Lukáš Boháček
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Masaryk University Brno

The basis and characteristics of obiter dicta statements in judicial decisions: an English-Czech comparison

Jurisprudence 3/2021 Section: Articles Page: 1-12

Keywords: Judicial decision, case law, precedent, judicial reasoning, obiter dictum, ratio decidendi, Czech legal system, common law

Abstract: The notion of obiter dictum is inherent to legal systems applying the doctrine of precedent. It covers the part of a judicial decision that does not constitute a binding precedent. However, although the doctrine of precedent is not applicable in the Czech Republic, the notion of obiter dictum is widely used and referred to in the Czech legal system. Therefore, the article examines the English approach and assesses the extent to which the acquired knowledge corresponds or can be applied to the context of the Czech Republic. It particularly discusses what obiter dictum is, its nature, how it differs from ratio decidendi, and who determines that a particular part is obiter dictum. The article concludes that although some aspects of obiter dicta are identical in both legal systems, there are also some significant differences. Therefore, the characteristics of obiter dicta cannot be automatically derived from the common law legal systems.