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Obiter Dicta

Definition - What does Obiter Dicta mean?

Obiter dicta is a latin phrase that means something that is said by the judge that is not necessary for the rendering of a decision. It is something that is superfluous to the topic. In many cases, the judge might say different things toward either the defense lawyer or prosecutor, on the topic in general, or even directly to the client. This could be an analogy, general information about the subject, or even their general thoughts on the matter.

Justipedia explains Obiter Dicta

A judge can make passing remarks or comments on any specific fact within the case or within the overall courtroom. If the judge compliments a lawyer on their dress style, for instance, it would be considered as having no bearing on the case at hand. Since most of a judge's statements are to be considered learned and valued accordingly, distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant facts made by the judge is done by categorizing it as non dicta or obiter dicta.

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