Quoad Ultra

Quoad Ultra
Quoad Ultra
Quick Summary of Quoad Ultra

The term “quoad ultra” is a Latin phrase utilised in the legal field to indicate “with regard to the remaining.” It was frequently employed during legal proceedings when a defendant acknowledged a portion of the plaintiff’s claim but disputed the remainder.

What is the dictionary definition of Quoad Ultra?
Dictionary Definition of Quoad Ultra

“Quoad ultra” is a Latin phrase used in law to indicate “with regard to the rest.” It was frequently employed in legal pleadings when a defendant acknowledged a portion of the plaintiff’s claim but disputed the remainder. For instance, if a plaintiff sued a defendant for $10,000 and the defendant admitted to owing $5,000 but denied the remaining $5,000, the defendant would plead quoad ultra. This means the defendant agrees to pay the $5,000 they owe but not the other $5,000. The term quoad ultra was commonly used in legal proceedings to clarify which aspects of a claim were being admitted and which were being denied.

Full Definition Of Quoad Ultra

“Quoad ultra,” a Latin term meaning “as to the rest” or “insofar as it concerns,” is used within various legal contexts to denote specific portions or aspects of a matter that are not otherwise addressed. In the legal framework, this phrase is particularly relevant in property law, contractual agreements, and judicial decisions, marking the sections of a subject that require further consideration or remain unaffected by other provisions.

This legal overview aims to elucidate the application, implications, and nuances of “quoad ultra” within British law, examining its role in property disputes, contractual stipulations, and court judgments.

Application in Property Law

Definition and Scope

In property law, “quoad ultra” frequently appears in land and property transactions documents. It delineates the aspects of a property that are not covered by certain stipulations or are subject to separate legal conditions. For instance, in a deed, “quoad ultra” might refer to the parts of the property not affected by a specific right of way or easement.

Case Law Examples

Easements and Rights of Way

In Bannister v Bannister [1948] 2 All ER 133, the term “quoad ultra” was pivotal in determining the extent of an easement. The court had to decide whether certain rights over a pathway extended beyond what was explicitly granted. The judgment clarified that while the right of way was granted for access to a specific area, “quoad ultra” indicated that no additional rights were implied beyond those expressly mentioned.

Covenants and Restrictions

In another significant case, Tulk v Moxhay [1848] EWHC J34 (Ch), the principle of “quoad ultra” was applied to restrictive covenants. The court ruled that the covenant restricting building on the land applied to certain sections as explicitly mentioned, but “quoad ultra,” the rest of the land was not subject to this restriction. This interpretation ensured that the covenant was enforceable within the specified limits, safeguarding the landowner’s broader rights.

Contractual Agreements

Role in Contracts

“Quoad ultra” also plays a crucial role in contractual agreements, separating specific obligations or rights from the general provisions of the contract. This distinction is vital in ensuring clarity and avoiding ambiguities that could lead to disputes.

Contract Interpretation

Specific Clauses

In the case of Smith v Hughes [1871] LR 6 QB 597, the term “quoad ultra” was used to distinguish between specific clauses in a contract for the sale of goods. The court had to interpret whether certain conditions or specific parts applied to the entire contract. The ruling emphasised that “quoad ultra,” the general terms of the contract did not override the specific provisions agreed upon by the parties, thereby preserving the intended scope of each clause.

Liability and Exemptions

Another example is Photo Production Ltd v Securicor Transport Ltd [1980] AC 827, where “quoad ultra” was employed to separate liability clauses. The court analysed whether a clause exempting a security company from liability for negligence covered all forms of negligence or just specific instances. The judgment underscored that “quoad ultra,” the exemption did not apply universally but was limited to particular situations explicitly mentioned in the contract.

Judicial Decisions

Clarifying Judgments

In judicial decisions, “quoad ultra” is often used to clarify the scope of a ruling. It helps distinguish the aspects of a case adjudicated from those open for further legal action or interpretation.

