Define: A Me De Superiore Meo

A Me De Superiore Meo
A Me De Superiore Meo
Quick Summary of A Me De Superiore Meo

The Latin term “A ME DE SUPERIORE MEO” is used in feudal land grants to signify “from me, of my superior.” It establishes the chain of feudal ownership, ensuring that the grantee holds the land from the ultimate superior. For example, if Lord A granted land to Sir B, and Lord A held the land from King C, then Sir B would hold the land from Lord A, who held it from King C. Similarly, if a king granted land to a duke, who then granted land to a baron, the baron would hold the land from the duke, who held it from the king.

What is the dictionary definition of A Me De Superiore Meo?
Dictionary Definition of A Me De Superiore Meo

In feudal land grants, the phrase “from me, of my superior” was used to signify that the grantee would hold the land from the grantor’s superior after the feudal title was finalised. Essentially, it indicated that the land recipient would act as a custodian for someone of higher rank in the feudal hierarchy.

Full Definition Of A Me De Superiore Meo

“A Me De Superiore Meo” is a Latin term, often used in ecclesiastical and legal contexts, that translates to “from my superior” or “by the authority of my superior.” This phrase encapsulates the principles of delegated authority and hierarchical command, which are critical in various legal systems, especially within ecclesiastical law. Considering historical and contemporary contexts, this overview explores the legal significance, applications, and implications of “A Me De Superiore Meo” in British law.

Historical Context

The origins of “A Me De Superiore Meo” are deeply rooted in the hierarchical structures of the Roman Catholic Church. The Church held considerable influence over legal and administrative matters in mediaeval Europe. The phrase was commonly used to denote actions taken by an individual under the explicit authority of a higher-ranking official. This system of delegated authority was essential for maintaining order and efficiency within the expansive ecclesiastical hierarchy.

In the broader context of European legal history, delegated authority is not unique to ecclesiastical law. Feudal systems, which dominated much of mediaeval Europe, also relied on a strict hierarchy where lords delegated authority to vassals. These vassals acted on their superiors’ behalf, ensuring local governance and administration.

Application in Ecclesiastical Law

In ecclesiastical law, “A Me De Superiore Meo” remains relevant. Higher-ranking officials, such as bishops or the Pope, frequently grant clergy members the authority to perform duties and make decisions. This delegated authority ensures that the Church’s policies and doctrines are uniformly applied and upheld across different regions.

For example, a parish priest may administer sacraments or make administrative decisions under the diocesan bishop’s authority. The legitimacy of these actions is derived from the superior’s authority, reflecting the church’s hierarchical nature. This delegation is essential for the church’s efficient operation, allowing it to function cohesively across vast geographical areas.

Legal Principles in Secular Law

The principle underlying “A Me De Superiore Meo” extends beyond ecclesiastical law into secular legal systems, particularly within administrative and corporate law. The concept of delegated authority is fundamental to the functioning of modern bureaucracies and organisations.

Administrative Law

In administrative law, government officials often act under the authority of higher-ranking officials or legislative bodies. The delegation of authority is crucial for effectively implementing laws and policies. For instance, a local council may exercise powers conferred by national legislation, with local officials acting under the authority of higher government entities.

The legitimacy of administrative actions often hinges on the proper delegation of authority. If an official acts beyond the scope of their delegated powers, their actions may be deemed ultra vires (beyond their legal power or authority) and, therefore, invalid. Judicial review processes often examine whether an official’s actions were taken within the bounds of their delegated authority.

Corporate Law

In corporate law, the principle of delegated authority is vital for the operation of businesses. Corporate structures typically involve a hierarchy where authority is delegated from the board of directors to executives and from executives to managers and employees. This delegation ensures that decisions can be made efficiently at various organisational levels.

The validity of corporate actions often depends on whether the individuals making decisions have the proper authority. For instance, if a company employee has the authority to sign contracts on the company’s behalf, the contract may be legally binding. Without this authority, the contract may be unenforceable.

Delegated Legislation

Delegated legislation, also known as secondary or subordinate legislation, is a crucial aspect of the legal system that embodies the principle of “A Me De Superiore Meo.” This type of legislation allows governmental bodies or officials to make laws under the authority of an Act of Parliament. Delegated legislation is essential for the detailed and flexible implementation of legislative frameworks.

Types of Delegated Legislation

  • Statutory Instruments (SIs) are the most common form of delegated legislation used to fill in the details or practical measures needed to enforce the primary legislation. SIs can include regulations, orders, and rules.
  • Bylaws: Local authorities or specific organisations, such as transport bodies, may issue bylaws under delegated authority to regulate local matters. These bylaws must be consistent with higher legislation.
  • Orders in Council: These are made by the Queen on the advice of the Privy Council and are used in various circumstances, including emergencies or when specific legislative authority is required.

Control and Oversight

  • Parliamentary Scrutiny: Delegated legislation is subject to various levels of parliamentary scrutiny, depending on its nature and importance. Some SIs call for an affirmative resolution, which means that Parliament must expressly approve them, whereas other SIs proceed unless expressly annulled (negative resolution).
  • Judicial Review: Courts play a crucial role in overseeing delegated legislation. An individual or organisation may file a legal challenge if they believe the delegated legislation goes beyond the scope of the enabling act (ultra vires). The judiciary ensures that delegated legislation adheres to the principles set out in primary legislation.

