Judicial Discretion

Definition - What does Judicial Discretion mean?

Judicial discretion gives power to individual judges to make decisions in narrowly defined situations without being subject to established rules or precedent.

Judicial discretion usually protects decisions – made by judges exercising valid judicial discretion – from being overturned on appeal.

Although it's rare, decisions made with judicial discretion may be overturned if the discretion was found to be exercised improperly or capriciously.

Justipedia explains Judicial Discretion

Granting individual judges the power to exercise discretion free from the constraints of precedence, or in cases when no rules govern a particular scenario, reflects the notion that sometimes decisions simply need to be made in order to allow a matter to resolve.

The practice of appellate judges deferring to the discretion of trial judges is rooted in the idea that a judge present for the day-to-day realities of the proceeding in question is the person who's best in the position to make certain decisions.

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