Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Lex Loci Definition:

Latin; the law of a place as in where a right was acquired or a liability incurred.

Related Terms: Place of the Wrong, Lex Loci Delecti, Lex Fori, Lex Loci Contractus, Locus Regit Actum

Strictly, the law of a place.

Relevant in law as lex loci will often be determinative of the rights or liabilities of a party pursuant to a contract or a tort.

In Gray v Blight, Justice Philips adopted these words:

"The substantive rights of the parties to an action are governed by the lex loci, that is, the law of the place where the right was acquired or the liability was incurred...."

John Bouvier writes, in his Law Dictionary:

"It is a general principle applying to contracts made, rights acquired, or acts done relative to personal property, that the law of the place of making the contract, or doing the act, is to govern it and determine its validity or invalidity, as well as the rights of the parties under it in all matters touching upon the modes of execution and authentification of the form or instrument of contract; and also in relation to the use and meaning of the language in which it is expressed, the construction and interpretation of it, the legal duties and obligations imposed by it, and the legal rights and immunities acquired under it."


  • Bouvier, John, A Law Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the USA (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1873).
  • Gray v Blight 112 Federal Reporter, 2nd Series, page 696 (1940).

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