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Difference between Holding and Dictum

Difference between Holding and Dictum

The legal definition of a holding is “a determination by a court of competent jurisdiction that a lower court or tribunal erred in its application or interpretation of the law.” A dictum, on the other hand, is a statement made by a judge in passing which is not necessary to the disposition of the case at bar but is instead offered for some broader legal or academic purpose. This article will explore the distinction between these two concepts in greater detail.

What is Holding?

Holding by law is the legal process of keeping someone in prison while they await trail. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as to prevent them from committing more crimes or to protect the public. Holding by law is a controversial practice, as it can lead to lengthy prison sentences for people who have not been convicted of a crime.

Some countries have laws that limit the amount of time that someone can be held without being charged, but in many cases, defendants can be held for years without going to trial. Holding by law is an important part of the criminal justice system, but it also raises important questions about fairness and civil rights.

What is Dictum?

  • Dictum by law, also known as Dicta, is a legal term that refers to a statement made by a judge that is not essential to the ruling of a case, but may be considered persuasive authority.
  • Dicta can be found in opinions of appellate courts, as well as in some lower court opinions. While dicta are not binding precedent, they may be cited as persuasive authority by other courts when considering similar cases.
  • Dicta may also be used to support an argument that a particular rule of law should be overturned or modified. However, because dicta are not binding, they carry less weight than precedent set by a higher court.

Difference between Holding and Dictum

  • There is a big difference between a Holding and Dictum. Holding is the principle of law that is binding on the court. It is the court’s definitive statement on the law in a given case.
  • A Dictum, on the other hand, is an observation made by the court that is not necessary to the Holding. It is thus not binding on future courts. However, dicta can be persuasive, and often are cited by courts when making decisions in similar cases.
  • When a court issue both Holding and Dictum, it is important to distinguish between the two. Otherwise, you may inadvertently give weight to an non-binding observation, instead of focusing on the Holding that is binding on the court.


The holding and dictum distinction is important to understand because it can help you better argue your point. When you know the difference, you can choose the right statement to back up your argument. In legal cases, for example, a lawyer may use a holding to support their case while attacking the opposing counsel’s argument with a dictum. You can also use these terms when writing essays or other papers—just make sure that you are using them correctly!

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