judgment

  

Definition

Official decision of a court given at the end of a trial. In civil cases, a judgment determines the respective rights and claims of the parties involved. In criminal cases, judgment includes the pronouncement of guilt (or its absence) and, if the defendant is convicted, the sentence. A judgment may also include the reasoning forming the basis of the court's decision. It may be cited as an authority, and treated as a precedent for other similar cases. Also called order. Also spelled as judgement.

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