"Reserved judgment" or "reserve judgment" most basically refers to a judgment that is withheld in order to gather more information before arriving at a conclusion. It refers to the need for more data or opinions in order to make an informed decision. It is most often used as a legal term to refer to a judge withholding a sentence or declaration in order to consult more evidence and develop a more informed judgment.
A reserved judgment typically comes in the form of a written declaration that is given over the course of a few days or even a few weeks after a hearing. Some judgments may be delivered ex tempore, or "off the cuff" at the very end of a hearing. However, reserved judgments in written forms are often given more weight than ex tempore judgments. The Latin term for a reserved judgment is cuna advisari volt, which means "the court wishes to consider the matter."
Other Forms of Terminology
The Latin phrase for reserved judgment, cuna advisari volt, may be abbreviated cur. adv. volt or simply C.A.E. Sometimes, in the House of Lords, Lordships may write or state the phrase, "take time for consideration," which indicates the same thing. Regardless of the specific way in which the term is conveyed, it refers to the need for more time to make an informed conclusion.
When the Reserved Judgment is Made
A judge will not make a reserved judgment claim until the case for both sides has been heard. Once the judge has received sufficient information from both counsels, he announces that the verdict is reserved for judgment at a later time. This phrase simply acknowledges that the decision-making process is about to occur or will continue to occur.
Other Uses of the Term
Reserved judgment, although most often employed as a legal term, may also be used colloquially to refer to refusal to pass judgment on something. "Reserved" generally means withheld or unreleased, and "judgment" refers to a moral or emotional pronouncement about an act or thing. Thus, a reserved judgment simply refers to a person's failure to give any sort of overt pronouncement about something.
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