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Justiciable refers to a matter which is capable of being decided by a court. Justiciable means that a case is suitable for courts to hear and decide on the merits. On the other hand, if a case is not justiciable, the court must dismiss it. 

Before agreeing to hear a case, a court first examines its justiciability. This preliminary review applies a number of tests based on judicial doctrines. These tests concern: 

  • The plaintiff
  • The adversity between the parties, 
  • The substance of the issues in the case, and
  • The timing of the case. 

For a case to be heard, it must survive this review.

[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]