obiter dictum

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Obiter Dictum

[Latin, By the way.] Words of an opinion entirely unnecessary for the decision of the case. A remark made or opinion expressed by a judge in a decision upon a cause, "by the way", that is, incidentally or collaterally, and not directly upon the question before the court or upon a point not necessarily involved in the determination of the cause, or introduced by way of illustration, or analogy or argument. Such are not binding as precedent.


Court Opinion.

obiter dictum

something said by a judge in a decision that is not essential to the decision and does not form part of the RATIO DECIDENDI.
References in periodicals archive ?
Precisely because the agents carefully clarified Davis's first reference to counsel, the majority's rejection of the duty to clarify is, technically speaking, mere obiter dictum.
The issue has been repeatedly brought up as the 1995 Supreme Court ruling says in its obiter dictum commentary that providing local suffrage to foreigners with permanent resident status is not prohibited under the Constitution, and that it is a matter for the Diet to take up.
9) That holding left us with the unanswered question: Why did the great Justice Bleckley invoke or enliven, in obiter dictum, Goldsmith's tipsy coachman, when it was not necessary?
Obiter dictum notwithstanding, close to a century later, the Supreme Court of Florida, reminded of Justice Bleckley's quote from Goldsmith's Retaliation, (10) expressly adopted Georgia's common law tipsy coachman doctrine.