Legal Maxims

Abundaans cautela non nocet – Abundant caution does no harm.

Actio exteriora indicant interiora secreta – External actions show internal secrets.

Actio personalis moritur cum persona – A personal action dies with the person.

Actor qui contra regulam quid adduxit, non est audiendus – He ought not to be heard who advances a proposition contrary to the rules of law.

Actore non probante reus absolvitur – When the plaintiff does not prove his case, the defendant is absolved.

Actori incumbit onus probandi – The burden of proof lies on the plaintiff.

Actus Curiae Neminem Gravabit – An Act of the Court shall prejudice no man.

Actus Dei Nemini Facit Injuriam – Law holds no man responsible for the Act of God.

Actus legis nemini facit injuriam – The act of the law does no one an injury.

Actus me invito factus, non est meus actus – An act done by me against my will, is not my act.

Affirmanti non neganti incumbit Probatio – The burden of proof lies upon him who asserts and not upon him who denies.

Affirmatis est probare – He who affirms must prove.

Aliud est celare, aliud tacere – To conceal is one thing, to be silent another.

Animus moninis est anima scripti – The intention of the party is the soul of the instrument.

Animus Possidendi – Intention to possess.

Argumentum ab authoritate est fortissimum in lege – An argument drawn from authority is the strongest in law.

Assignatus utitur jure auctoris – An assignee is clothed with the rights of his principal.

Audi Alterem Partem – No man shall be condemned unheard.

Boni judicis est causas litium derimere – It is the duty of a good judge to remove the cause of litigation.

Causa proxima, non remota spectatur – The immediate, and not the remote cause, is to be considered.

Caveat emptor – Let the purchaser beware.

Caveat venditor – Seller beware.

Clausula inconsuetae semper indicunt suspicionem – Unusual clauses always induce a suspicion.

Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur – No one is punished for merely thinking of a crime.

Commodum ex injuri su non habere debet – No man ought to derive any benefit of his own wrong.

Confessio facta in judicio omni probatione major est – A confession made in court is of greater effect than any proof.

Consensus tollit errorem – Consent removes or obviates a mistake.

De fide et officio judicis non recipitur quaestio; sed de scientia sive sit error juris sive facti – The bonafides and honesty of purpose of a judge cannot be questioned, but his decision may be impugned for error either of law or of fact.

De minimis non curat lex – The law does not concern itself with trifles.

Debet quis juris subjacere ubi delinquit – Every one ought to be subjected to the law of the place where he offends.

Debet sua cuique domus ease perfugium tutissimum – Every man’s house should be a perfectly safe refuge.

Debitorum pactionibus creditorum petitio nee tolli nee minui potest – The rights of creditors can neither be taken away nor diminished by agreements among the debtors.

Deceptis non decipientibus , jura subveniunt – The laws help persons who are deceived, not those deceiving.

Deliberandum est diu quod statuendum est semel – That which is to be resolve once for all should long be deliberated upon.

Dies Dominicus non est juridicus – Sunday is not a day for judicial or legal proceedings.

Distinguenda sunt tempora; aliud est facere aliud perficere – Times are to be distinguished; it is one thing to do, another to complete.

Dolo facit qui petit quod redditurus est – It is fraudulent to claim what you must restore.

Dolum ex indiciis perspicuis probari convenit – Fraud should be proved by clear proofs.

Dolus et fraus una in parte sanari debent – Deceit and fraud should always be remedied.

Droit ne done pluis que soit demaunde – Justice gives no more than is demanded.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit non qui negat – Burden of proof lies upon him who asserts and not upon him who denies.

Ei incumbit probatio quic dicit non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit – The burden of proof lies upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies : since by the nature of things he who denies a fact cannot produce any proof.

Error placitandi aequitatem non tollit – A clerical error does not take away equity.

Error qui non resistitur, approbatur – An error which is not resisted is approved.

Ex debito justitiae – From or as a debt of justice. A remedy which the applicant gets as a matter of Right.

