Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Diligence Definition:

The degree of attention or care required of a person in a given situation.

Related Terms: Due Diligence

In Soper v Canada, Justice Robertson of the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal opined:

"Upon reflection, it seems arguable to me that the term diligence is synonymous with the term care. That is, diligence is simply the degree of attention or care expected of a person in a given situation....

"Others, however, have taken a different approach by contending not only that diligence is an independent element of the statutory standard but also that that requirement, unlike the statutory requirements for skill and care, is more onerous than at common law."

Scottish Law

flag of ScotlandIn Scottish law, the term diligence is used to refer, generally, to legal procedures available and used by judgment creditors to enforce their judgment.

Poinding is an example of diligence in Scottish law, as is arrestment.

In their 1995 publication, the Law Society of Scotland defined diligence as:

"Diligence: the methods of enforcing unpaid debts due under decrees of Scottish courts: enforcement of judgments."


  • Law Society of Scotland, Glossary: Scottish Legal Terms, Latin Maxims and European Community Legal Terms (Edinburgh: Butterworths, 1992), page 25.
  • Soper v Canada, [1998] 1 FC 124

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