands it. While it may be cited in legal argument, it does not have the full force of a precedent (previous court decisions or interpretations) since the comment was not part of the legal basis for judgment. The standard counter argument is: "it is only dictum (or dicta)." (See: dicta)

dictum

noun announcement, assertion, authoritative assertion, declaration, extrajudicial opinion, finding, gratuutous remark, illustrative statement, incidental opinion, judiiial assertion, judicial comment, judicial remark, opinion, pronouncement, recommendation, remark, statement, statement by way of illustration
Associated concepts: judicial dictum, obiter dictum
See also: declaration, observation, remark, statement

dictum

see OBITER DICTUM.

DICTUM, practice. Dicta are judicial opinions expressed by the judges on points that do not necessarily arise in the case.
     2. Dicta are regarded as of little authority, on account of the manner in which they are delivered; it frequently happening that they are given without much reflection, at the bar, without previous examination. "If," says Huston, J., in Frants v. Brown, 17 Serg. & Rawle, 292, "general dicta in cases turning on special circumstances are to be considered as establishing the law, nothing is yet settled, or can be long settled." "What I have said or written, out of the case trying," continues the learned judge, "or shall say or write, under such circumstances, maybe taken as my opinion at the time, without argument or full consideration; but I will never consider myself bound by it when the point is fairly trying and fully argued and considered. And I protest against any person considering such obiter dicta as my deliberate opinion." And it was considered by another learned judge. Mr. Baron Richards, to be a "great misfortune that dicta are taken down from judges, perhaps incorrectly, and then cited as absolute propositions." 1 Phillim. Rep. 1406; S. C. 1 Eng. Ecc. R. 129; Ram. on Judgm. ch. 5, p. 36; Willes' Rep. 666; 1 H. Bl. 53-63; 2 Bos. & P. 375; 7 T. R. 287; 3 B. & A. 341; 2 Bing. 90. The doctrine of the courts of France on this subject is stated in 11 Toull. 177, n. 133.
     3. In the French law, the report of a judgment made by one of the judges who has given it, is called the dictum. Poth. Proc. Civ. partie 1, c. 5, art. 2.

References in periodicals archive ?
Such a step will be historic and make us feel that we are following what our religions preach, instead of observing religious dictums without making any real use of these for the benefit of mankind.
As usual, he confirms that he is a good Catholic with no other worship options and issues dictums as easily as any pope: "In opposing him, we shouldn't demonize or slander him," and "that's the core of the church we must try to save.
Who among us has not had to virtually translate leadership dictums for employee audiences and, conversely, make employee comments relevant and credible to the executive suite?
Spurred by Christine's success and angered by Raoul's attentions, the Phantom becomes more demanding, but his dictums meet with resistance from the new owners.
These dictums include: "Never work just for money or for power.
WASHINGTON -- America's strategy of war violates the dictums of the greatest strategic genius in history, according to a new 1600-word analysis just posted at antiwar.