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Legal Latin phrases and maxims

Legal Latin phrases and maxims

Source: In rebus



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.


Habeas corpus - That you have the body.

Habemus optimum testem confitentem reum - We have the best witness, a confessing defendant.

Haeredem est nomen collectum - Heir is a collective name.

Haeres est nomen juris, filius est nomen naturae - Heir is a term of law, son, one of nature.

Haeres legitimus est quem nuptiae demonstrant - He is the lawful heir whom the marriage indicates.

Homo vocabulum est naturae; persona juris civilis - Man is a term of nature, person of the civil law.


Id est (i.e) - That is.

Id quod commune est, nostrum esse dicitur - That which is common is said to be ours.

Idem - The same person or thing.

Idem nihil dicere et insufficienter dicere est - It is the same to say nothing as not to say enough.

Ignorantia facti excusat, ignorantia juris non excusat - Ignorance of fact excuses, ignorance of law does not excuse.

Imperium in imperio - A sovereignty within a sovereignty.

Impotentia excusat legem - Impossibility is an excuse in the law.

Impunitas semper ad deteriora invitat - Impunity always leads to greater crimes.

In aequali jure melior est conditio possidentis - When the parties have equal rights, the condition of the possessor is better.

In alta proditione nullus potest esse acessorius; sed principalis solum modo - In high treason no one can be an accessory; but a principal only.

In Anglia non est interregnum - In England there is no interregnum.

In camera - In private.

In casu extremae necessitatis omnia sunt communia - In a case of extreme necessity everything is common.

In criminalibus probationes debent esse luce clariores - In criminal cases the proofs ought to be cleared than the light.

In curia domini regis, ipse in propria persona jura discernit - In the King s Court, the King himself in his own person dispenses justice.

In delicto - At fault.

In esse - In existence.

In extenso - At full length.

In fictione legis aequitas existit - A legal fiction is consistent with equity.

In foro conscientiae - In the forum of conscience.

In futoro - In the future.

In jure non remota causa sed proxima spectatur - In law not the remote but the proximate cause is looked at.

In limine - At the outset, on the threshold.

In loco parentis - In place of the parent.

In mortua manu - In a dead hand.

In novo casu novum remedium apponendum est - In a new case a new remedy is to be applied.

In omni re nascitur res quae ipsam rem exterminat - In everything is born that which destroys the thing itself.

In omnibus - In every respect.

In pari delicto potior est conditio possidentis - When the parties are equally in the wrong the condition of the possessor is better.

In personam - Against the person.

In pleno - In full.

In quo quis delinquit in eo de jure est puniendus - In whatever thing one offends in that he is to be punished according to law.

In re dubia magis inficiatio quam affirmatio intelligenda - In a doubtful matter the negative is to be understood rather than the affirmative.

In republica maxime conservanda sunt jura belli - In a State the laws of war are to be especially observed.

In situ - In its place.

In terrorem - As a warning or deterrent.

In testamentis plenius testatoris intentionem scrutamur - In wills we seek diligently the intention of the testator.

In traditionibus scriptorum non quod dictum est, sed quod gestum est, inspicitur - In the delivery of writings (deeds), not what is said but what is done is to be considered.

In verbis, non verba sed res et ratio quaerenda est - In words, not words, but the thing and the meaning are to be inquired into.

Indicia - Marks, signs.

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

Intentio inservire debet legibus, non leges intentioni - Intention ought to be subservient to the laws, not the laws to the intention.

Inter alia - Amongst other things.

Interest reipublicae res judicatas non rescindi - It is in the interest of the State that things adjudged be not rescinded.

Interest reipublicae suprema hominum testamenta rata haberi - It is in the interest of the State that men s last wills be sustained.

Interest reipublicae ut quilibet re sua bene utatur - It is in the interest of the State that every one use properly his own property.

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

Interim - Temporary, in the meanwhile.

Interpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus - To interpret and harmonize laws is the best method of interpretation.

Interpretatio fienda est ut res magis valeat quam pereat - Such a construction is to be made that the thing may have effect rather than it should fail.

Interruptio multiplex non tollit praescriptionem semel obtentam - Repeated interruption does not defeat a prescription once obtained.

Invito beneficium non datur - A benefit is not conferred upon one against his consent.

Ipsissima verba - The very words of a speaker.

Ipso facto - By that very fact.

Ira furor brevis est - Anger is brief insanity.

