Amicus curiae

By Rishabh Singh 5 Minutes Read


The term Amicus Curiae refers to one that is not a party to a particular litigation but indeed one who is permitted by the court to advise it in respect to some matter of law that directly affects the facts in issue. As per legal definition amicus curiae is one (as an individual or organization) that is not a party to a particular lawsuit but is allowed to advise the court regarding a point of law or fact directly concerning the lawsuit or the legal query involved.[1]      Generally, the court appoints a lawyer as an amicus curiae.


An amicus curiae literally means, “friend of the court“, in plural from we call it amici curiae which means a person who is does not has any locus in the case but is appointed to assists a court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case. The decision on whether to consider an amicus brief lies within the discretion of the court. The phrase amicus curiae is legal Latin[2]


Amicus curiae normally may not participate except by the permission of the court, and most adjudicatory authorities seldom permit persons to appear in such a capacity. The Supreme Court of the United States, however, permits federal, state, and local authorities to submit their opinions in cases that concerns them without obtaining the consent of either the court or the parties. Even the private persons may appear as amicus curiae in the apex court, either if all the parties to the suit consent or if the court grants permission.[3]

Mostly the States adopt their own set of rules regarding amicus practice. In ,any of the states there is a requirement of the Court’s permission in order to file amicus averments. However, in some of the states there are no such requisites to be followed for the amicus to obtain consent or permission from the adjudicatory bodies but indeed consent from all parties before filing is always required. States also vary over the procedures involved in appointing of amicus and on the amicus lodging of the brief with the motion. If the brief doesn’t got to be lodged with the motion, the limitation time for filing is different in different states or can be any time allowed or permitted by the State or the Court. Many States also lay out the specified contents of the motion. If your state lists the specified elements of a motion, failure to incorporate these provides an easy basis for denial. States vary on whether or not they allow amici to participate in oral arguments. Some States forbid it, while others allow oral arguments on a motion, while others allow the amicus to share the time of the party whose position the brief supports. If your State has the other unique or additional elements to their rules, a column titled “other” includes this information[4]

Some use in the sentence –

  1. I am currently working with the State of Jharkhand as appointed by the court in the office of amicus.
  2. The Amicus Curiae brief filed by various non-profitable organizations are not included.


The term amicus curiae originated in the Roman law. In the 9th century A.D., it was instituted into English law, and it was later stretched to the most common legal systems. Later, it was brought into the international law, in particular concerning human rights.[5] 

[1] “Amicus curiae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.





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