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Dictum

n. Latin meaning "remark." Refers to a judge's comment in a ruling or decision which is not required to reach the decision, but may state the judge's interpretation of a related legal principle. The remark does not have the full force of a precedent since it was not part of the legal basis for judgment, but may be cited in legal argument. The standard counter argument is: "it's only dictum (or dicta)."

 
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