Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Decree Definition:

A decision or order of government or judicial body.

Historically, a decree was the name given to the final decisions of Chancery courts of equity and of admiralty.

Still, today, in some jurisdictions, and in some areas, such as divorce law in Canada, the orders of the court effecting the divorce is known as a decree, decree nisi or decree absolute.

As noted in the New Brunswick Rules of Court, "decree means judgment or order".

In Tigger Games, Justice Rideout adopted these words as a definition of decree:

"An order given by a government or other authority and having the force of a law (or) a judgment or decision of certain law courts."

Canada's Supreme Court Act defines judgment as:

"Judgment ... includes any judgment, rule, order, decision, decree ... or sentence."

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