Justiciability Law and Legal Definition

Justiciability refers to limits upon legal issues over which a court can exercise its judicial authority. The U.S. Constitution limits the federal courts to hearing nine classes of cases or controversies, and, in the twentieth century, the U.S. Supreme Court has added further conditions. State courts also have rules requiring matters brought before them to be justiciable.

Certain requirements and conditions must be met for the case to be heard in court. For example, in order for a court to hear a case, the plaintiff must have standing to bring the claim, the legal question must not be moot or unripe, etc.. The tests for justiciability generally concern (1) the plaintiff, (2) the adversity between the parties, (3) the substance of the issues in the case, and (4) the timing of the case.