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(US LAW) a legal ruling that consists of a decision in which the two parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) consent to some action by the defendant in exchange for a suspended sentence. For example, a husband who is a defendant in a domestic violence case may agree to psychiatric counseling in exchange for not going to prison for assaulting his wife.

The agreement has to be reached beforehand by the parties and then the court may (or may not) approve of the agreement. When it does, that's a consent decree.
WASHINGTON, July 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department today announced a court-approved consent decree which resolves a lawsuit against the state of New York and its public university systems for their failure to provide voter registration services at offices serving students with disabilities at each public university and college campus in New York State.


Under the consent decree, by the start of the 2010-2011 school year, disability services offices at each public university and college campus in the state will provide voter registration services to students with disabilities.
by Abu Yahya July 15, 2010
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