Definition of amicus in English:


(also amicus curiae)

Pronunciation: /əˈmī-//əˈmēkəs/


  • An impartial adviser, often voluntary, to a court of law in a particular case.

    [as modifier] ‘he was planning to advance this position in an amicus brief’
    • ‘In addition we have received written and oral submissions by Mr Timothy King QC, instructed by the Treasury Solicitor to assist the Court as an amicus.’
    • ‘No alternative answer has been suggested by Dr David Thomas, whom the Attorney General has helpfully instructed to help us as an amicus.’
    • ‘We do not stand in the role of amici in this Court.’
    • ‘Walter Dellinger and Paul Smith performed very well for plaintiffs' amici, as can be expected for lawyers of their caliber.’
    • ‘The other parties were the Official Receiver and, as amicus curiae, the Official Solicitor.’
    • ‘If I had not come your Lordship would have said: this is a very important matter, I need an amicus.’
    • ‘Even before it was published, Ehrlich's work was cited by the Solicitor General of the United States in an amicus curiae brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in defense of the death penalty.’
    • ‘One method is by filing a brief amicus curiae (literally ‘friend of the court’).’
    • ‘The Lord Chief Justice has also said that the phrase amicus curiae - friend of the court - should not be used.’
    • ‘But there's nothing unusual about a state attorney general filing an amicus brief in a case where the law of his own state is implicated.’
    • ‘The insurers and their amici argue that the rule of construction which directs the court to construe ambiguities in favour of the insured should not apply in the instant case.’
    • ‘The bench directed that the list be given to the amicus curiae (lawyer to assist the court) Janak Dwarkadas before August 10 for a consideration.’
    • ‘These are, the amicus brief asserts, ‘deep theological waters.’’
    • ‘To assist them in their deliberations, they appointed what is called an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to advise them about whether or not they should initiate criminal proceedings against me for contempt of court.’
    • ‘The legal action by British MPs and House of Lords members is the first time UK legislators have filed an amicus brief in a US court.’
    • ‘Neutral amici were almost always lawyers who happened to be present in court, watching the oral argument of a case in which they were not involved, and their advice was given orally and spontaneously.’
    • ‘We are ready to say we stand by our story; the administration will file an amicus brief opposing the legality of the university's admissions policies.’


Early 17th century: from modern Latin amicus curiae, literally friend of the court.