Ultra vires

4 definitions found for this term.
Definitions are presented in the order source books were published (most recent first).

A finding by a court that a statute or public decision is beyond the powers conferred by the Constitution of Canada on the body purporting to make it. The consequence of a finding of ultra vires is invalidity.


Literally means, "beyond the powers." A person who acts ultra vires, acts outside the scope of her authority.


Beyond lawful authority. A statute is ultra vires, and therefore invalid, if Canada's Constitution Act does not authorize the legislature that passed it to legislate on that matter. Regulations too may be ultra vires the statute they are made under. The opposite is intra vires, within lawful authority.

Without jurisdiction or authority.

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