Distinguishing Between Judgment & Verdict

Judgement vs Verdict

The distinction between judgement and verdict may not be easy to explain. These terms are often used in the legal field and are assumed to mean the same thing. However, there is a clear difference between them, which can be understood by examining the definitions of both terms.

What is a Verdict?

A verdict is commonly known as the outcome of a criminal case, specifically when the defendant is found guilty or not guilty of the crime. Traditionally, it is defined as the formal decision or finding made by a jury regarding the questions submitted to it during a trial. A decision made by a judge does not constitute a verdict. In law, a verdict refers to the decision of the jury and not the decision of a judge or the court. This is because a verdict usually involves a finding based on an examination of issues of facts related to the case. A jury is generally responsible for hearing the evidence and arguments of both parties in a legal action, determining questions of facts, applying the relevant law to those facts, and ultimately, reaching a decision. A jury’s verdict is not only present in criminal trials but also in civil trials where the jury reaches a decision either in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant. There are different types of verdicts, such as a partial verdict, special verdict, general verdict, or quotient verdict. While most verdicts given by a jury are upheld, the judge has the authority to set aside such verdicts in certain cases.

What is a Judgement?

A judgement is defined as a decision by a court of law or another tribunal that resolves all contested issues in the action before it and determines the rights and obligations of the parties. In a criminal action, it constitutes the final decision of the court and includes the verdict and the sentence imposed. Unlike a verdict, a decision made by a judge constitutes a judgement. A judgement usually signals the end of a legal action between parties. Some sources refer to it as the court’s formal pronouncement of the law pertaining to the legal dispute before it. In a civil trial, a judgement generally determines if the plaintiff is entitled to compensation, injunctive relief, and/or other civil remedies. A judgement is not necessarily limited to the above examples. The court can deliver a judgement in relation to a case where one party does not respond or does not appear in court. In such a situation, the court will decide in favor of the plaintiff by default, also known as a default judgement. Other forms of judgements include declaratory judgements and summary judgements.

What is the difference between Judgement and Verdict?

  • A verdict is the decision made by a jury. It is a finding based on an examination of questions of facts pertaining to the case.
  • A judgement is a decision made by a judge or a court of law. It is a decision that includes the resolution of both questions of fact and law.
  • A verdict does not conclude the trial completely. It is an important process that takes place before the final pronouncement by the court.
  • A judgement, on the other hand, represents the conclusion of a legal action.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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