consent decree

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A consent decree (also known as a consent order) is a decree made by a judge with the consent of all parties. It is not strictly a judgment, but rather a settlement agreement approved by the court. The agreement is submitted to the court in writing after the parties have reached a settlement, and once approved by the judge, the agreement is binding and enforceable on both parties. A consent decree is not appealable, except that it can be set aside by the court for fraud on the part of one party, or for error on the part of both parties.  

A consent decree is also often used in government regulation in areas such as antitrust, securities, and environmental law. When the government sues a person or company and the defendant agrees to stop its illegal conduct, the government may agree not to pursue the case, and the court approves and issues a consent decree.

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]