Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Ad Hoc Definition:

Latin: limited in time; to this point.

Related Terms: Standing Committee

James Ballentine's Law Dictionary defined ad hoc as follows:

"To this only; respecting this particularly. For this case only."

Also ad huc or adhoc; limited in time, up to the present.

From the 1878 Harper's Latin Dictionary:

"ad-huc: thus far, designating the limit, inclusive of the whole space traveled. Until now. Hitherto. As yet."

Specific to the facts at hand; as an ad hoc inquiry.

A person appointed ad hoc is limited to his or her participation in those proceedings only, as an attorney ad hoc, a guardian ad hoc or a judge ad hoc.

An ad hoc committee, for example, is created with a unique and specific purpose or task and once it has studied and reports on the matter, it stands disbanded. Also called a special committee.

In the Third Edition of Procedures for Meetings and Organizations, the authors write:

"Ad hoc committees are special task, short term committees, which may be established by the general membership, the board of directors, or by any standing committee, by passage of an approriate motion. This motion includes specific terms of reference ... (and) also give a specific time period for the completion of the assigned task."


  • Kerr, M. K., and King, H. W., Procedures for Meetings and Organizations, 3rd Ed.  (Toronto: Carswell, 1996), p. 56.
  • Lewis, C. and Short, C., Harper's Latin Dictionary (New York: American Book Company, 1879), page 35.

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