Decree in Europe

Definition of Decree

An order of a Court pronounced on the hearing of a suit. The term is included in “judgment. (1) See also Decree in the law Dictionaries.


Decree (from the past participle, decretus, of Lat. decernere), in earlier form Decreet, an authoritative decision having the force of law; the judgment of a court of justice. In Roman law, a decree (decretum) was the decision of the emperor, as the supreme judicial officer, settling a case which had been referred to him. In ecclesiastical law the term was given to a decision of an ecclesiastical council settling a doubtful point of doctrine or discipline (see decretals and also see some other information related to Decretals).

In English law decree was more particularly the judgment of a court of equity, but since the Judicature Acts the expression “judgment” (see the entry in the Eglish legal Ecyclopedia) is employed in reference to the decisions of all the divisions of the supreme court. A “decree nisi” is the conditional order for a dissolution of marriage made by the divorce court, and it is made “absolute” after six months (which period may, however, be shortened) in the absence of sufficient cause shown to the contrary. (See Divorce.) Decreet arbitral is a Scottish phrase for the award of an arbitrator. (2)

Decree in other legal encyclopedias

If you search for an entry, then decide you want to see what another legal encyclopedia says about it, you may find your entry in this section.

Link Description
Decree Decree in the International Legal Encyclopedia.
Decree Decree in the American Legal Encyclopedia.
Decree Decree in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Decree Decree in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.


Notes and References

  1. Definition of Decree is, temporally, from A Concise Law Dictionary (1927).
  2. Encyclopedia Britannica (1911)

See Also

Further Reading

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