Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Clandestine Definition:

Something purposely kept from the view or knowledge of others either in violation of the law or to conduct or conceal some illegal purpose.

"Surreptitious; hidden or, at least, unpublicized, usually for an illegal or unworthy purpose."

With these words, James Ballentine attempted to define clandestine.

In CriticalControl Solutions, Master Hanebury of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta adopted these words:

"Clandestine means surreptitious or secret."

A clandestine marriage would be one which does not comply with laws related to publicity.

The term is only infrequently used in law but one example is the old English statute, An Act for the More Effectual Securing the Payment of Rents and Preventing Frauds by Tenants of 1738:

"If a Tenant or Tenants, Lessee or Lessees ... shall fraudulently or clandestinely convey away or carry off from such premises, his, her or their goods or chattels to prevent the landlord ... from distraining them same for arrears of rent so reserved, due or made payable, it shall and may be lawful to and for every landlord ... within the space of 30 days ... to take and seize such goods and chattels wherever the same be found...."

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