In law, to distinguish a case means to contrast the facts of the case before the court from the facts of a case of precedent where there is an apparent similarity. By successfully distinguishing a case, the holding or legal reasoning of the earlier case will either not apply or will be limited. There are two formal constraints on the later court: the factors in the ratio of the earlier case must be retained in formulating the ratio of the later case, and the ruling in the later case must still support the result reached in the precedent case.
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More definitions of "distinguish":
- (verb): Detect with the senses.
Synonyms: recognize, recognise, discern, pick out, make out, tell apart
- (verb): Mark as different.
Example: "We distinguish several kinds of maple"
Synonyms: separate, differentiate, secern, secernate, severalize, severalise, tell, tell apart
Famous quotes containing the word distinguish:
“If you cant distinguish people from lap-dogs, you shouldnt undertake philanthropic work.”
—Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (18601904)
“Education ... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals.”
—G.M. (George Macaulay)
“Since all things are good, men fail at last to distinguish which is the bane and which the antidote.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)