Define: A Latere

A Latere
A Latere
Quick Summary of A Latere

The term “collaterally” or “from the side” is derived from Latin and is used to describe succession that occurs through a side branch of a family rather than a direct line. In Spanish law, an albacea is the executor or individual designated in a will to fulfil the desires of the deceased.

What is the dictionary definition of A Latere?
Dictionary Definition of A Latere

The term “a latere” is a Latin term that means “from the side” or “collaterally.” It was previously used to refer to collateral succession rather than lineal succession. When a person dies without a will, their property is distributed to their heirs according to intestacy laws. In some cases, the property may pass to a relative “a latere,” meaning from the side, rather than to a direct descendant.

In Spanish law, the term “ALBACEA” refers to an executor or the person named by a testator to carry out the directions of a will. When Maria passed away, she named her sister the albacea of her will. Her sister was responsible for ensuring that Maria’s wishes were carried out and that her property was distributed according to her instructions.

These examples highlight the importance of understanding legal terms to interpret legal documents and make informed decisions properly.

Full Definition Of A Latere

The term “A Latere” is derived from Latin, meaning “from the side” or “on the side.” In the legal context, it refers to a type of authority or delegation that operates in a subsidiary or supplementary capacity to the primary authority. This concept is significant in various legal systems and frameworks, encompassing different aspects of delegated authority, supplementary jurisdiction, and auxiliary roles in legal proceedings. This overview explores the legal implications, applications, and relevance of “A Latere” within the British legal system, drawing parallels with other legal traditions where appropriate.

Historical Context and Origins

The concept of “A Latere” has its roots in Roman law, where it was used to denote auxiliary officials or agents who acted on behalf of higher authorities. These officials were empowered to perform specific duties, often in administrative or judicial capacities, to support and supplement the primary functions of the government. Various legal traditions, such as the ecclesiastical and civil law systems, adopted and modified the idea, which was developed to meet the needs of intricate governance structures.

In the British legal system, the influence of Roman law and the subsequent development of common law principles have shaped the understanding and application of “Latere” authority. The historical evolution of this concept reflects the dynamic nature of legal systems in responding to the needs for delegation, subsidiarity, and efficient administration of justice.

Applications in the British Legal System

Delegated Authority and Administrative Law

In administrative law, the “A Latere” principle manifests in delegating authority from primary legislative bodies to subsidiary entities or officials. This delegation is essential for the effective functioning of government, allowing specialised agencies and officials to exercise powers on behalf of the primary authority. Such delegations are often codified in statutes, regulations, and administrative directives.

For instance, the UK Parliament may grant government departments or independent organisations regulatory authority to enact specific rules and regulations within the parameters set by primary legislation. This delegation ensures that experts address complex and technical matters while maintaining overarching legislative oversight and accountability.

In this context, the “A Latere” principle emphasises the need to balance delegated authority and the centralised control of primary legislative bodies. It emphasises how crucial it is to ensure that those with delegated powers exercise them within the parameters set forth by law, with appropriate mechanisms for review and oversight to prevent abuse of authority.

Judicial Functions and Auxiliary Roles

In the judicial domain, “Latere” authority is relevant in appointing auxiliary judicial officers, such as magistrates, tribunal members, and other quasi-judicial officials. These officials are entrusted with the responsibility to adjudicate specific types of cases or disputes, thereby supplementing the primary judicial functions of the courts.

For example, the UK judiciary includes a network of tribunals that handle specialised areas of law, such as employment disputes, immigration cases, and social security appeals. Tribunal members, often experts in their respective fields, exercise judicial functions “A Latere” to the primary courts, providing an efficient and specialised forum for resolving disputes.

The role of magistrates, who are lay judges appointed to preside over certain types of criminal and civil cases, further exemplifies the application of “Latere” authority. These magistrates operate under the supervision of professional judges, contributing to the administration of justice at the local level while ensuring that the principles of fairness and due process are upheld.

Ecclesiastical Law and Canon Law

In ecclesiastical law, “A Latere” has a distinct significance, particularly within the Roman Catholic Church. “Legatus a Latere” refers to a papal legate or envoy the Pope appoints to represent him in particular issues or areas. These envoys possess delegated authority to act on behalf of the Pope, often in diplomatic, administrative, or judicial capacities.

While the British legal system is secular, the historical influence of ecclesiastical law and the Church’s legal traditions have contributed to the understanding of delegated and supplementary authority. The principles of “A Latere” in ecclesiastical contexts highlight the importance of representation, delegation, and the hierarchical authority structure within legal systems.

International Law and Diplomatic Functions

In international law, the concept of “A Latere” can be observed in appointing special envoys or representatives who act on behalf of states or international organisations. These envoys, often entrusted with specific mandates, operate in a subsidiary capacity to the primary diplomatic missions, addressing specialised issues or representing the interests of their principals in particular contexts.

For instance, appointing special envoys for conflict resolution, human rights, or trade negotiations reflects the application of “Latere” authority in international diplomacy. These envoys are empowered to engage in negotiations, represent their principals, and make decisions within the scope of their delegated authority, thereby contributing to the effective conduct of international relations.

Legal Principles Governing “A Latere” Authority

Delegation and Subsidiarity

The principle of delegation is central to the concept of “late” authority. It involves the transfer of specific powers or responsibilities from a primary authority to a subsidiary entity or official. Statutory or regulatory frameworks that specify the scope, restrictions, and circumstances of the delegated authority’s use frequently govern this delegation.

