In the context of law, the object of a legal relationship is called a thing. A conduct that was judged, for its part, already has a ruling on its legality issued by a court or by a judge.
The idea of res judicata, in this way, alludes to the effect of a final court ruling, which makes it impossible to start a new process regarding the same object. Res judicata recognizes the effectiveness of the resolution that was reached after a judicial process: that is why said resolution cannot be modified.
For res judicata to exist, there must be a final judgment. This instance is reached when it is no longer possible to file appeals or challenges to establish a modification. Thus, when the judicial sentence is final, it is considered that the object submitted to the process cannot be judged again given the existence of the resolution in question. It is, therefore, res judicata.
The notion of res judicata is linked to the force attributed to the result of a judicial process and to the subordination that is due to what was previously decided by the authority. This means that the same act cannot be judged on more than one occasion.
The concept comes from the Latin sentence res iudicata. If a person is sued for an action that was previously judged and on which a final sentence falls, the defendant can allege the so-called “exception of res judicata” and interrupt the new process, eliminating the chance of being tried again for what same.
It is possible to say that res judicata is a procedural principle, a concept that is also known as the principle of procedural law and that is defined as the set of rules that represent starting points to build the fundamental instruments of the jurisdictional function, that is, to give them origin, as well as form.
In other words, the procedural principles are the criteria that inspire the ability to make decisions and influence that a court has throughout the entire process, from its inception to its completion, through its development. Within this context, it is possible to speak of formal or material res judicata, depending on the meaning.
The formal res judicata is noticed within the process itself, as the effect of the judicial resolution. In short, we can say that it is the situation in which the court and the parties must stick to the decision made by the first. Thanks to this concept, the judges cannot change their opinion once the resolutions have been issued, but each one must adjust to the previous ones, just as the parties cannot choose to ignore what is established in them.
As the effect of this type of res judicata occurs within the process, it will occur with all the resolutions issued during its development, except for those that terminate it, whether or not a sentence is reached.
On the other hand, there is the material res judicata, which arises from the last resolution of the judicial process. For this reason, it does not directly influence the process but its character is considered external, because it affects those who follow it. The effects it generates are the following:
* positive or prejudicial, to which the courts after the sentence are linked if they have the same logical background and the same litigants;
* negative or excluding, which is linked to the principle that prevents starting a subsequent process with the same object.