Dissenting Opinion

Definition - What does Dissenting Opinion mean?

A dissenting opinion is a conclusion reached by an appellate court judge or judges that differs from the conclusion reached by the majority. As such, it is documented in writing and details the reasons for the disagreement with the majority's decision. More than one dissenting opinion can be issued in cases where judges disagree with the majority for different reasons.

Justipedia explains Dissenting Opinion

Although they are written by a judge or judges on the "losing" side, dissenting opinions often carry a lot of weight. Specifically, they can help shape future legal arguments. And because they provide significant insight into the issues at hand and reasons for the differing conclusion, they can also sway public opinion.

The reasons for and number of dissenting opinions issued by appellate courts can vary greatly. In the United States Supreme Court, for example, dissent may have an ideological as well as a legal basis.

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