Posted by: Elmer Brabante | June 18, 2008

Legal Latin Maxims A-G

A mensa et thoro – From bed and board.

A vinculo matrimonii – From the bond of matrimony.

Ab extra – From outside.

Ab initio – From the beginning.

Absoluta sententia expositore non indiget – An absolute judgment needs no expositor.

Abundans cautela non nocet – Abundant caution does no harm.

Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale – An accessory does not draw, but follows its principal.

Accessorius sequitur – One who is an accessory to the crime cannot be guilty of a more serious crime than the principal offender.

Acta exteriora iudicant interiora secreta – Outward acts indicate the inward intent.

Actio non accrevit infra sex annos – The action has not accrued within six years.

Actio non datur non damnificato – An action is not given to one who is not injured.

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

Actiones legis – Law suits.

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

Actus nemini facit injuriam – The act of the law does no one wrong.

Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea – The act does not make one guilty unless there be a criminal intent.

Actus reus – A guilty deed or act.

Ad ea quae frequentius acciduunt jura adaptantur – The laws are adapted to those cases which occur more frequently.

Ad hoc – For this purpose.

Ad infinitum – Forever, without limit, to infinity.

Ad perpetuam rei memoriam – For a perpetual memorial of the matter.

Ad quaestionem facti non respondent judices; ad quaestionem legis non respondent juratores – The judges do not answer to a question of fact; the jury do not answer to a question of Law.

Aedificare in tuo proprio solo non licet quod alteri noceat – It is not lawful to build on one’s own land what may be injurious to another.

Aequitas legem sequitur – Equity follows the law.

Aequitas nunquam contravenit legem – Equity never contradicts the law.

Alibi – At another place, elsewhere.

Alienatio rei praefertur juri accrescendi – Alienation is preferred by law rather than accumulation.

Aliunde – From elsewhere, or, from a different source

Allegans contraria non est audiendus – One making contradictory statements is not to be heard.

Allegans suam turpitudinem non est audiendus – One alleging his own infamy is not to be heard.

Allegatio contra factum non est admittenda – An allegation contrary to a deed is not to be heard.

Ambiguitas contra stipulatorem est – An ambiguity is most strongly construed against the party using it.

Ambiguitas verborum patens nulla verificatione excluditur – A patent ambiguity is never helped by averment.

Amicus curiae – A friend of the Court.

Angliae jura in omni casu libertati dant favorem – The laws of England are favorable in every case to liberty.

Animo furandi – With an intention of stealing.

Animo testandi – With an intention of making a will.

Annus luctus – The year of mourning.

Ante – Before.

Aqua currit et debet currere, ut currere solebat – Water runs and ought to run.

Arbitrium est judicium – An award is a judgment.

Arbor dum crescit; lignum cum crescere nescit – A tree while it grows, wood when it cannot grow.

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

Argumentum ab impossibilii plurimum valet in lege – An argument from impossibility is very strong in law.

Argumentum ad hominem – An argument directed a the person.

Argumentum ad ignoratiam – An argument based upon ignorance (i.e. of one’s adversary).

Arma in armatos sumere jura sinunt – The laws permit the taking up of arms against the armed.

Assentio mentium – The meeting of minds, i.e. mutual assent.

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

Audi alteram partem – Hear the other side.

Aula regis – The King’s Court.

Benignior sententia in verbis generalibus seu dubiis est preferenda – The more favorable construction is to be placed on general or doubtful words.

Bis dat qui cito dat – He gives (pays) twice who pays promptly.

Bona fide – Sincere, in good faith

Bona vacantia – Goods without an owner

Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem – It is the part of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction, i.e. remedial authority.

Boni judicis est judicium sine dilatione mandare executioni – It is the duty of a good judge to cause execution to issue on a judgment without delay.

Boni judicis lites dirimere est – It is the duty of a good judge to prevent litigation.

Bonus judex secundum aequum et bonum judicat et aequitatem stricto juri praefert – A good judge decides according to justice and right and prefers equity to strict law.

Breve judiciale non cadit pro defectu formae – A judicial writing does not fail through defect of form.

Cadit quaestio – The matter admits of no further argument.

Cassetur billa (breve) – Let the writ be quashed.

Casus fortuitus non est spectandus; et nemo tenetur divinare – A fortuitous event is not to be foreseen and no person is bound to divine it.

Catalla reputantur inter minima in lege – Chattels are considered in law among the minor things.

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

Caveat emptor – Let the purchaser beware.

Caveat venditor – Let the seller beware.

Cepi corpus et est languidum – I have taken the body and the prisoner is sick.

Cepi corpus et paratum habeo – I have taken the body and have it ready.

Ceteris paribus – Other things being equal.

Consensu – Unanimously or, by general consent.

Consensus ad idem – Agreement as to the same things.

Consuetudo loci observanda est – The custom of the place is to be observed.

Contemporanea expositio est optima et fortissima in lege – A contemporaneous exposition is best and most powerful in law.

Contra – To the contrary.

Contra bonos mores – Against good morals.

Contra non valentem agere nulla currit praescriptio – No prescription runs against a person not able to act.

Contractus est quasi actus contra actum – A contract is an act as it were against an act.

Conventio et modus vincunt legem – A contract and agreement overcome the law.

Conventio privatorum non potest publico juri derogare – An agreement of private persons cannot derogate from public right.

Coram Domino Rege – In the presence of our Lord the King.

Coram non judice – Before one who is not a judge.

Corpus – Body.

Corpus delicti – The body, i.e. the gist of crime.

Corpus humanum non recipit aestimationem – A human body is not susceptible of appraisement.

