Judicial economy

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Judicial economy or procedural economy is the principle that the limited resources of the legal system or a given court should be conserved by the refusal to decide one or more claims raised in a case. For example, the plaintiff may claim that the defendant's actions violated three distinct laws. Having found for the plaintiff for a violation of the first law, the court then has the discretion to exercise judicial economy and refuse to make a decision on the remaining two claims, on the grounds that the finding of one violation should be sufficient to satisfy the plaintiff.

Threshold issue in a given case

In the presence of a threshold issue that will ultimately decide a case, a court may, depending on the degree of prejudice to the litigants rights, elect to hear that issue rather than proceeding with a full-blown trial.

Class action lawsuits

Class action lawsuits are another example of judicial economy in action, as they are often tried as a single case, yet involve many cases with similar facts. Rather than trying each case individually, which would unduly burden the judicial system, the cases can be consolidated into a class action.


  1. ^ Office, European Patent. "Case Law of the Boards of Appeal". www.epo.org.
  2. ^ "Procedural Economy | Free Online Dictionary of Law Terms and Legal Definitions". 27 July 2017.
  3. ^ Sarvarian, Arman (May 8, 2019). "Procedural Economy at the International Court of Justice". The Law & Practice of International Courts and Tribunals. 18 (1): 74–100. doi:10.1163/15718034-12341396. S2CID 159281680 – via brill.com.
  4. ^ "Class Action". Wex Legal Dictionary. Retrieved 5 May 2015.

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