Lessons in Scots law: the common good school

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Ultra vires. Those two Latin words cause more than a little concern for anyone dealing with a legal entity whose existence and powers derive from statute. They may also scupper any grand plans of the officers of such a legal entity. An attempted dealing of a legal person straying beyond the realms of its powers, and therefore acting ultra vires, is ripe to leave purported counterparties in an unhappy place. In that unhappy place they will find no consolation from the fact that they only got there because of a highly remote or idiosyncratic constellation of facts: although the gap may be but an inch wide, it is a mile deep.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalEdinburgh Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Scots law
  • Ultra vires
  • common good


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