In law, a concurring opinion is a written opinion by some of the judges of a court which agrees with the majority of the court but might arrive there in a different manner. In a concurring opinion, the author agrees with the decision of the court but normally states reasons different from those in the court opinion as the basis for his or her decision. When no absolute majority of the court can agree on the basis for deciding the case, the decision of the court may be contained in a number of concurring opinions, and the concurring opinion joined by the greatest number of jurists is referred to as the plurality opinion.
There are several kinds of concurring opinion. A simple concurring opinion is when some justices join the opinion of the court but also have something else to add. Concurring in judgment means that they agree with the judgment but not the reasoning.
In some courts, such as the Supreme Court of the United States, the majority opinion may be broken down into parts, and then concurring justices may state that they join some parts of the majority opinion, but not others, for the reasons given in their concurring opinion. In other courts, such as the Supreme Court of California, the same justice may write a majority opinion and a separate concurring opinion to express additional reasons in support of the judgment (which are joined only by a minority).
Abbreviation: conc. opn.
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