Sui generis

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{law, state, case}
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{specie, animal, plant}
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Sui generis (pronounced /ˌsuː.aɪ ˈdʒɛnərɪs/;[1] Latin: /ˈsʊ.iː ˈɡɛnɛrɪs/) is a Latin expression, literally meaning of its own kind/genus or unique in its characteristics.[2] The expression is often used in analytic philosophy to indicate an idea, an entity, or a reality which cannot be included in a wider concept.



In the taxonomical structure "genusspecies" a species that heads its own genus is known as sui generis. This does not mean, however, that all genera with only a single member are composed of sui generis species. Only if the genus was specifically created to refer to that one species with no other known examples can the species be called sui generis. If the species is alone merely due to extinction, as in the case of the Homo genus, the surviving species is not sui generis, because other members of the genus are known, even if they are not currently extant.

Legal applications

In law, it is a term of art used to identify a legal classification that exists independently of other categorizations because of its singularity or due to the specific creation of an entitlement or obligation.[3] Courts have used the term in describing cooperative apartment corporations, mostly because this form of housing is considered real property for some purposes and personal property for other purposes. When referring to case citations and authorities, lawyers (and Judges) may refer to an authority cited as being sui generis, meaning in that context, it is one confined (or special) to its own facts, and therefore may not be of broader application. This is also the modern view that courts are holding when deciding judgments based on Oil and Gas leases.

In the context of British law, the term means "unique".[citation needed]

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