Tertius (law)

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Tertius is the Latin word for "third", or "concerning the third". The term is used in contract law to refer to an interested third party not privy to a contract.

In the English Common Law system there is no recognition of the principle ius quaesitum tertio (a right in the third party to enforce performance) whereby a third party may enforce a promise due unto it under a contract to which it is not a party.[1] However, in several legal systems, including U.S. and Scots contract law, this does not bar parties to a contract from specifying that a third party is to be a beneficiary of such contract.[2]

Rights, particularly in property, that ordinarily do accrue to a third party are termed jus tertii.


  1. ^ For a further discussion, see the matter of Beswick v. Beswick and the plaintiff's successful attempt to enforce a right to a tertius, circumventing the privity doctrine.
  2. ^ http://slcc.strath.ac.uk/scotslawcourse/contract/con2/start/iqt.htm Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.