Ex turpi causa non oritur actio – A petitioner who comes into Court founding his cause of action on an illegality, will not get any assistance from the Court.

Falsus in Uno Falsus in Omnibus – False in one thing, false in everything.

Fraus est celare fraudem – It is a fraud to conceal a fraud.

Fraus et dolus nemini patrocinari debent – Fraud and deceit ought not to benefit anyone.

Fraus et jus nunquam cohabitant – Fraud and justice never dwell together.

Fraus omnia vitiat – Fraud vitiates everything.

Habeas Corpus – You have the body.

Haeredes successores que sui cuique liberi – Every man’s children are his heirs and successors.

Haereditas est successio in universum jusquod defunctus habuerat – Inheritance is the succession to every right which was possessed by the late possessor.

Idem est facere et nolle prohibere cum possis – It is the same thing to do a thing as not to prohibit it when in your power.

Ignorantia Facti Excusat Ignorantia Juris Non-Excusat – Ignorance of facts may be excused but not ignorance of law.

In propria causa nemo judex – No one can be a judge in his own cause.

Injuria non excusat injuriam – A wrong does not excuse a wrong.

Injuria propria non cadet beneficium facientis – No one shall profit by his own wrong.

Interest republicae ut sit finis litium – It is in the interest of the State that there should be an end to litigation.

Interpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus – To interpret and reconcile laws so that they harmonize is the best mode of construction.

Intestatus decedit, qui aut omnio testamentum non facit aut non jure fecit, aut id quod fecerat ruptum irritumve factum est; aut nemo ex eo haeres existit – He dies intestate who either has made no will at all or has not made it legally, or whose will which he had made has been annulled or become ineffectual, or to whom there is no living heir.

Invitat culpam qui peccatum praeterit – He encourages a fault who overlooks a transgression.

Locus Standi – The right of a party to bring an action or to appear before the court.

Mutatis Mutandis – With necessary changes.

Nemo Debet Esse Judex in Propria Sua Causa – No man can be judge in his own case.

Nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem causa – A man shall not be vexed twice for one and the same cause.

Necessitas inducit privilegium quoad jura privata – With respect to private rights, necessity privileges a person acting under its influence.

Nemo Moriturus Praesumitur mentire – A man will not meet his maker with a lie in his mouth.

Non sequitur – An inconsistent statement.

Nova Constitutio Futuris Formam Imponere Debet, Non Praeteritis – A new law ought to be prospective and not retrospective, in operation.

Nullus Commodum Capere Potest De Injuria Sua Propria/ Juri Ex Injuria Non Oritur – No man can take advantage of his own wrong.

Obiter Dicta – Things said by the way.

Pari Materia – Of the same matter; on the same subject.

Pari Passu – On an equal footing.

Per Incuriam – By Mistake

Quando lex aliquid alicui concedit, conceditur et id sine qua res ipsa esse non potest – When the law gives anything, it gives the means of obtaining it.

Qui Facit Per Alium Facit Per Se – He who acts by or through another, acts for himself.

Quo Warranto – An order issued by the authority of the king.

Ratio Decidendi – The reason or rationale for the decision by Court.

Res Integra – An entire thing; an entirely new or untouched matter. 

Res Ipsa Loquitur – The thing speaks for itself.

Res Judicata – A thing adjudged.

Salus Populi Suprema Lex – That regard be had to the public welfare, is the highest law.

Suppressio Veri or Suggestio Falsi – Concealment of truth or a statement of falsehood.

Ubi Aliquid Conceditur, Conceditur Et Id Sine Quo Res Ipsa Esse Non Potest – Where anything is conceded, there is conceded also anything without which the thing itself cannot exist.

Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium Est – For every wrong, the law provides a remedy. Where there is a right, there is a remedy.

Vigilanti bus et non d ormientibus jura sub veniunt – Law aids the vigilant and not the dormant

Volenti Non Fit Injuria – To the consenting, no injury is done.