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Obiter Dictum

Definition - What does Obiter Dictum mean?

Obiter dictum is a latin phrase that can be literally translated to mean 'by the way' and refers to any words that pass from a judge over the course of a court case or judgment which does not have direct or indirect relevance to the case being heard. In effect, anything that a judge says while hearing a case that is irrelevant will be referred to with this term in an attempt to be respectful at all times.

Justipedia explains Obiter Dictum

Obiter dictum only applies to a judge and infers that the judge is the only person in the courtroom who has the ability to speak about any subject they would like during the course of a case. If similar actions were undertaken by anyone else in the court room it could be considered contempt of court by the judge.

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