Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Qui Prior Est Tempore, Potior Est Jure Definition:

Latin: he who is earlier in time is stronger in law.

Also, whomever is first in time is first in right or one who is prior in time has a superior right in law.

Justice Jackson, of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals wrote, in Radius Credit Union, quoting from Snell's Equity:

"The maxim is qui prior est tempore potior est jure: he who is earlier in time is stronger in law. Accordingly, where there are two competing equitable interests, the general rule of equity is that the person whose equity attached to the property first will be entitled to priority over the other. Where the equities are equal and neither claimant has the legal estate, the first in time prevails."


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