What Is Ultra Vires?

Ultra vires is a Latin term meaning "beyond the powers". In the context of administrative law, ultra vires refers to actions or decisions made by a public body or official that exceed their legal authority or powers. When a public body or official acts ultra vires, their actions or decisions are considered illegal and may be subject to judicial review.

For example, if a local council passes a bylaw that is beyond its legal authority, the bylaw would be considered ultra vires and could be challenged in court. Similarly, if a government official makes a decision that goes beyond their legal authority, the decision could be deemed ultra vires and may be subject to judicial review.

The principle of ultra vires is important because it helps to ensure that public bodies and officials act within their legal powers and do not overstep their boundaries. It also provides a mechanism for citizens to challenge decisions that are made illegally or without proper authority.
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