Case Law and Precedents

Several legal cases illustrate the application and implications of delegated authority, reflecting the principle of “A Me De Superiore Meo.” Examining these cases helps to understand how British courts interpret and enforce the concept of delegated authority.

Carltona Ltd v Commissioners of Works (1943)

The Carltona doctrine is a pivotal legal principle derived from this case, establishing that acts performed by government officials within their delegated authority are considered acts of the minister. This principle underscores the efficiency and practicality of delegated authority within government departments.

In this instance, the court ruled that decisions made by civil servants acting under their ministers’ authority are valid in the same way as decisions made by the ministers themselves. This principle recognises the impracticality of requiring ministers to make every decision personally, allowing for effective delegation within governmental operations.

Barnard v National Dock Labour Board (1953)

In this case, the court examined the limits of delegated authority within a statutory framework. The National Dock Labour Board had delegated disciplinary powers to a port manager, who suspended dock workers. The court held that the delegation was unlawful because the Board had exceeded its authority under the relevant statute.

This case highlights the importance of ensuring that delegated authority is exercised within the confines of the enabling legislation. Delegating bodies must adhere to their statutory authority’s terms and limits to avoid acting ultra vires.

Contemporary Relevance

The “A Me De Superiore Meo” principle remains highly relevant in contemporary legal and administrative contexts. As organisations and governmental bodies become increasingly complex, the need for efficient delegation of authority grows. However, this delegation must be carefully managed to ensure accountability and adherence to legal boundaries.

Public Administration

In public administration, the delegation of authority enables efficient governance and service delivery. Civil servants and public officials operate under delegated powers to implement policies and deliver public services. Ensuring these delegations are clear and legally sound is essential for maintaining public trust and accountability.

Corporate Governance

A clear delegation of authority is critical for effective management and operational efficiency in the corporate sector. Companies must establish robust governance frameworks that define the scope and limits of delegated authority. This clarity helps prevent abuses of power and ensures that decisions are made by appropriately authorised individuals.

Regulatory Bodies

Regulatory bodies often operate under delegated authority to enforce laws and regulations in specific sectors, such as finance, healthcare, and environmental protection. These bodies must ensure that their actions are within the scope of their delegated powers and that they operate transparently and accountably.

Challenges and Considerations

While the principle of “A Me De Superiore Meo” facilitates efficient governance and administration, it also presents challenges that must be carefully managed.


Delegated authority can sometimes obscure accountability, making it difficult to determine who is ultimately responsible for decisions. Ensuring transparency and clear lines of accountability is crucial for addressing this challenge.

Oversight and Control

Effective oversight mechanisms are essential to prevent abuses of delegated authority. Regular audits, reviews, and judicial oversight help ensure that delegated powers are exercised properly and within legal limits.

Clarity of Delegation

Delegating bodies must provide clear and specific instructions regarding the scope and limits of delegated authority. Ambiguities in delegation can lead to disputes and legal challenges, undermining the delegation’s effectiveness.


“A Me De Superiore Meo” encapsulates a fundamental principle of delegated authority that permeates various legal systems and administrative structures. This principle facilitates efficient governance and decision-making, from its roots in ecclesiastical law to its application in contemporary administrative and corporate contexts.

Understanding and managing the complexities of delegated authority is essential for ensuring accountability, transparency, and legal compliance. By carefully delineating the scope of delegated powers and implementing robust oversight mechanisms, organisations and governmental bodies can harness the benefits of delegation while mitigating its risks.

The enduring relevance of “A Me De Superiore Meo” underscores the importance of hierarchical command and delegated authority in maintaining order and efficiency within complex legal and administrative systems. This principle will remain a cornerstone of effective governance and organisational management as society evolves.

A Me De Superiore Meo FAQ'S

“A Me De Superiore Meo” is a Latin phrase that translates to “From a higher power than myself.” It is often used in legal contexts to refer to a higher authority or power that is beyond human control.

No, “A Me De Superiore Meo” is not a legally recognized term in most jurisdictions. It is primarily used in philosophical or religious discussions rather than in legal proceedings.

In most cases, “A Me De Superiore Meo” cannot be used as a valid legal defence. Courts typically require legal arguments based on established laws, regulations, or precedents rather than appeals to higher powers.

Using “A Me De Superiore Meo” in contracts or agreements may not have any legal implications, as it is not a recognized legal term. It is advisable to use clear and legally recognized language to avoid any confusion or disputes.

It is unlikely that “A Me De Superiore Meo” can be used as a basis for a religious discrimination claim, as it is not associated with any specific religious belief or practice. To establish a religious discrimination claim, one typically needs to show discrimination based on a recognized religion.

There are no significant legal cases where “A Me De Superiore Meo” has been invoked as a central legal argument. It is primarily used in philosophical or religious discussions rather than in legal proceedings.

Using “A Me De Superiore Meo” alone is unlikely to successfully challenge the constitutionality of a law. Constitutional challenges typically require specific legal arguments based on constitutional provisions, legal principles, or fundamental rights.

No, “A Me De Superiore Meo” is not recognized in international law. International law is primarily based on treaties, conventions, and customary practices among nations.

In most criminal cases, “A Me De Superiore Meo” cannot be used as a valid legal defence. Courts generally require evidence, legal arguments, or defences based on recognized legal principles or statutes.

There are no specific legal restrictions on using “A Me De Superiore Meo” in public or official documents. However, it is advisable to use language that is widely understood and recognized to ensure clarity and avoid potential misunderstandings.

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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: 12th June 2024.

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