Dominium directum et utile

Dominium directum et utile is a Latin legal term referring to the "complete and absolute dominion [in property]"; i.e. the union of the title and the exclusive use.[1]


Dominium directum (Feudal): the right of the lord (i.e., the right to direct) in the disposition of an asset (typically land).
Dominium utile (Feudal): the right of use and utility of an asset, and to keep the benefits (such as the right to live on the land, and to keep the profits from agriculture).

The terms derive from Latin dominium (domain, dominion), directum (direction, in the sense of leadership), and utile (use, utility).

An asset is defined to mean itself and those things that naturally go with it. For land, that would include buildings, trees, underground resources, etc. It would not include "movable" property, such as wagons or livestock.

The definition was constructed from the sources. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Additional explanations

The "lord" holding dominium directum may be anyone with sovereign power over the asset, such as a monarch or other nobility, or an established Christian Church.

Sources and references

  1. See Fairfax's Devisee v Hunter's Lessee (US) 7 Cranch 603, 618, 3 L Ed 453, 458.
  2. Shumaker, Walter A.; George Foster Longsdorf (1922). The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary (Second Edition by James C. Cahill ed.). Chicago: Callaghan and Company.
  3. "Dictionary,". Retrieved March 1, 2008.
  4. "The Free Dictionary by Farlex". Retrieved March 1, 2008.
  5. "Scottish Language Dictionaries". Retrieved March 1, 2008.
  6. "The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707". K.M. Brown et al. eds (St Andrews, 2007), 1605/6/39. Retrieved February 15, 2008.

See also

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