from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The legal principle or rationale on which a judicial decision is based.
English judicial theory on the binding force of ratio decidendi emphasize the liberty of judges to disregard the views of their predecessors, though they may pay lip service to precedent.
American jurist, writing at the end of the nineteenth century, propounded one of the most important theories for isolating the true ratio decidendi of a case.
R. Cross, the leading modern English writer on precedent, declines to regard the distinction between ratio decidendi and obiter dictum as “entirely chimerical” in English law and concludes that to accept the views of Judge Jerome