Term- obiter dictum
Translation- a thing said in passing
Definition- in law, an observation by a judge on some point of law not directly relevant to the case before him, and thus neither requiring his decision nor serving as a precedent, but nevertheless of persuasive authority. In general, any comment, remark or observation made in passing
“Obiter dictum” is a Latin legal term that means “a remark in passing.” In legal proceedings, it refers to a statement or opinion expressed by a judge that is not essential to the decision in the case and therefore does not form part of the binding precedent.
In other words, “obiter dictum” refers to a comment made by a judge that is not directly relevant to the legal issue at hand and is not necessary to the final decision. Although such statements may be persuasive, they are not binding on lower courts or on future cases.
The use of “obiter dictum” is an important aspect of the legal system, as it allows judges to express their opinions on broader legal issues without being constrained by the specific facts of the case before them. It also allows judges to provide guidance on legal issues that may arise in future cases, even if those issues were not directly at issue in the case being decided.
However, it is important to note that “obiter dictum” should not be given the same weight as the binding precedent established by a court’s decision. While such statements may be informative and persuasive, they are not binding on lower courts or on future cases, and should not be relied on as a definitive statement of the law.
Overall, “obiter dictum” is an important legal term that reflects the importance of judicial reasoning and the role that judges play in shaping the development of the law. While such statements may be influential, they are not binding on lower courts or on future cases, and should be treated with caution and care.
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