Impact on Precedents

Binding Nature

In Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, the House of Lords used “quoad ultra” to delineate the scope of the duty of care principle. The ruling established that manufacturers owe a duty of care to the ultimate consumers of their products. However, “quoad ultra,” the decision did not extend this duty beyond the specific context of product liability, thereby setting a clear precedent without overextending its applicability.

Future Implications

In R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Daly [2001] UKHL 26, the use of “quoad ultra” helped limit the scope of judicial review. The court’s decision to allow a judicial review on specific grounds did not imply that all aspects of the Home Secretary’s actions were subject to review. “Quoad ultra,” the ruling preserved the executive’s discretion in other areas not explicitly challenged, thereby balancing judicial oversight with executive authority.

Practical Implications

Drafting Legal Documents

Understanding “quoad ultra” is essential for legal professionals drafting contracts, deeds, and other documents. Clear demarcation of “quoad ultra” sections ensures that the parties’ intent is accurately reflected and reduces the potential for disputes.

Negotiations and Settlements

During negotiations and settlements, “quoad ultra” can effectively isolate contentious issues from agreed terms. By clearly defining what is covered and what is not, parties can focus on resolving specific disagreements without reopening settled matters.


“Quoad ultra” is a nuanced legal term with significant implications in British law. Its application in property law, contractual agreements, and judicial decisions highlights its importance in delineating the scope of rights, obligations, and rulings. By clearly separating specific provisions from the general context, “quoad ultra” helps maintain legal clarity and prevent ambiguities. Legal professionals must be adept at interpreting and applying this term to ensure that legal documents and judgments accurately reflect the intended scope and limitations.

Recommendations for Practitioners

  1. Thoroughly Define Terms: Ensure that “quoad ultra” sections are clearly defined and unambiguous to prevent future disputes.
  2. Contextual Awareness: Be mindful of the broader legal context in which “quoad ultra” is applied, as its interpretation can significantly impact the outcome of legal proceedings.
  3. Precision in Drafting: When drafting contracts or legal documents, use “quoad ultra” to precisely delineate the scope of specific clauses, safeguarding the parties’ interests.

Adhering to these recommendations, legal practitioners can effectively use “quoad ultra” to enhance the clarity and enforceability of legal documents and decisions.

Quoad Ultra FAQ'S

“Quoad ultra” is a Latin phrase that translates to “as far as it extends” or “to the extent.” In legal contexts, it refers to the limitations or boundaries of a particular legal provision or authority.

In contract law, the principle of quoad ultra is used to determine the extent of a party’s obligations or rights under a contract. It helps establish the limits of performance or liability for each party involved.

Yes, the principle of quoad ultra is often used in statutory interpretation to determine the scope and limits of a particular law or provision. It helps clarify the intended reach of the legislation.

Yes, there can be exceptions to the principle of quoad ultra depending on the specific legal context. Some laws or provisions may explicitly state exceptions or limitations to their application.

In administrative law, the principle of quoad ultra is used to define the extent of authority or power granted to administrative bodies or agencies. It helps ensure that they do not exceed their jurisdiction.

Yes, the principle of quoad ultra can be applied in constitutional law to determine the limits of governmental powers and the scope of constitutional provisions. It helps prevent the abuse of authority.

Yes, the principle of quoad ultra is recognized in international law as a means to define the extent of a state’s jurisdiction or obligations under international treaties or agreements.

In property law, the principle of quoad ultra helps establish the boundaries and limitations of property rights. It determines the extent to which an individual can exercise control over their property.

While the principle of quoad ultra is not commonly applied in criminal law, it can be relevant in certain cases to determine the limits of a criminal statute or the jurisdiction of a court.

The principle of quoad ultra plays a role in the separation of powers doctrine by defining the limits of authority for each branch of government. It helps maintain a balance of power and prevents one branch from exceeding its jurisdiction.

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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: 11th June 2024.

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