61 Legal Maxim And Their Meaning


Legal Maxim And Their Meaning

What are Legal Maxims?

Legal maxims are fixed principles of laws that are accepted and admitted universally, they are mostly in Latin words and as a legal practitioner, it is essential to know these words.

  1. Ab initio- from the beginning.
  2. Actionable pre se- the very act is punishable, no proof of damage is required.
  3. Actio personal is moritur cum persona- A personal right of action dies with the person. If he dies the right to sue Is gone.
  4. Actori incumbit onus probandi- the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.
  5. Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens sit Rea–  conviction of a crime requires proof of a criminal act and intent.
  6. Ad hoc– for the particular end or case at hand.
  7. Alibi- at another place, elsewhere.
  8. Amicus Curiae- A friend of court or member of the bar who is appointed to assist the court.
  9. Ante litem motam- before suit brought; before controversy instituted, or spoken before a lawsuit is brought.
  10. Assentio mentium- the meeting of minds, I.e mutual assents.

11.Audi alter am partem- No man shall be condemns unheard.

  1. Bon fide- In good faith.

13 Bona vacantia- Goods without an owner.

  1. Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem- it is the part of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction.
  2. Caveat- A caution registered with the public court to indicate to the officials that they are not to act in the matter mentioned without first giving notice to the caveator.

16 caveat actor- Let the doer be well.

  1. Caveat emptor- let buyer beware.
  2. Caveat venditor- let the seller be well.
  3. Certiorari- A writ by which orders passed by and inferior court is quashed.
  4. Corpus – body.
  5. Corpus delicti- the facts and circumstances constituting a crim and concrete evidence of a crime, such as a corpse(dead body).
  6. Damnum some injuria- Damage without injury.
  7. De facto- in fact.
  8. Dr jure- by law.
  9. De minimis- about minimal things.
  10. De Minimis Non Curat lex- the law does not govern trifles (unimportant things) or law ignores insignificant details. Or, A common law principle whereby judges will not sit in judgment of extremely minor transgressions of the law.
  11. De novo- to make something anew.
  12. Dictum- statement of law made by the judge in the course of decision but not necessary to think the decision itself.
  13. Doli incapax- incapable of crime.
  14. Detinue- Tort of wrongfully holding goods that belong to someone else.
  15. Donatio mortis causa- Gift because of death. Or a future gift given in expectation of the donor’s imminent death and only delivered upon the donor’s death.
  16. Estoppel- prevented from denying.
  17. Ex gratia- in favour.
  18. Ex officio- because of an office.
  19. Ex parte- proceedings in the absence of the other party.
  20. Ex post facto- out of the aftermath, or After the fact.
  21. Fatum- Beyond human foresight.
  22. Factum probans- relevant fact.
  23. Fraus eat celare fraudem- it is a fraud to conceal a fraud.
  24. Functus officio- No longe having power or jurisdiction.
  25. Furiosi bulla voluntas est- mentally impaired or mentally incapable person cannot validly sign a will, contract or form the frame of mind necessary to commit a crime. Or a person with mental illness has no free will.
  26. Habeas corpus- A writ to have the body of a person to be brought in before the judge.
  27. Ignorantia juris non excusat- ignorance of the law excuses no one.
  28. Injuria some damno- injury without damage.
  29. Ipso facto- by the mere fact.
  30. in promptu- in readiness.
  31. In lieu of- instead of.
  32. In personam- A proceeding in which relief I sought against a specific person.
  33. Innuedo- spoken words which are defamatory because they have double meaning.

50.in status quo- in the present state.

  1. Inter alia- Among other things.
  2. Interview vivos- between living people.
  3. Interest Rei publica ut sit finis Litium- it means it is the interest of the state that there should be an end to litigation.
  4. Jus or ius cogens – compelling law.
  5. Jus in personam- Right against a specific person.
  6. Jus in rem- Right against the world at large.
  7. Jus naturale- Natural law.
  8. Jus Necessitais- it means a person’s right to do what is required for which no threat of legal punishment is a dissuasion.
  9. Jus non scriptum- customary law.
  10. Jus scripyum- written law.

