Locus Standi – All you need to know

Locus Standi – All you need to know


Locus standi is a Latin phrase that denotes ‘Place of stand’. It is imperative and germane that before you maintain legal action in the court that you consider whether the action can stand the test of locus standi. The courts are usually in haste to ascertain whether or not a litigant has a place of standing in the matter brought before them. The court can also be moved by the opposing counsel to ascertain whether the plaintiff has the locus standi to file for the action.

Locus standi is the right that a party has to maintain an action in the court. In other words, locus standi is the right that a party has to maintain a legal action in the court in order to recover some damages. It’s the view of locus standi that you must be wronged before you will come for redress or compensation in the court. Locus standi can either flow directly or indirectly to an individual. It is directly when he incurred the damages directly from the wrongful act of the party sued. While it is indirect when he’s suing on behalf of another in whom he has an interest in.

The main onus of locus standi is that action should be filed and presented in the court by those parties that have an interest in protection and not by mere busybodies who will just be expecting to always cluster the dockets of the court with frivolous cases.

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Locus standi and cause of action

While locus standi is the place of the standing of the party suing, the cause of action is the wrong that the party incurred from the wrongful act of another. The cause of action is also as important as locus standi as the court will not allow the matter to enjoy the breath of full proceeding if the Plaintiff or the party suing doesn’t have a cause of action. Cause of action is that issue that you want the court to decide between you and the other party. If A sues B for trespassing on his land situates at No. 3 Ajah Street. The cause of action in this scenario is the trespassing of B on the land. The locus standi of A in the scenario is that A’s Land was trespassed upon by B.

Can you sue a party without a Locus Standi?

It has always been the law that for you to maintain an action in the court that you must have a locus standi in the case and that if you lack locus standi that the court may strike out your action suo moto or they may strike it out based on the application of the opposing counsel. This continues to be the law except in some sui generis cases like the enforcement of a fundamental human right. In the case of enforcement of a fundamental human rights, the applicant can maintain an action without having a locus standi and this is in agreement with the fundamental right enforcement procedure rules, 2009.

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Who is meant to have a Locus Standi in a matter?

It is usually the party that is suing that is expected to have locus standi in the matter that he bringing before the court. Just as the court cannot entertain without having a jurisdiction, so is a party that wants to sue for a matter, cannot sue for a matter without having a locus standi (Exception provided above).

What ruling will the court give when a party lacks locus standi in a matter?

The court shall be ready to strike out a matter in the court if the party that instituted such matter lacks the locus standi to sue for it. The parties are usually encouraged to state their place of stand in their statement of claim or complaint because the locus of standi of a party will only be ascertained from his summon or statement of claim.

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