Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of reporters


Related terms

Definition of reporters



  1. Plural form of reporter.

Further reading

Law reports or reporters are series of books that contain judicial opinions from a selection of case law decided by courts. When a particular judicial opinion is referenced, the law report series in which the opinion is printed will determine the case citation format.

The term reporter was originally used to refer to the individual persons who actually compile, edit, and publish such opinions. For example, the Reporter of Decisions for the U.S. Supreme Court is the person authorized to publish the Court's cases in the bound volumes of the United States Reports. Though the term still carries that meaning in all English dialects, in the contemporary U.S. reporter also denotes the books themselves. In the Commonwealth, these are described by the plural term law reports, the title that usually appears on the covers of the periodical parts and the individual volumes.

In common law countries, court opinions are legally binding under the rule of stare decisis. That rule requires a court to apply a legal principle that was set forth earlier by a court of the same jurisdiction dealing with a similar set of facts. Thus, the regular publication of such opinions is important so that everyone - lawyers, judges, and laymen can all find out what the law is, as declared by judges.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


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