Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Ratione Loci Definition:

Latin: by reason of the place.

Related Terms: Ratione Personae, Ratione Soli

A legal term relates to a court's jurisdiction as it may be compromised or challenged by territorial issues.

A court will consider whether it has jurisdiction ratione loci and will assess that jurisdiction where the item of property in dispute is within their territory, though the parties are not. Similarly, where the contract was accepted within the territory covered by the court or where an alleged tort which gives rise to the claim before it, occurred on the territory covered by the court though one or both of the parties reside elsewhere.

Ratione loci is usually of secondary important to the jurisdiction ratione personae.

For example, the ratione loci jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice is limited to issues which arise upon the territory of states signatory to the ICJ treaty.


  • Mayrand, A., Dictionnaire de Maximes et Locutions Latines Utilisées en Droit, 4th Ed. (Montreal: Editions Yvon Blais, 2006), page 522.

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