Difference Between Judgement and Decree

“Judgment vs Decree” is a crucial aspect of legal proceedings that confuses many. In simple terms, a judgment is the final decision or ruling made by a judge or a court in a legal case. It outlines the findings of the court regarding the issues at hand and includes the reasoning behind the decision.

A decree refers to the formal order or directive issued by the court based on the judgment. Essentially, a decree is the implementation of the judgment, specifying what actions need to be taken by the parties involved to comply with the court’s decision. While a judgment provides the resolution to the legal dispute, a decree ensures that the judgment is enforced and carried out effectively.

Judgement vs Decree

Comparison Chart

Parameter of ComparisonJudgementDecree
DefinitionA judge’s formal decision on the merits of a case, outlining the court’s reasoning and conclusions.A formal expression of a court’s adjudication, outlining the rights and obligations of the parties involved.
TimingOccurs after the court has heard arguments and considered evidence.Follows a judgement and is based on its conclusions.
PurposeExplains the court’s reasoning and legal basis for the decision.Enforces the outcome of the case and specifies what actions must be taken.
ContentFocuses on the legal analysis and justification for the ruling.Instructs parties on their obligations, such as payment of damages or performance of a contract.
TypesOnly one type – the final judgement.Can be final (conclusively settling the case) or preliminary (addressing some but not all aspects of the case).
AppealabilityCan be appealed to a higher court.Can be appealed if it contradicts the judgement.
EffectCreates a legal precedent and sets a binding outcome for the specific case.Enforces the rights and obligations established in the judgement.

What is Judgement?

A judgment is a decision made by a court of law. A judge or jury renders judgment, which is also known as a verdict. The decision is based on the evidence presented and the law that applies to the case. A judgment may be for money, for possession of property, or for performance of some act.

The term judgment is used in many ways in the legal world. A judgment can be a formal decision of a court, such as a judgment of conviction or a judgment of acquittal. A judgment can also be a finding of liability in a civil case. In some cases, a judgment can be a binding order from a court, such as a judgment of divorce.

Judgment refers to the final decision of a court in a lawsuit. A judgment is the last step in a lawsuit and is issued by a judge or a jury. A judgment may be issued in favor of either party in the lawsuit and may award damages to the winning party.

A money judgment is one in which the court orders payment of money. A declaratory judgment is one that does not order any performance but declares the legal relationships between the parties.

Elements of a Judgment

A judgment consists of several key elements that help to clarify and define the court’s decision. These elements may include:

1. Findings of Fact

The judgment begins with a recitation of the relevant facts established during the trial or hearing. This section outlines the evidence presented by each party and summarizes the court’s findings regarding the disputed issues of fact.

2. Conclusions of Law

Following the findings of fact, the judgment sets forth the legal principles applied by the court to the facts of the case. This section explains the legal reasoning behind the court’s decision and identifies the applicable laws, statutes, or precedents that support the ruling.

3. Dispositive Orders

One of the most critical components of a judgment is the dispositive orders, which specify the actions or remedies required of the parties. These orders may include monetary damages, injunctions, declaratory judgments, or other forms of relief deemed appropriate by the court.

4. Costs and Fees

In some cases, a judgment may address the allocation of costs and attorney fees incurred during the legal proceedings. This aspect ensures that the prevailing party is appropriately compensated for their expenses related to the litigation.

Types of Judgments

1. Final Judgment

A final judgment represents the ultimate resolution of the case, conclusively determining the rights and liabilities of the parties involved. Once issued, a final judgment marks the end of the litigation process, although parties may still have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court.

2. Interlocutory Judgment

In contrast to a final judgment, an interlocutory judgment addresses specific issues or matters within a case but does not fully resolve the entire dispute. Interlocutory judgments may be issued during the course of ongoing litigation to address preliminary matters, such as motions for temporary injunctions or rulings on evidentiary issues.

Enforcement of Judgments

Once a judgment is rendered, it becomes enforceable through various legal mechanisms designed to ensure compliance with the court’s orders. Enforcement actions may include garnishment of wages, seizure of assets, or other forms of judicial intervention aimed at compelling adherence to the terms of the judgment.

What is Decree?