61 jus- Law or right

  1. Justitia nemini neganda est- Justice is to be denied to nobody.
  2. Jus soli- right of soil.
  3. jus sanguins- right of blood or decent.
  4. Led non a rege est violanda- the law must not be violated even by the king.
  5. Locus standi- right of a party to an action to appear and be heard by the court.
  6. Mala fide- in bad faith.
  7. Malum in se or Mala in se(plural)- wrong or evil in itself.
  8. Malum prohibitium- In a way opposite of Malum in se.
  9. Mandamus- ‘we command’. A wit of command issued by a higher court to Government/public authority, to compel the performance of a public duty.
  10. Mens rea- guilty mind.
  11. Misnomer- A wrong or inaccurate name of a term.
  12. Modus operandi- way of working.
  13. Modus vivendi- way of living.
  14. Mutatis Mutandis- with the necessary changes having been made, or with the respective differences having been considered.
  15. Nemo bis punitur pro eodem delicto- Nobody can be twice punished for the same offense.
  16. Nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem causa- it means no one shall be punished twice for the same offense.
  17. Nemp debet esse judex in propria causa or Nemo judex in causa sua or Nemo judex in sua causa- Nobody can be judged in his own case.
  18. Nemo moriturus praesumitur mentire- a man will not meet his maker with a lie in his mouth.
  19. Nemo potest esse tenens et dominus- Nobody can be both a landlord and a tenant of the same property.
  20. Mille prosequi- notice of abandonment by a plantiff or prosecutor of all part of a suit.
  21. Novation-transaction in which a new contact is agreed by all parties to replace an existing contract.
  22. Nunc pro tunc- Now for then.
  23. Non Sequitur- A statement ( such as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said.
  24. Obiter Dictum- things said by the way.
  25. Onus probandi- Burden of proof.
  26. Pacta sunt servanda- Agreement must be kept. Or agreements are legally binding.
  27. Pari passu- with an equal step.
  28. Particeps criminis- A participator in the actual crime/partner in crime.
  29. Per curiam- By the court.
  30. Per se- by itself.
  31. Persona non grata- A person who is unacceptable or unwelcome.
  32. Prima facie- at first sight.
  33. Alimony- provision for spouse after separation.
  34. Palimony- money which a man Pays to a woman with whom he has been living and from whom he is separate.
  35. Per curiam– By a court.
  36. Per incuriam- Because of lack of care.
  37. Prima facie- on the face of it.
  38. Quantum meruit- what one had earned. Or the amount he deserves.
  39. Qui facit per alium, facit per se- he who acts through another act himself.
  40. Quid pro quo- something for something.
  41. Qui sentit commodum, sentire debet et onus- it means he who receives advantage must also bear burden.
  42. Quo warranto- By what authority. A writ calling upon one to show under what authority he holds or claims a public office.
  43. Ratio decidendi- principle or reason underlying a court judgment.
  44. Respondeat superior- let the master answer.
  45. Res Ipsa loquitor- the thing speaks for itself.
  46. Res judicata- A matter already judged.
  47. Red judicata pro veritate Accippitur- it means that a judicial decision must be accepted as correct.
  48. Rex non protest peccare- the king can do no wrong.
  49. Sales populi eat suprema lex- the welfare of the is the supreme law.
  50. Status quo- current situation.
  51. Sine dine- with no day.
  52. Sine qua non- “without which nothing”. An essential condition. A necessity.
  53. Suo motu- on its own motion.
  54. Uberrima fides- utmost good faith.
  55. Ubi jus ibi remedium- where there is a right, there is a remedy.
  56. Veto- Ban or order not to allow something to become law, even if it has been passed by a parliament.
  57. Vice versa- reverse position.
  58. Vis Major- act of God.
  59. Volenti non fit injuries Damage suffered by consent gives no cause of action.
  60. Box populi- voice of the people. The opinion of the majority of people.
  61. Waiver- voluntarily giving up or removing the conditions.

IGBAJI U.C.https://igbajiugabi.com
Igbaji Ugabi Chinwendu, from Cross River State, Nigeria. As a Business Educator, he is profoundly interested in teaching and managing business. Started blogging 2010 and officially 2013. He holds the esteemed positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director at Freemanbiz Communication and Writers King LTD, demonstrating his leadership and expertise in the field.


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