Dear readers, this article on different terminologies of Court judgment is informative with facts and will educate  general public, students, teachers, and help competitive aspirants in preparation of IAS, PCS, CLAT, AIBE, UGC/NET, and other exams.

Only those who scare off God’s punishment, not else, can do justice in favour of right, not wrong”.  __ Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari

What is Judicial Judgment or Judicial Ruling or Judicial Order or Judicial Opinion or Judicial Decree or Judicial Verdict?

Speaking order or reasoned order is considered as the third limb of natural justice. A reasoned decision is a decision that contains reason in its support. When the adjudicating bodies give reasons in support of their decisions, the decisions are treated as a reasoned decision. It is also called speaking order.

Speaking Orders are necessary if the judicial review is to be effective. The party affected must know why and on what grounds an order has been passed against him.  This is a new principle of natural justice which has been recognized in India and the USA, but, yet to be recognized under English Law. The expression ‘speaking order’ was first coined by Lord Chancellor Earl Cairns. While explaining the ambit of Writ of Certiorari, referred to orders with errors on the face of the record and pointed out that order with errors on its face, is a speaking order.

For examples in Indian Judicial Judgments:

  1. Ghanshyam Indravadan Pandya vs University Engineer on 2 April 2018
  2. Rameshwari Devi vs State of Rajasthan and Ors. on 9 November 1998
  3. Haji Manzoor Ahmed And Anr. vs State of U.P. And Ors. on 24 May 1968

Judicial Terms/Synonyms Related to Court Judgment

Judicial terms related to court judgment: Ruling, order, opinion, judgment, decree, and verdict.

Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they have their distinct meaning and direction.

Court Ruling

court ruling is the outcome of a court’s decision, whether on some particular point of law (such as the admissibility of evidence) or the case as a whole. In other words: Any decision made by a judge during litigation is called a ruling. For example, if a court grants father custody after a trial on the custody issue, that is a ruling. Also, if a court sustains or overrules an objection to evidence raised during a trial, that is a ruling.

Court Motion

A motion is an application for an order. The granting or denying of a motion is a matter of judicial discretion. When a motion is granted, the moving party (the party who requests the motion) is ordinarily limited to the relief requested in the application. The order must be consistent with the relief requested in the motion, and it should set forth any conditions on which relief is awarded.

Court Order

  • Every direction or mandate of a judge or a court which is not a judgment or legal opinion (although both may include an order) directing that something is done or that there is a prohibition against some act is called court order. This can range from an order that a case will be tried on a certain date, to an order that a convicted defendant be executed at the state  OR
  • Fora judge to direct that a party before the court perform a particular act or refrain from certain acts, or to direct a public official or court employee (like a sheriff) to take certain actions such as seizing property or arresting a law violator is known as a court order.
  • To take effect, an order must be entered, filed, or incorporated into the minutes of the court.

Court Opinion

  • A statementthat is prepared by a judge or court announcing the decision after case is tried; includes a summary of the facts, a recitation of the applicable law and how it relates to the facts, the rationale supporting the decision, and judgment; and is usually presented in writing, though occasionally an oral opinion rendered is called court opinion.
  • Court opinions are the pronouncements of judges on the legal controversies that come before  In a common-law system, court opinions constitute the law by which all controversies are settled. Attorneys analyse prior opinions on similar legal issues, attempting to draw parallels between their case and  favorable court opinions and to distinguish unfavorable opinions. Judges study relevant opinions in rendering their decisions.
  • Each reported decision may comprise one opinion written by one judge on behalf of the entire court, or several opinions written by individuals or groups of individuals. Not all the opinions in a case have the same legal force. 
  • The most significant is a‘majority opinion’, in which a majority of the members of the court agree both with the reasoning and with the holding. A majorty  opinion has the most conclusive precedential value of any opinion.
  • An opinion agreed upon by the largest number of judges but fewer than a majority of those on the court is a ‘plurality opinion’. A plurality may occur where, for example, four of nine justices join one opinion, two others write concurrences, and three write dissents. A plurality opinion constitutes the holding of the court, since it is joined by the largest number of justices, but it   carries less precedential value than a majority opinion because it is not agreed upon by a majority of the court. 
  • If a judge or judges agree with the outcome of the case but not with the  majority’s reasoning, they may write a separate ‘concurring opinion’.      
  • Conversely, a ‘dissening opinion’ may be written by a judge or judges who disagree with the decision of the court. Neither a concurrence nor a dissent has precedential value.
  • The last segment of a majority or plurality opinion sets forth the judgment of the court.
  • Therefore, the opinions considered by the court of appeals to be worthy of serving as a precedent or involving important legal issues will be published in the official reports available in most law libraries. Since appeals courts have anywhere from three to nine judges, there are often “dissenting opinions” which disagree with the majority opinion, and “concurring opinions” which agree with the result, but apply different emphasis, precedents or logic to reach the determination. Normally the majority opinion identifies the author, but some brief opinions are labeled “in banc” (by the bench) or “per curiam” (by the court) in which the author is not specified.

