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An issue presenting no real controversy.

Moot refers to a subject for academic argument. It is an abstract question that does not arise from existing facts or rights.

Moot court is a cocurricular or extracurricular activity in law school where students have the opportunity to write briefs and present oral arguments on hypothetical cases.


adj. 1) unsettled, open to argument, or debatable, specifically about a legal question which has not been determined by any decision of any court. 2) an issue only of academic interest. (See: moot point, moot court)


adjective abstract, academic, actionable, contentious, contestable, contested, controversial, controvertible, debatable, disputable, disputatious, doubtful, dubious, hypothetical, in dispute, in issue, in question, open to discussion, open to question, questionable, questioned, speculative, subject to controversy, suppositional, theoretical, uncertain, under discussion, undetermined, unsettled, untried
Associated concepts: academic question, moot appeal, moot case, moot controversy, moot court, moot question
See also: debate, dubious, equivocal, pose, posit, problematic, propound, undecided


an old English word for an assembly, but now the word is used only
1 as a noun to describe a legal argument not in a court of law, usually held for the purpose of legal education based on a tradition established in the English Inns of Court.
2 as an adjective, a point of law is often said to be moot if, raised in a litigation, the point does not any longer affect the decision in the case before the court.

MOOT, English law. A term used in the inns of court, signifying the exercise of arguing imaginary cases, which young barristers and students used to perform at certain times, the better to be enabled by this practice to defend their clients cases. A moot question is one which has not been decided.

References in periodicals archive ?
2001) (Alito, J, concurring in the judgment) ("[E]quitable Mootness .
The court followed that with an examination of the historical context for the constitutional provision, beginning with the early English common law, to nineteenth-century American state court cases concerning mootness and prerogative writs, to the development of the federal court justiciability doctrine.
In contrast to ripeness and standing, which consider whether the plaintiff initially brings a case or controversy to the court, the mootness doctrine demands that the standing doctrine's requisite personal interest exist throughout the litigation.
Returning to the mootness doctrine, courts have held that a
Due to mootness, the Supreme Court avoided making a decision on the merits of the difficult Fourth Amendment issues, including whether a warrant requirement would undermine a state's compelling interest in using MDTs in child abuse investigations.
decision on the books that he cannot challenge after mootness terminates
213) On J W Harris' account of overruling, the Court in Esso was therefore free to overrule in the absence of constraints based on reliance, comity or mootness.
Sharpe, Mootness, Abstract Questions and Alternative Grounds: Deciding Whether to Decide, in CHARTER LITIGATION 327, 343-45 (Robert J.
67) Stricter adherence to "case or controversy" requirements such as standing, ripeness, mootness, and the political question doctrine might defer or avoid confrontation with constitutional issues that turn on legislative facts.
Note that it includes entries for two types of GVRs not found in the more recent data--remands to consider mootness and remands for clarification of whether a judgment is based on independent state grounds.
To put this another way, the more "passive" judicial virtues of restraint in decision making--deference to the determinations of other public institutions, respect for the limits of the judicial power, and regard for the ability of the private sector to manage its own affairs--seem to be considerably less admired by the media than more "aggressive" judicial understandings that dictate action, that "get things done" (albeit by creative and innovative methods), that repair the flaws and shortcomings of the popular branches, and that do not allow "technicalities" like standing, mootness, ripeness, and "political questions" to stand in the way of achieving pleasant results.
Then, following the introduction, it presents chapters on jurisdiction to review decisions of federal courts and state courts; factors motivating the exercise of the Court's certiorari appellate jurisdiction; the manner in which the court determines to take jurisdiction; procedure in connection with petitions for certiorari; procedure on appeals; in forma pauperis proceedings; certified questions; original cases; extraordinary writs; preparing and printing the joint appendix; the briefs on the merits; oral argument; petitions for rehearing and final disposition of cases; motions and applications; stays, injunctions, and bail; capital cases; justiciability (standing, mootness, and abatement); and admissions to the bar and disbarment.