Quo warranto

Quo warranto is a legal term that many find confusing. We will examine the definition of the term quo warranto, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Quo warranto is a legal writ that compels the recipient to show why he has a legal right to the office, privilege or franchise he is exercising. Quo warranto is a challenge to a person’s authority. The term came into use in the 1200s, when the centralization and certification of those doling out justice became a concern. Today, quo warranto is most often used in corporate situations, as a challenge to the appointment or election of a corporate official, or a challenge of the way the official has exercised his powers. The term quo warranto is derived from Latin, and literally translates as “by what warrant”.


Senator Francis Escudero and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Thursday rejected the call to the senators to pass a resolution asking the Supreme Court to suspend its quo warranto proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. (The Manila Standard)

After hearing the counsel  at length, the Bench said it was prima facie of the opinion that at best even if the locus standi of the petitioner to file a writ of quo warranto was accepted, it would necessarily espouse public interest. (The Tribune India)

If the top two officials in the land may face quo warranto petitions questioning, say, their citizenship or years of residence, “Why should a Chief Justice be subject to better treatment—outside the ambit of quo warranto proceedings?” (The Manila Times)

Quo warranto petitioner Solicitor General Jose Calida lauded the decision of the Supreme Court to unseat Maria Lourdes Sereno as the chief magistrate, saying such a move is good for the country. (The Philippine Star)

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