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Certiorari: Definition, Example and Related Terms

What is Certiorari ?

Certiorari, in simple terms, is a legal tool that courts use to review the decisions of lower courts or government agencies.

It's like asking the court, 'Hey, can you please check if this lower court or agency made the right decision?'

Now, you might wonder why this is important in business contracts. Well, imagine you're a contracts manager and your company has a dispute with another company over a contract. You go to a lower court, but you believe the decision they made is wrong. You can then apply for a Certiorari to have a higher court review that decision. It's a way to ensure fairness and correctness in legal decisions, which is crucial in business contracts because businesses need to make sure they're being treated fairly and the laws are being applied correctly.


  • Scenario Description
    Let's say your company, 'Awesome Tech', had a contract with another company, 'Super Software', to create a new app. However, there was a disagreement on the payment terms. The lower court ruled in favor of Super Software, but you believe they ignored some important aspects of the contract. In this case, as a contracts manager, you can apply for a Certiorari. You're basically asking a higher court to review the decision of the lower court. If the higher court grants your request, they will look at the case again and make sure the lower court applied the law correctly and didn't overlook or misinterpret any part of the contract.
    Imagine your company is a food processing company, 'Healthy Foods', and you have a contract with a supplier, 'Fresh Farm', for supplying fresh produce. However, there's a dispute on the quality of the produce supplied and the lower court decision is not in your favor. Here, you can apply for a Certiorari to have a higher court review the decision. The higher court will then consider whether the lower court correctly applied the law and whether they gave due consideration to the contract terms regarding the quality of produce.