A court's nonbinding interpretation of law. It states the opinion of a court upon a legal question submitted by a legislature, government official, or another court. Federal courts cannot issue advisory opinions because of the Constitution's case-or-controversy requirement.
See, for example, the advisory opinion of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court regarding civil unions.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
An opinion by a court, administrative agency, or attorney general that does not resolve a dispute between parties but instead states the legal rule on a particular matter.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:10 pm