abuse of discretion

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abuse of discretion (plural abuses of discretion)

  1. (law) The rendering of a decision by a court that is so unreasonable in light of the facts of the case or is such an unreasonable deviation from legal precedent that it must be reversed.
  2. (law) Any action by a government official by which that official renders decisions for a clearly improper purpose.

Usage notes[edit]

Abuse of discretion is the most rigorous of the three standards by which common law court decisions are reviewed on appeal; the other two are de novo and clear error.


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