quash versus overrule

Spanish Argentina
I d like to know the difference between "quash" and "overrule",

The text reads as follows:

Libel laws quash drug scandal
General Electric is using the London libel courts to gag a radiologist after he raised the alarm over the potentially fatal risks of one of its drugs

Can we use "overrule" instead of "quash" ? Is "quash" more of a british word ?
Thanks in advance
  • elirlandes

    Senior Member
    Ireland English
    "overrule" es cambiar una decision previa, aunque puede haber sido correcta la decision anterior, por medio de una competencia mas potente.

    "quash" es anular la decision previa por completo
    Spanish Argentina
    Could you please provide me with two examples using both ?
    It s still not that clear
    Is "quash" the same as "strike down " ?
    Thanks in advance


    Senior Member
    U.S.A. & English
    The subpoena was quashed by the court.

    The ruling was struck down by the court of appeals.


    Senior Member
    Ireland English
    In every example I can think of, you could use either word and the nuance would not be apparent.

    The act of "overruling" is about a difference in interpretation of the rules. One judge might interpret something one way, while another (more senior) judge sees the issue in another way. The more senior judge may "overrule" the more junior one. In this instance the junior judge may continue to believe that the original ruling was correct, but it makes no difference - he/she has been overruled.

    The act of "quashing" or "striking down a ruling" is done because there was a fundamental flaw with the original decision which means that the decision should never have been taken. So for example in an appeal, a judge may become aware that the evidence that convicted somebody was falsified. The original decision is quashed. In this instance, the junior judge knows that the original decision was flawed, and needs to be reversed and eradicated.
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