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A judgment of a court that announces the legal consequences of the facts found in a case and orders that the court's decision be carried out. A decree in Equity is a sentence or order of the court, pronounced on hearing and understanding all the points in issue, and determining the rights of all the parties to the suit, according to equity and good conscience. It is a declaration of the court announcing the legal consequences of the facts found. With the procedural merger of law and equity in the federal and most state courts under the Rules of Civil Procedure, the term judgment has generally replaced decree.

A divorce decree sets out the conclusions of the court relating to the facts asserted as grounds for the Divorce, and it subsequently dissolves the marriage.

Decree is sometimes used interchangeably with determination and order.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. in general, synonymous with judgment. However, in some areas of the law, the term decree is either more common or preferred as in probates of estates, domestic relations (divorce), admiralty law, and in equity (court rulings ordering or prohibiting certain acts). Thus, there may be references to a final or interlocutory decree of divorce, final decree of distribution of a dead person's estate, etc. (See: judgment)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


an order of a court.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

DECREE, practice. The judgment or sentence of a court of equity.
     2. It is either interlocutory or final. The former is given on some plea or issue arising in the cause, which does not decide the main question; the latter settles the matter in dispute, and a final decree has the same effect as a judgment at law. 2 Madd. Ch. 462; 1 Chan. Cas. 27; 2 Vern. 89; 4 Bro. P. C. 287.; Vide 7r-Vin[?]. Ab. 394; 7 Com. Dig. 445; 1 Supp. to Ves. Jr. 223 Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.

DECREE, legislation. In some countries as in France, some acts of the legislature, or of the sovereign, which have the force of law, are called decrees; as, the Berlin and Milan decrees.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
A draft decree-law to collect the cost of establishing and developing the infrastructure in construction areas
A draft decree-law - on the collection of the cost of establishing and developing the infrastructure in construction areas
Some members stressed the impossibility to hold municipal or local elections before drafting a constitution and an election code since the decree-law on municipalities is no longer in force.
In a statement today, the directorate defended its decision, saying that the sanctioned fishermen waivered their licences, in breach of decree-law 20 for 2002 on regulating fishing and protecting marine resources.
"The micro-credit system, which gathers some 280 development associations, is called upon to be better organised, notably after issuing of this year's decree-law nA 117 ruling the organisation of the micro-finance institutions' activity," said Mr.
(TAP) - UNESCO's office in Tunis is working closely with the Tunisian government on the development of a bill to replace Decree-Law 115, said UNESCO representative to Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and Tunisia Golda El-Khoury.
Al-Dossari praised the directives of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, on the launch of the National Employment Programme, whose four initiatives included amending Decree-Law 78/2006 on Insurance against Unemployment.