Question of law

In jurisprudence, a question of law (also known as a point of law) is a question which must be answered by applying relevant legal principles, by an interpretation of the law.[1] Such a question is distinct from a question of fact, which must be answered by reference to facts and evidence, and inferences arising from those facts. Answers to questions of law are generally expressed in terms of broad legal principles, and are capable of being applied to many situations, rather than being dependent on particular circumstances or factual situations. An answer to a question of law as applied to the particular facts of a case is often referred to as a "conclusion of law".

To illustrate the difference:

  • Question of fact: Did Mr. and Mrs. Jones leave their 10 year-old child home alone with their baby for 4 days?
  • Question of law: Does leaving a baby with a 10-year old child for 4 days fit the legal definition of child neglect?

While questions of fact are resolved by a trier of fact, which in the common law system is often a jury, questions of law are always resolved by a judge, or an equivalent. Whereas findings of fact in a common law legal system will rarely be overturned by an appellate court, conclusions of law will be more readily reconsidered.

See also

  • Case brief

References

  1. ^ Treatise on Trial by Jury: Including Question of Law and Fact By John Proffatt Published 1986 Wm. S. Hein Publishing Jury 608 pages ISBN:0837725062

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • question of law — see question 2 Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. question of law …   Law dictionary

  • question of law — noun a disputed legal contention that is generally left for a judge to decide • Syn: ↑matter of law • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑question, ↑head * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • question of law — A question for the court. A question arising in a case in court as to the terms of the law by which the case is to be adjudicated. A matter may be a matter of law, although it is not purely a question of law, if it involves a matter of legal… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • question of law — a question concerning a rule or the legal effect or consequence of an event or circumstance, usually determined by a court or judge. Cf. question of fact. * * * …   Universalium

  • question of law — argument about laws, discussion relating to the meaning of the law …   English contemporary dictionary

  • mixed question of law, fact — n. An issue that can be resolved only by adjudicating facts and deciding relevant legal issues at the same time. Webster s New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000 …   Law dictionary

  • mixed question of law and fact — n. An issue that can be resolved only by adjudicating facts and deciding relevant legal issues at the same time. Webster s New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000 …   Law dictionary

  • mixed question of law/fact — n. An issue that can be resolved only by adjudicating facts and deciding relevant legal issues at the same time. Webster s New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000 …   Law dictionary

  • mixed question of law and fact — In loose usage, a question, the determination of which involves both law and fact. There is really no such thing. What is sometimes so misnamed is a question which depends for its solution upon a question or questions of law and a question or… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • question — ques·tion n 1: a particular query directed to a witness compare interrogatory hy·po·thet·i·cal question /ˌhī pə the ti kəl/: a question directed to an expert witness (as a physician) that is based on the existence of facts offered in evidence and …   Law dictionary


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