Amicus Curiae Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Amicus Curiae, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Amicus Curiae?

n. An arrest warrant is an authorisation given by a public officer which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual by some law enforcement body. Warrants are typically issued by courts but can also be issued by houses of Congress or other legislatures.

History and Meaning of Amicus Curiae

Amicus curiae, which is a Latin term meaning 'friend of the court', refers to a person or organization that is not a party to a legal proceeding but offers information or expertise to assist the court in making a decision. The concept of amicus curiae dates back to Roman law and was first used in English courts during the 19th century. The role of amicus curiae has evolved over time and is now an important part of the legal system in many countries.

Examples of Amicus Curiae

  1. In a case involving the constitutionality of a state's anti-abortion law, a group of medical associations filed an amicus brief arguing that the law would have negative health consequences for women.
  2. A civil rights organization filed an amicus brief in a case challenging the use of racial profiling by the police, arguing that such practices violate the Constitution.
  3. An environmental group filed an amicus brief in a case involving a dispute over the use of public land, arguing that the interests of conservation should be taken into account.
  4. In a case involving software patents, a group of technology companies filed an amicus brief arguing that overly broad patents were hindering innovation in the industry.
  5. A group of musicians filed an amicus brief in a case involving copyright law, arguing that the interests of creators should be balanced against the interests of consumers.

Legal Terms Similar to Amicus Curiae

  1. Intervenor: A party to a legal proceeding who was not originally included in the case but seeks to become involved in order to protect their interests.
  2. Adversarial system: A legal system in which two opposing sides present arguments to an impartial judge or jury.
  3. Precedent: A legal decision that serves as a guide for future cases regarding similar issues.
  4. Brief: A written document submitted to a court setting out the arguments and evidence in a case.
  5. Pro bono: Legal work that is done without charge as a public service, usually for individuals or organizations that cannot afford to pay for legal representation.