Another key principle is subsidiarity, which emphasises that decisions and actions should be taken at the most appropriate level of authority. It supports the idea that matters should be handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralised competent authority, with higher levels of authority intervening only when necessary. This principle ensures that delegated powers are exercised efficiently and effectively while maintaining accountability and oversight.

Accountability and Oversight

The exercise of “A Latere” authority is subject to mechanisms of accountability and oversight to prevent abuse and ensure compliance with legal standards. These mechanisms may include judicial review, administrative appeals, parliamentary scrutiny, and other forms of review and control.

In the British legal system, judicial review ensures that delegated authorities act within their legal powers and adhere to fairness, reasonableness, and proportionality principles. Administrative tribunals and ombudsmen also provide avenues for individuals to challenge decisions made by officials exercising “A Latere” authority, ensuring their rights are protected.

Transparency and Procedural Fairness

Transparency and procedural fairness are fundamental principles that govern the exercise of “Latere” authority. These principles require that decisions and actions taken by delegated authorities are made openly and transparently, with opportunities for affected parties to be heard and to challenge adverse decisions.

Procedural fairness, also known as natural justice, encompasses the right to a fair hearing and the rule against bias. These principles ensure that decisions made by officials exercising “A Latere” authority are impartial, based on evidence, and made following established procedures.

Challenges and Contemporary Issues

Balancing Efficiency and Accountability

One of the primary challenges in applying “A Latere” authority is balancing the need for efficient administration with the requirement for accountability. While delegation of authority can enhance efficiency by allowing specialised entities to address specific issues, it also raises concerns about the potential for misuse of power and lack of accountability.

Ensuring that delegated authorities operate within their legal limits, with adequate mechanisms for oversight and review, is essential to maintaining public trust and confidence in the legal system. This requires a careful design of legal frameworks that balance efficiency with accountability, providing clear guidelines for exercising “A Latere” authority.

Adapting to Technological and Social Changes

The rapid pace of technological and social changes presents new challenges for applying “Latere” authority. Issues such as data privacy, cybersecurity, and the regulation of emerging technologies require specialised knowledge and expertise, necessitating the delegation of authority to specialised agencies and officials.

Adapting legal frameworks to address these emerging issues while ensuring that delegated authorities operate within the law is a complex task. It requires an ongoing review and adjustment of legal standards and the development of new mechanisms for oversight and accountability.

International and Transnational Dimensions

The world’s increasing interconnectedness has also expanded the scope of “A Latere” authority to include international and transnational dimensions. Issues such as cross-border trade, migration, and environmental protection require coordination and cooperation between multiple jurisdictions, often involving delegating authority to international organisations and representatives.

Navigating the complexities of international law and ensuring that delegated authorities operate following both domestic and international legal standards is a significant challenge. It requires robust legal frameworks, effective coordination mechanisms, and a global commitment to upholding the principles of justice and fairness.


“Latere” authority is a fundamental aspect of legal systems, encompassing the delegation of powers, supplementary jurisdiction, and auxiliary roles in various contexts. In the British legal system, this concept plays a crucial role in administrative law, judicial functions, ecclesiastical law, and international relations, reflecting the dynamic nature of legal authority and governance.

Understanding the legal principles governing “A Latere” authority, including delegation, subsidiarity, accountability, and procedural fairness, is essential for ensuring that delegated powers are exercised effectively and justly. Addressing contemporary challenges, such as balancing efficiency with accountability and adapting to technological and social changes, requires continuously refining and developing legal frameworks that uphold the rule of law and protect individual rights.

As legal systems continue to evolve, the concept of “Latere” authority will remain a vital tool for ensuring the efficient and equitable administration of justice within national jurisdictions and in the broader international context.

A Latere FAQ'S

“A Latere” is a Latin phrase that translates to “from the side” or “on behalf of.” In legal contexts, it is often used to refer to someone who is acting as an assistant or representative to an attorney or judge.

No, only individuals who are authorised by the court or have the necessary qualifications can act as “A Latere” in a legal proceeding. Typically, this role is fulfilled by law clerks, paralegals, or other legal professionals.

The responsibilities of an “A Latere” can vary depending on the specific case and the instructions given by the attorney or judge. Generally, they assist with legal research, drafting documents, organizing case files, and providing support to the attorney or judge.

No, an “A Latere” is not authorized to provide legal advice. They can only assist with administrative tasks and perform duties assigned to them by the attorney or judge overseeing the case.

An “A Latere” is not an attorney but rather a legal assistant or representative. While an attorney is licensed to practice law and can provide legal advice, an “A Latere” supports the attorney by performing various administrative tasks.

No, an “A Latere” cannot represent a client in court. Only licensed attorneys are allowed to represent clients and present arguments before a judge.

To become an “A Latere,” individuals typically need to have a legal background, such as a law degree or paralegal certification. They may also need to undergo specific training or obtain authorization from the court to act in this capacity.

No, “A Latere” services are not typically available to the general public. They are usually provided within the legal profession and are utilized by attorneys or judges to assist with their caseload.

While an “A Latere” can be held accountable for any negligence or misconduct, they generally work under the supervision and guidance of an attorney or judge. Ultimately, the responsibility for any mistakes or errors lies with the attorney or judge overseeing the case.

If you require legal assistance, it is best to consult with an attorney directly. They can determine if an “A Latere” is necessary for your case and provide guidance on how to proceed.

Related Phrases
No related content found.

This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 11th June 2024.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

  • Page URL:
  • Modern Language Association (MLA):A Latere. DLS Solicitors. June 12 2024
  • Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):A Latere. DLS Solicitors. (accessed: June 12 2024).
  • American Psychological Association (APA):A Latere. Retrieved June 12 2024, from website:
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors : Family Law Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

All author posts