A decree is a formal and authoritative order having the force of law which directs something to be done or not to be done by some person or body, or . In a wider sense, it is an order or decision of a court of equity, or of an administrative authority, requiring or forbidding certain acts to be done, and which is binding until reversed or modified.

A decree is a judgment that is issued by a court. Decrees can be made in different types of cases, such as civil cases, criminal cases, and family cases. A decree is also known as a judgment, order, or sentence. A decree is the final decision of a court in a lawsuit.

A decree is a decision of a court that has the force of law. A decree is also known as an order, judgment, or decision. A decree declares the rights and obligations of the parties in a legal action or proceeding. A decree may be issued in favor of either party or may award damages to the winning party.

Types of Decrees

Decrees can take various forms depending on their context and the authority issuing them. Common types include:

  1. Court Decrees: Orders issued by a court to resolve disputes or enforce judgments in civil or criminal cases. These may include decrees of divorce, adoption, or child custody issued by family courts.
  2. Government Decrees: Orders issued by governmental authorities, such as executive orders issued by heads of state or regulations issued by administrative agencies. These decrees pertain to public policy, governance, or administrative matters.
  3. Religious Decrees: Orders or rulings issued by religious authorities within a particular faith community. These may include interpretations of religious texts, guidance on religious practices, or decisions regarding religious disputes.

Legal Effects and Enforcement

Decrees carry legal significance and are binding upon the parties involved. Once issued, they must be complied with unless overturned or modified through legal processes such as appeals or revisions. Failure to comply with a decree can result in legal penalties or enforcement actions, including fines, injunctions, or even imprisonment in cases of contempt of court.

Modification and Appeal

In certain circumstances, parties may seek to modify or appeal a decree if they believe it is unjust or erroneous. This involves filing a motion or petition with the relevant court or authority and presenting evidence or legal arguments to support the requested change. The process for modification or appeal varies depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the decree.

Examples and Applications

Decrees play a crucial role in various legal contexts, shaping rights, obligations, and relationships within society. Examples of their applications include:

  • Divorce Decrees: Orders issued by family courts to legally dissolve marriages and address related issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody.
  • Executive Decrees: Orders issued by heads of state or government to implement public policy, address emergencies, or regulate specific industries or activities.
  • Religious Decrees: Rulings issued by religious leaders or councils to provide guidance on matters of faith, morality, or religious practice within a particular community.

Difference Between Judgement and Decree


  1. Judgment: A judgment is a decision rendered by a court at the end of a lawsuit or legal proceeding, determining the rights and obligations of the parties involved.
  2. Decree: A decree is a formal and legally binding order or decision issued by a court, after a judgment has been made, outlining the specific actions or remedies to be taken by the parties.


  1. Judgment: It primarily focuses on declaring the rights and liabilities of the parties involved in a legal dispute.
  2. Decree: It goes a step further by specifying the actions or measures to be taken to enforce the rights and obligations established in the judgment.


  1. Judgment: Typically includes findings of fact and conclusions of law, outlining the basis for the court’s decision.
  2. Decree: Provides directives or instructions regarding the enforcement or implementation of the judgment, such as payment of damages, injunctions, or specific performance.


  1. Judgment: While it establishes the legal rights and obligations of the parties, enforcement may require additional steps, such as filing for execution or enforcement proceedings.
  2. Decree: Often self-enforcing, as it contains specific instructions for compliance, such as payment deadlines or injunction terms.


  1. Judgment: Marks the end of the trial phase, but parties may still have options for appeal or post-trial motions.
  2. Decree: Usually represents the final resolution of the case, as it outlines the specific actions to be taken by the parties and is enforceable immediately.


  1. Judgment: Commonly used in civil litigation and other legal proceedings to resolve disputes and determine legal rights.
  2. Decree: Often issued in equity cases or cases involving equitable remedies, such as injunctions or specific performance orders.


  1. Judgment: Establishes legal precedent and sets the framework for future cases involving similar issues.
  2. Decree: Directly affects the parties involved by requiring them to take specific actions or refrain from certain behaviors.


  1. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/bamalr69&div=15&id=&page=
  2. https://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/61784