De Novo Judicial Review – Definition

Cite this article as:"De Novo Judicial Review – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated July 30, 2019, last accessed October 20, 2020,

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De Novo Judicial Review Definition

De novo judicial review refers to a review by an appellate court regarding the decision of another court, usually a lower court. An appellate refers to a court that has the power or vested with the authority to review the decision of a lower court. In a De novo judicial review, the appellate court probe a trial court’s decision or carries out an assessment of the application and interpretation of the law by the court.

De novo takes its root from a latin expression which means  ‘afresh’ or ‘anew’. After the assessment, a trial court’s decision can be overhauled or reversed by the de novo judicial review.

A Little More on What is De Novo Judicial Review

Issues emanating from how law is applied and interpreted by a trial court, as well as the decisions of the trial court are reviewed or revisited using the de novo judicial review. The de novo judicial review is also used for employment related matters, in terms of employee benefit or other cases. The decision of a trial court or a lower agency can be reversed by an appellate court using the de novo judicial review. De novo judicial review is a non differential standard of review, it places no pressure or weight on the findings of the previous court.

Different Standards of Review have their importance in law. When it comes to determining the outcome of an appeal, a differential standard of review is applicable.  De novo judicial review as a non deferential standard of review, is used basically to examine the decision of a lower court afresh without placing any weight on the court’s findings. An appellate court, when assessing the decision of a trial court based on how it has applied and interpreted the law uses de novo judicial review.  A dishonest evidence, error in fact and other anomalies associated with the trial of the lower court can be examined using de novo judicial review. It is important to understand different standards of review and how they are applied in different cases.

Reference for “De Novo Judicial Review”

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