If ratio decidendi is the “reason for a decision”, is it the opposite of obiter dicta? According to the doctrine of stare decisis, statements constituting obiter dicta are not binding, although they can be very convincing in some jurisdictions such as England and Wales. For example, in High Trees , Justice Denning not only granted the landlord`s application, but added that if the landlord had tried to recover the retroactive rent from the war years, the courts would have prevented him from doing so. Since the landlord did not want to recover the subsequent rent, Denning`s addition was clearly incidental, but this statement became the basis for the modern revival of the forfeiture of promissory notes. Similarly, in Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v. Heller & Partners Ltd, the House of Lords held that negligent misrepresentation could give rise to a claim for purely economic loss, even if an exclusion of liability on the basis of the facts was effective in dismissing any claim. Similarly, in Scruttons Ltd v. Midland Silicones Ltd, Lord Reid suggested that, although the doctrine of contract secrecy in this case prevented longshoremen from benefiting from the protection of an opt-out clause, such protection could be effective in the future if four directives (which he listed below) were all complied with. In Carlill v. Carbolic Smoke Ball Company (a case where a woman who had used a smokeball as prescribed could claim the advertised reward after a flu), LJ Bowen stated: The arguments and reasoning of a dissenting judgment (as used in the United Kingdom and Australia) or dissenting opinion (the term, used in courts in the United States) are also obiter dicta. However, these could also be invoked if a court finds that its earlier decision was erroneous, as when the U.S. Supreme Court cited the dissent of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
in Hammer v. Dagenhart, lorsqu`il s`agissait de l`affaire Hammer in the United States v. Darby Lumber Co. Another way of saying obiter dicta is “by the way”. In a legislative report, after a summary of the ratio decidendi (the reasoning of the decision, which constitutes a precedent), the guiding principle may contain an obit comment from the court or a particular judge. If the obiter dictum comes from the court, it is expressed per curiam. If it comes from a particular judge, the word per appears before the judge`s name. Obiter dicta can have influence even without a real decision.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Morrison Waite made some remarks before the hearing in an 1886 case. His remarks were recorded and recorded in the case file and have since become the basis of the legal doctrine that “legal persons”—that is, non-human legal entities such as corporations and partnerships—are entitled to the protection of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A judicial declaration can only be ratio decidendi if it relates to the decisive facts and the law of the case. Statements that are not conclusive or that relate to hypothetical facts or unrelated legal issues are obiter dicta. Obiter dicta (often simply dicta or obiter) are remarks or remarks made by a judge that, although included in the court`s opinion, are not necessarily part of the court`s decision. In a judicial opinion, obiter dicta includes, inter alia, words that are “introduced for illustrative, analogous or argumentative purposes”.  Contrary to the ratio decidendi, obiter dicta are not the subject of the judicial decision, even if they are correct legal statements. The so-called Wambaugh inversion test provides that in order to determine whether a judicial declaration is ratio or obiter, one must reverse the argument, that is, whether the decision would have been different if the declaration had been omitted. If so, the statement is decisive and constitutes the ratio; If it`s not crucial, it`s obiter. In other cases, the obiter dicta may propose an interpretation of the law which has no bearing on the present case, but which could be useful in future cases.
 The most notable example of such an event is the story of the famous footnote 4 of United States v. Carolene Products Co. (1938), which, while opposing the use of the due process clause to block most laws, suggested that the clause could be used to remove laws dealing with “fundamental rights” issues. It is generally believed that this obiter dictum led to the doctrine of rigorous examination (and subsequently intermediate examination) in cases of racial, religious and sexual discrimination, first enunciated in Korematsu v. the United States (1944). Korematsu v. The United States itself was condemned by the same court in obiter dictum in Trump v. Hawaii (2018). When reading a court decision, obiter dicta can be recognized by words such as “introduced by analogy” or “by way of illustration”.
Obiter dicta can be as short as a brief remark or hypothetical example, or as long as a thorough discussion of the relevant law. In both cases, the additional information is provided to provide context for the court opinion.