Court Judgment

The final decision by a court in a lawsuit, criminal prosecution, or appeal from a lower court’s judgment, except for an “interlocutory judgment” which is tentative until a final judgment made is known as a court judgment.
A judgment is the final part of a court ruling. It must be in writing and clearly show that all the action that was pending before it. It states who wins the case what remedies the winner is awarded. Remedies may include money damages, injunctive relief, or both. A judgment also signifies the end of the court’s jurisdiction in the case.
Oncecourt makes a judgment, it must be dated and docketed with the court administrator’s office register and in computer databases.

Court Decree

  • A decree, traditionally, is a judgment rendered by a court of equity, admiralty, divorce, or probate.
  • A decree in equity (i.e. court rulings ordering or prohibiting certain acts) is an official order that is drafted and issued by someone in a position of legal authority, as a judge. A decree can be issued in any legal matter, though two of the more common ones are divorce decrees and adoption decrees.  For example, a decree is issued at the end of a divorce case that ties up the loose ends of the divorce proceeding. This is called a “divorce decree.” When an adoption successfully goes through, the court issues the couple such a to finalize it.
  • A decree, however, is different from a court order. A decree is more of an announcement of the situation at hand. “You are officially divorced.” “You are officially the parents of your adopted child.” An order, on the other hand, lays out the behaviors and events that the court demands be followed upon the entry of that order. For example, decrees do not handle child supportand how it should be paid out, while a court order does.
  • An interlocutorydecree is a decree issued while a case is still ongoing. It is a temporary order, and it is not meant to be finalized until enough time has passed to determine whether the order is working out for both parties. If so, then the order will be made final at a later date. Cases that typically see interlocutory decrees being issued include cases involving custody, divorce, and adoption.
  • decree nisi (i.e. unless)is a court order that has yet to be finalized. A decree nisi is typically issued to allow for changes should new evidence pop up throughout the case, or new petitions are filed before the expiration date of the decree nisi. This means decree nisi is an order that will be finalized unless something happens to cause it to be altered in any way. Decree nisis are seen often in divorces, where everything is up in the air until the couple can stop fighting long enough to agree on something.

Court Verdict

  • General Verdict is the decision of a jury after a trial, which must be accepted by the trial judge to be final. A judgment by a judge sitting without a jury is not a 
  • Special  Verdict is the decision by the jury on the factual questions in the case, leaving the application of the law to those facts to the judge, who makes the final  
  • General Verdict is the decision of a jury after a trial, which must be accepted by the trial judge to be final. A judgment by a judge sitting without a jury is not a 
  • Special Verdict is the decision by the jury on the factual questions in the case, leaving the application of the law to those facts to the judge, who makes the final  
  • Directed Verdict is a decision following an instruction by the judge that the jury can only bring in a specific verdict (based on the evidence you must bring in a verdict of ‘not guilty’). 
  • Chance Verdict is decided by lot or the flip of a coin.
  • Compromise Verdict is based on some jurors voting against their beliefs to break a  and
  • QuotientVerdict(averaging the amount each juror wants to award) are all improper and will result in a mistrial (having the verdict thrown out by the judge) or is cause for reversal of the judgment on.

Copyright © Writer (Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari)