ex delicto



From Latin ex (from) + dēlictō, ablative singular of dēlictum (transgression).


  • IPA(key): /ɛks dəˈlɪktoʊ/
  • Hyphenation: ex de‧lic‧to


ex delicto (not comparable)

  1. (law, postpositive) Of a legal obligation: arising from a delict or tort, or some other wrongful act.
    • 1815, Robert Bell, A Dictionary of the Law of Scotland: Intended for the Use of the Public at Large, as Well as of the Profession[1], volume I, 2nd edition, Edinburgh: Printed by Alex. Smellie, for John Anderson & Company, Edinburgh; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, London, OCLC 60728304, page 13:
      This act [An Act anent the Aliment of Poor Prisoners 1696 (chapter 32; Parliament of Scotland)] was clearly intended to regulate the case of civil debts; but the question occurred whether by civil debts was meant debts ex contractu, or debts also ex delicto; and the Court were at first of opinion that debtors, whose debts arose ex delicto, were not entitled to the benefit of the statute. [] The opinion was however given up by the Court in 1787; and debts, though arising ex delicto, were held to be civil debts in the sense of the act, and as such, did not exclude the debtor from the benefit of the statute.
    • 1837, Joseph Chitty; Thomas Chitty, A Treatise on the Parties to Actions, and on Pleading: With Second and Third Volumes, Containing Precedents of Pleadings, and Copious Directory Notes[2], volume I, 7th American edition, Springfield, Mass.: G. and C. Merriam, OCLC 643422908, page 110:
      Personal actions are in form ex contractu or ex delicto, or, in other words, are for breach of contract, or for wrongs unconnected with contract. [] [T]hose for wrongs are case, trover, replevin, and trespass vi et armis.
    • 1916, Burdett A. Rich; Henry P. Farnham; George H. Parmele, editor, The Lawyers Reports Annotated: 1916D, Rochester, N.Y.: Lawyers' Co-operative Pub., OCLC 174054532, page 812:
      [I]t was held that the Missouri statute did not apply to disqualify the plaintiff as a witness in an action against a railroad company for the alleged wrongful act of one of its conductors in putting her off the train, by reason of the death of the conductor before the trial, “as this is not an action on contract, but ex delicto []
    • 2002, M[algosia] A. Fitzmaurice, “International Protection of the Environment”, in Recueil des cours = Collected Courses of The Hague Academy of International Law 2001, volume 293, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, →ISBN, page 243:
      The confusion as to the legal effects of breach of the due diligence obligation derives from the general lack of full understanding of its role in the structure of State responsibility. There are many schools of thought as to the character of this obligation in the context of both liability ex delicto and of liability sine delicto.
    • 2014, David Orozco; Kevin McGarry; Lydie Pierre-Louis, “The Human Rights-related Aspects of Indigenous Knowledge in the Context of Common Law Equitable Doctrines and the Kiobel Decision”, in Robert C. Bird; Daniel R. Cahoy; Jamie Darin Prenkert, editor, Law, Business and Human Rights: Bridging the Gap, Cheltenham, Glos.: Edward Elgar Publishing, →ISBN, page 196:
      Obligations ex delicto are those arising from a tort, an illegal act other than a breach of contract, and are enforced by giving to the obligee compensatory money damages equivalent to the amount of his loss. [] Roman law separated the obligations ex delicto tort into two categories: (1) where the party was actively and knowingly involved in the tort, which has developed into intentional tort; and (2) where the party was mistakenly involved, which has developed into negligence.


ex delicto (not comparable)

  1. (law, postpositive) From a delict or tort, or some other wrongful act.
    • 1751, Andrew MacDowall Bankton, An Institute of the Laws of Scotland in Civil Rights: With Observations Upon the Agreement or Diversity Between Them and the Laws of England. In Four Books. After the General Method of the Viscount of Stair's Institutions.[3], volume I, Edinburgh: Printed by R. Fleming, for A. Kincaid and A[lexander] Donaldson, and sold by them and other Booksellers, OCLC 695959052, page 104:
      The diviſion of obligations, into thoſe ariſing from a contract, or quaſi ex contractu; from a delict, or quaſi ex delicto, takes place in the law of England [marginal note]. [] Obligations civil, in a large ſenſe, may be divided into ſuch as ariſe from a contract, or quaſi contract; or from a delinquency and crime, or a quaſi delinquency, as they are termed in the civil law.
    • 1824, Thomas Branch; William Waller Hening, Principia Legis et Æquitatis: Being an Alphabetical Collection of Maxims, Principles or Rules, Definitions, and Memorable Sayings, in Law and Equity; Interspersed with such Law Terms, and Latin Words and Phrases as most Frequently Occur, in the Study and Practice of the Law[4], 1st American edition, Richmond: T. W. White, OCLC 3858662, pages 12 and 43:
      Actio personalis moritur cum persona. – A personal action dies with the person. [i.e. An action merely personal, arising ex delicto, for a tort, but not an action arising ex contractu, from contract. []] [] [Ex delictoFrom tort.]
    • 2009, Eric Descheemaeker, The Division of Wrongs: A Historical Comparative Study, Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 43:
      What the Romans said is that, whereas some obligations arose ‘ex delicto’ (that is, from a delict or wrong), others arose ‘quasi ex delicto’ (and likewise for contract).

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