Decree Definition

Learn about the definition of a decree, its types, examples, and importance in legal matters. Explore case studies and statistics to understand the impact of decrees.


A decree is a formal and authoritative order issued by a legal authority, such as a court or government, that carries the force of law. Decrees can cover a wide range of topics, from divorce settlements to government regulations.

Types of Decrees

  • Judicial Decree: A ruling issued by a court that determines the rights and obligations of parties involved in a legal dispute.
  • Government Decree: An order issued by a government or regulatory body that has the force of law, often used to implement policies or regulations.
  • Divorce Decree: A court order that finalizes the terms of a divorce, including division of assets and custody arrangements.

Examples of Decrees

One example of a decree is a court order that awards custody of a child to one parent in a divorce case. This decree would outline the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent and specify child support payments. Another example is a government decree that imposes a curfew in response to civil unrest.

Case Studies

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decree in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, declaring that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. This decree paved the way for desegregation in schools across the country.

Statistics on Decrees

A study conducted by the American Bar Association found that the number of divorce decrees issued each year has been steadily increasing. This suggests a growing need for legal intervention in family disputes.


Decrees play a crucial role in shaping legal outcomes and enforcing regulations. Whether issued by a court or government body, decrees carry the weight of law and can have far-reaching implications for individuals and society as a whole.

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