case law


Definition of case law

: law established by judicial decision in cases

Examples of case law in a Sentence

Case law says that a person has a right to privacy.
Recent Examples on the Web Before his conviction in 2007, Yagman left a significant imprint on civil rights litigation, establishing new case law on matters from police brutality to international relations. Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2021 After spending several days reviewing all pertinent laws, to include all relevant case law, our attorneys determined the EO was legal and that there was no viable avenue of challenge. Stuart Anderson, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 That would abandon the standard set by Roe and subsequent case law that recognizes a woman’s right to privacy up to the viability of the fetus, or about 24 weeks of gestation. Michael Scherer, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Dec. 2021 Hamilton said the city adhered to state law, case law and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 and tried to provide as many opportunities for residents to weigh in as possible. Vanessa Swales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 Nov. 2021 First, most of the case law on vaccine requirements deals with schoolchildren, where mandates are especially easy to defend. Gilad Edelman, Wired, 5 Oct. 2021 Existing case law prohibits the Florida Bar from taking action against sitting constitutional officers, who are required to be Bar members to hold office, Krell Davis said. Monivette Cordeiro,, 16 Oct. 2021 Searching for applicable case law can often result in thousands of case results, but an AI platform uses algorithms to quickly and accurately review documents relevant to particular cases. Forbes Business Council, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Six months of negotiations were stalled due to several key sticking points, including qualified immunity, a controversial federal doctrine established by case law that can shield officers and other government employees from civil liability. Emma Tucker, Peter Nickeas And Christina Carrega, CNN, 25 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'case law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of case law

1731, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for case law

Time Traveler

The first known use of case law was in 1731

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Case law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for case law

case law


English Language Learners Definition of case law

: law that is based on decisions that judges have made in past cases

case law


Legal Definition of case law

: law established by judicial decisions in cases as distinguished from law created by legislation

called also decisional law

— see also common law

More from Merriam-Webster on case law Encyclopedia article about case law


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