Definition of watching brief in English:

watching brief


  • 1A brief held by a barrister to follow a case on behalf of a client who is not directly involved.

    • ‘They are here on trial and it is as well that it is represented by counsel said to be holding a watching brief.’
    • ‘The Department of Justice has two lawyers who have already been paid nearly €250,000 simply to keep a watching brief on the proceedings.’
    • ‘Any discreet watching brief must take full cognisance of an individual's right to privacy and independence.’
    1. 1.1 An interest in a proceeding in which one is not directly or immediately concerned.
      • ‘While they do monitor currency prices and keep a watching brief on economic announcements, they are usually not the harried souls we see sweating on the big screen.’
      • ‘Additions to local law varied according to the government in power, with London as head of the later British Commonwealth keeping a watching brief.’
      • ‘The Council would continue to keep a watching brief on the hospital and planned a return visit there later in the year.’
      • ‘Surprisingly for a match against two of the three bottom clubs in the Football League, a mini-army of scouts and managers took a watching brief.’
      • ‘Her new baby, which she somehow manages to organise while keeping a watching brief over Clock House and raising three children all under six, is a private practice focusing solely on cosmetic dentistry.’
      • ‘Well, as it stands, we are in the same position we were before, because whilst we are - if you like, we are taking a watching brief of the situation, and seeing how it develops.’
      • ‘However, busy (albeit more knowledgeable) doctors will still have time only to advise and keep a watching brief.’
      • ‘Press and public were not invited to the meeting but representatives of the town council and civic society were allowed to keep a watching brief.’
      • ‘We will be keeping a watching brief to make sure Mr Morley keeps to his promise.’
      • ‘While they top the leaderboard, reduced to a watching brief are some of the great names of the game who have won at Augusta in the past.’
      • ‘Bob's schoolteacher widow rallied to help out and keep a watching brief.’
      • ‘The firm thought it wiser to keep a watching brief on its investment in Israel, preferring to stand back and take a pragmatic view.’
      • ‘We are here in an advisory position and will keep a watching brief on it.’
      • ‘Our aim has always been to see this building serving the needs of the community so we will carry on with our watching brief.’
      • ‘It's something we can keep a watching brief on, but at the moment it's not a community safety issue.’


watching brief