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in pari delicto, porior est conditio possidentis


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[Latin: in equal fault the condition of the possessor is more favourable]

A maxim meaning that where both parties to a dispute are equally in the wrong, the defendant holds the stronger ground. The law will take notice of an illegal transaction to defeat a suit, but not to maintain one. Thus, in Taylor v Chester (1889) LR 4 QB 309 the plaintiff failed to recover money deposited with the defendant as a security for a debt contracted for wine and suppers supplied to the plaintiff by the defendant in a brothel kept by her.

Subjects: Law.


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