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ratio decidendi

Syllabification: ra·ti·o de·ci·den·di
Pronunciation: /ˌrāSHēō ˌdesəˈdendī
, ˌrätēō ˌdesəˈdendē

Definition of ratio decidendi in English:

noun (plural rationes decidendi /ˌrätēˈōnēz/)

The rule of law on which a judicial decision is based.
Example sentences
  • Courts are bound by principles of law, the ratio decidendi of cases.
  • The former are described as being the ratio decidendi (reasons for the decision).
  • If property suddenly became available all over the country many of the rationes decidendi of the past would be quite inappropriate.


Latin, literally 'reason for deciding'.

Definition of ratio decidendi in:

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