Latin Legal Terms


Decerno – this Latin verb literally means to decide, determine, settle (a lawsuit, for example). The word participates in forming the legal term “ratio decidendi”, which literally is to be translated as “reason for the decision”. This term applies in the Court Trials in some jurisdictions, where states the main legal principles which led to the taken decision by the judge.
The word relates also to another legal term, “stare decisis”, that literally means “the decision stands”. It details the obligation of the legal practitioners in some jurisdictions to stand by a prior precedent. Such decisions are obligatory for the lower courts within the same Common Law jurisdiction, in order to avoid contrary court decisions on similar cases.
Synonyms of “decerno” are “certo” and “exigo”.

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