Advisory Opinion

Definition - What does Advisory Opinion mean?

An advisory opinion is an opinion given by a court that is neither binding nor precedent. Sometimes a legislature, governmental agency, executive officer or other entity will ask a court for an advisory opinion.

Before a genuine case or controversy is brought before a court and when no precedent exists, courts may offer an advisory opinion that does not serve as an official ruling.

Justipedia explains Advisory Opinion

Typically, courts are restricted to hearing lawsuits that involve a genuine case or controversy, but other branches of government sometimes need guidance from courts about how they might rule in a situation that has previously never come before the courts. When courts offer this guidance, they do so in an advisory opinion.

An advisory opinion differs from a binding opinion, which becomes precedent when it is published after a court makes a decision in a case.

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