Relevancy Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Relevancy, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Relevancy?
(n) Relevency is used to denote the significance or appropriateness of an issue, action, incident etc to the subject matter of consideration
History and Meaning of Relevancy
Relevancy is a crucial concept in the world of law, and it has a long history dating back to the earliest legal systems in human history. At its core, relevancy is about determining whether or not a particular piece of evidence or testimony is appropriate and significant to the matter at hand. In other words, it's about sorting through all the information related to a case and identifying what is actually relevant to the legal issues being discussed.
The idea of relevancy has evolved over time as legal systems have become more complex and sophisticated. Today, relevancy plays a central role in many areas of law, from criminal trials and civil lawsuits to arbitration hearings and administrative proceedings.
Examples of Relevancy
Here are a few examples of how the term relevancy might be used in different legal contexts:
- In a criminal trial, the defense attorney might argue that certain evidence is not relevant to the charges being brought against their client. For example, if the defendant is accused of robbery, evidence about their previous drug use might not be relevant to the case, even if it makes them look bad.
- In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff's attorney might have to argue that the evidence they want to present is relevant to the case at hand. For example, if the plaintiff is suing a construction company for faulty work, evidence about the CEO's personal life might not be relevant to the case.
- In an arbitration hearing, the arbitrator might have to determine whether an expert witness's testimony is relevant to the matter at hand. For example, if the dispute is over product liability, an expert witness who specializes in environmental science might not be relevant to the case, even if they are qualified to testify.
Legal Terms Similar to Relevancy
- Materiality: This term is often used interchangeably with relevancy and refers to whether a particular piece of evidence or information is significant or important to the matter at hand.
- Admissibility: While relevancy is focused on whether a piece of evidence or testimony is relevant to the legal issues being discussed, admissibility is focused on whether that evidence or testimony is legally permissible to present in court.
- Weight: This term refers to how much importance a judge or jury should give to a particular piece of evidence or testimony that has been deemed relevant and admissible.