When there is an issue at hand does not necessarily involve a court case or proceeding but involves the legality of an event or the interpretation of the law, legal advice may be offered in order to better guide whoever or whatever party’s involved. This type of legal advice is referred to as an advisory opinion.
Advisory opinions are tricky to determine. Some courts are barred by law from issuing advisory opinions. However, when advisory opinions are issued, they can either be made public or private. This is determined based on the nature of the national law.
There are various methods as to how to obtain an advisory opinion. One such method is to approach a court of law and request the court for an advisory opinion. If allowed by national law, the court will request information to review the case before providing the advisory opinion. This comes in the form a written advisory opinion. Another means of obtaining an advisory opinion is from a lawyer or legal scholar. This is usually the case for government agencies that keep lawyers and legal professionals on retainer to issue advisory opinions for some cases or issues. Lawyers and legal scholars on retainer often provide advisory opinions upon the advent of major policy changes or the introduction of new regulations. It is also possible for ethics commissions to provide advisory opinions if approached with a request from an individual or party. This can only be done if the issue brought before the commission involved ethics and the law.