Arbitrary Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Arbitrary, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Arbitrary?

n. he is someone who acts for another by virtue of an appointment by the latter. The legal system in USA does not differentiate between lawyers who plead in court and those who do not, whereas some other legal jurisdictions do. Hence even when in common usage attorney would mean lawyer only, but technically the meaning differs from place to place. But definitely, every place an attorney in the least means some person licensed by the government to represent clients in legal matters (both in and out of court) and to give legal advice. In USA, an attorney may file legal pleadings and argue cases in any court, provide legal advice to clients, and draft important legal documents. Attorneys can be various kind doing various jobs like, 1.) authority in fact, to whom someone’s authority is delegated, for some special act to be performed, 2.) Crown Attorney or Crown Counsel are the public prosecutor in the legal system of Canada, 3.) Attorney at law, is a court officer, who is employed by a party to take care of some cause for them.

History and Meaning of Arbitrary

Arbitrary is a term used in law to describe an action or decision that is made without any reasonable justification or standard. The word comes from the Latin word "arbitrarius," meaning "depending on the will of the arbiter," or a person authorized to make a decision. In legal terms, arbitrary actions or decisions are not based on law, fact, or merit, but rather on personal opinion or judgment.

Examples of Arbitrary

  1. The government's decision to ban certain books was considered arbitrary by civil liberties groups, as there was no legal basis for the censorship.

  2. The judge's ruling to impose the maximum penalty on the defendant was deemed arbitrary by the defense attorney, as it was not based on the specific facts of the case.

  3. The employer's decision to terminate the employee for wearing a religious head covering was seen as arbitrary by the EEOC, as it violated anti-discrimination laws.

Legal Terms Similar to Arbitrary

  1. Capricious: Similar to arbitrary, capricious refers to an action or decision that is made without reasonable justification or standard, but implies that it is also frivolous or impulsive.

  2. Discriminatory: Discriminatory actions or decisions are those that treat certain individuals or groups unfairly or unequally based on a personal characteristic, such as race, gender, or religion.

  3. Unreasonable: An action or decision that is considered unreasonable lacks a reasonable basis or justification, and is not supported by law or fact.