Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Lex Fori Definition:

Latin for the law of the forum.

Related Terms: Lex Loci Delecti, Lex Loci, Place of the Wrong, Lex Loci Contractus, Lex Causae

The law applicable to particular legal proceedings.

Osborn defines it as:

"The law of the forum or court in which a case is being tried. More particularly the law relating to procedure or the formalities in force ... in a given place."

The law of the court hearing and disposing of an action.

The law of the place where the action is heard.

Dicey and Morris on the Conflicts of Laws refer to lex fori as:

"All matters of procedure are governed by the domestic law of the country to which the court wherein any legal proceedings are taken belongs.

"While procedure is governed by lex fori, matters of substance are governed by the law to which the court is directed by its choice of law rule (lex causae).... The difficulty in applying this rule lies in discriminating between rules of procedure and rules of substance. The distinction is by no means clear cut."


  • Collins, L, Dicey and Morris on the Conflicts of Laws, 13th Edition  (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2000), page 157.
  • Osborn, P., A Concise Law Dictionary (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1954).

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