Test case (law)

In case law, a Test Case is a legal action whose purpose is to set a precedent. An example of a test case might be a legal entity who files a lawsuit in order to see if the court considers a certain law or a certain legal precedent applicable in specific circumstances. This is useful, for example, in order to later file similar lawsuits in similar circumstances.


Examples of test cases include:
# "Scopes v Tennessee" (1925)
# "Adams v Cape Industries plc" (1990)
# "Mabo v Queensland (No 2)" (1992)
# "National Westminster Bank plc v Spectrum Plus Limited" (2005)

ee also

* Case of first impression

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • test case — see case 1a Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. test case …   Law dictionary

  • test case — ➔ case * * * test case UK US noun [C] LAW ► a case in a court of law or another situation that will be used as an example when other similar cases are considered in the future: be/serve as a test case (to do sth) »The trial is a test case to… …   Financial and business terms

  • test case — test′ case n. 1) law a case that serves afterward as a precedent for similar cases 2) law a suit used to test a legal principle, the constitutionality of a statute, etc • Etymology: 1890–95 …   From formal English to slang

  • test case — n. Law 1. a case that, after its determination, is likely to be used as a precedent ☆ 2. a case entered into with the intention of testing the constitutionality of a particular law …   English World dictionary

  • test case — ► NOUN Law ▪ a case setting a precedent for other cases …   English terms dictionary

  • test case — noun a representative legal action whose outcome is likely to become a precedent • Syn: ↑test suit • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑legal action, ↑action, ↑action at law …   Useful english dictionary

  • case law — noun 1. a system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory laws common law originated in the unwritten laws of England and was later applied in the United States • Syn: ↑common law, ↑precedent • Topics: ↑law,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • test case — A case involving an actual controversy but brought for the purpose of determining the law upon the point presented. 1 Am J2d Actions § 56. A test case is not necessarily a moot case, and where a case is one of fact or right, there is no principle …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • test case — 1. a typical case whose court decision may be interpreted as a precedent for application in future similar cases. 2. a legal action taken, sometimes deliberately by agreement of both parties, with a special view to determining the position of the …   Universalium

  • test case — noun Law a case setting a precedent for other cases …   English new terms dictionary

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