Crescente malitia crescere debet et poena – Vice increasing, punishment ought also to increase.

Crimen omnia ex se nata vitiat – Crime vitiates every thing, which springs from it.

Crimen trahit personam – The crime carries the person.

Cujus est dare, ejus est disponere – He who has a right to give has the right to dispose of the gift.

Cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad coelam; et ad inferos – He who owns the soil owns it up to the sky; and to its depth.

Cum duo inter se pugnantia reperiuntur in testamentis ultimum ratum est – When two things repugnant to each other are found in a will, the last is to be confirmed.

Cursus curiae est lex curiae – The practice of the court is the law of the court.

Custos morum – A guardian of morals.

Damnum sine injuria – damage without legal injury.

De bonis asportatis – Of goods carried away.

De bonis non administratis – Of goods not administered.

De die in diem – From day to day.

De facto – In fact.

De futuro – In the future.

De integro – As regards the whole.

De jure – Rightful, by right.

De minimis lex non curat – The law does not notice trifling matters.

De novo – Starting afresh.

Debile fundamentum fallit opus – Where there is a weak foundation, the work fails.

Debita sequuntur personam debitoria – Debts follow the person of the debtor.

Debitor non praesumitur donare – A debtor is not presumed to make a gift.

Debitum et contractus sunt nullius loci – Debt and contract are of no particular place.

Debitum in praesenti, solvendum in futuro – A present debt is to be discharged in the future.

Delegata potestas non potest delegari – A delegated authority cannot be again delegated.

Derivativa potestas non potest esse major primitiva – The power which is derived cannot be greater than that from which it is derived.

Deus solus haeredem facere potest, non homo – God alone, not man, can make an heir.

Dies Dominicus non est juridicus – Sunday is not a day in law.

Discretio est discernere per legem quid sit justum – Discretion is to discern through law what is just.

Doli incapax – Incapable of crime.

Dominium – Ownership.

Domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium – Every man s house is his safest refuge.

Dona clandestina sunt semper suspiciosa – Clandestine gifts are always suspicious.

Dormiunt leges aliquando, nunquam moriuntur – The laws sometimes sleep, but never die.

Doti lex favet; praemium pudoris est; ideo parcatur – The law favors dower; it is the reward of chastity, therefore let it be preserved.

Dubitante – Doubting the correctness of the decision.

Duo non possunt in solido unam rem possidere – Two cannot possess one thing each in entirety.

Ei incumbit probatio qui – The onus of proving a fact rests upon the man.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – The burden of the proof lies upon him who affirms, not he who denies.

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

Et cetera – Other things of that type.

Ex cathedra – With official authority.

Ex concessis – In view of what has already been accepted/

Ex dolo malo actio non oritur – A right of action cannot arise out of fraud.

Ex facie – On the fact of it.

Ex gratia – Out of kindness, voluntary.

Ex nihilo nil fit – From nothing nothing comes.

Ex nudo pacto actio non oritur – No action arises on a contract without a consideration.

Ex parte – Proceeding brought by one person in the absence of another.

Ex post facto – By reason of a subsequent act.

Ex praecedentibus et consequentibus optima fit interpretatio – The best interpretation is made from things preceding and following.

Ex turpi causa non oritur actio – No action arises on an immoral contract.

Exceptio probat regulam – An exception proves the rule.

Executio est executio juris secundum judicium – Execution is the fulfillment of the law in accordance with the judgment.

Executio est finis et fructus legis – An execution is the end and the fruit of the law.

Executio legis non habet injuriam – Execution of the law does no injury.

Extra legem positus est civiliter mortuus – One out of the pale of the law (i.e. an outlaw) is civilly dead.

Faciendum – Something which is to be done.

Factum – An act or deed.

Facultas probationum non est angustanda – The right of offering proof is not to be narrowed.

Falsa demonstratio non nocet – A false description does not vitiate.

Fatetur facinus qui judicium fugit – He who flees judgment confesses his guilt.

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas – Happy is he who has been able to understand the causes of things.

Felonia implicatur in qualibet proditione – Felony is implied in every treason.

Festinatio justitiae est noverca infortunii – The hurrying of justice is the stepmother of misfortune.

Fictio cedit veritati; fictio juris non est, ubi veritas – Fiction yields to truth. Where truth is, fiction of law does not exist.

Fides servanda est – Good faith is to be preserved.

Fieri facias (abreviated fi. fa.) – That you cause to be made.

Filiatio non potest probari – Filiation cannot be proved.

Firmior et potentior est operatio legis quam dispositio hominis – The operation of law is firmer and more powerful than the will of man.

Forma legalis forma essentialis est – Legal form is essential form.

Fortior est custodia legis quam hominis – The custody of the law is stronger than that of man.

Fractionem diei non recipit lex – The law does not regard a fraction of a day.

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

Fraus est odiosa et non praesumenda – Fraud is odious and is not to be presumed.

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

Fructus naturales – Vegetation which grows naturally without cultivation.

Frustra probatur quod probatum non relevat – That is proved in vain which when proved is not relevant.

Furor contrahi matrimonium non sinit, quia consensus opus est – Insanity prevents marriage from being contracted because consent is needed.

Generale nihil certum implicat – A general expression implies nothing certain.

Generalia praecedunt, specialia sequuntur – Things general precede, things special follow.

Generalia specialibus non derogant – Things general do not derogate from things special.

Generalis regula generaliter est intelligenda – A general rule is to be generally understood.

Gravius est divinam quam temporalem laedere majestatem – It is more serious to hurt divine than temporal majesty.



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