Iter arma leges silent - In war the laws are silent.


Judex est lex loquens - A judge is the law speaking.

Judex non potest esse testis in propira causa - A judge cannot be witness in his own cause.

Judex non potest injuriam sibi datam punire - A judge cannon punish a wrong done to himself.

Judex non reddit plus quam quod petens ipse requirit - A judge does not give more than the plaintiff himself demands.

Judiciis posterioribus fides est adhibenda - Faith must be given to later decisions.

Judicis est judicare secundum allegata et probata - It is the duty of a judge to decide according to the allegations and the proofs.

Judicium non debet esse illusorium, suum effectum habere debet - A judgment ought not to be illusory; it ought to have its proper effect.

Juduces non tenentur exprimere causam sententiae suae - Judges are not bound to explain the reason of their judgment.

Jura naturae sunt immutabilia - The laws of nature are immutable.

Jura publica anteferenda privatis juribus - Public rights are to be preferred to private rights.

Juramentum est indivisibile et non est admittendum in parte verum et in parte falsum - An oath is indivisible and it is not to be held partly true and partly false.

Jurare est Deum in testem vocare, et est actus divini cultus - To swear is to call God to witness and is an act of divine worship.

Jus - A right that is recognised in law.

Jus accrescendi praefertur oneribus - The right of survivorship is preferred to incumbrances.

Jus ad rem; jus in re - A right to a thing; a right in a thing.

Jus dicere, non jus dare - To declare the law, not to make the law.

Jus est norma recti; et quicquid est contra normam recti est injuria - The law is a rule of right; and whatever is contrary to a rule of right is an injury.

Jus naturale - Natural justice.

Jus naturale est quod apud omnes homines eandem habet potentiam - Natural right is that which has the same force among all men.

Jus scriptum aut non scriptum - The written law or the unwritten law.

Jusjurandum inter alios factum nec nocere nec prodesse debet - An oath made between third parties ought neither to hurt nor profit.

Justitia est duplec; severe puniens et vere praeveniens - Justice is two-fold; severely punishing and in reality prohibiting (offences).

Justitia firmatur solium - The throne is established by justice.

Justitia nemini neganda est - Justice is to be denied to no one.


Leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant - Subsequent laws repeal prior conflicting ones.

Legibus sumptis desinentibus legibus naturae utendum est - When laws imposed by the State fail, we must use the laws of nature.

Lex aliquando sequitur aequitatem - The law sometimes follows equity.

Lex citius tolerare vult privatum damnum quam publicum malum - The law would rather tolerate a private injury than a public evil.

Lex dabit remedium - The law will give a remedy.

Lex dilationes abhorret - The law abhors delays.

Lex est judicum tutissimus ductor - The law is the safest guide for judges.

Lex est sanctio sancta jubens honesta et prohibens contraria - The law is a sacred sanction, commanding what is right and prohibiting the contrary.

Lex indendit vicinum vicini facta scire - The law presumes that one neighbor knows the acts of another.

Lex necessitatis est lex temporis i.e. instantis - The law of necessity is the law of time, that is time present.

Lex neminem cogit ad vana seu impossiblia - The law compels no one to do vain or impossible things.

Lex nil frustra facit - The law does nothing in vain.

Lex non a rege est violanda - The law must not be violated even by the King.

Lex non deficere potest in justitia exhibenda - The law cannot fail in dispensing justice.

Lex non novit patrem, nec matrem; solam veritatem - The law does not know neither father nor mother, only the truth.

Lex non oritur ex injuria - The law does not arise from a mere injury.

Lex non requirit verificari quod apparet curiae - The law does not require that to be proved which is apparent to the Court.

Lex non favet delicatorum votis - The law does not favor the wishes of the dainty.

Lex plus laudatur quando ratione probatur - The law is the more praised when it is supported by reason.

Lex prospicit not respicit - The law looks forwared, not backward.

Lex punit mendaciam - The law punishes falsehood.

Lex rejicit superflua, pugnatia, incongrua - The law rejects superfluous, contradictory and incongruous things.

Lex spectat naturae ordinem - The law regards the order of nature.

Lex succurrit ignoranti - The law succors the ignorant.

Lex tutissima cassis, sub clypeo legis nemo decipitur - Law is the safest helmet; under the shield of the law no one is deceived.

Lex uno ore omnes alloquitur - The law speaks to all through one mouth.

Longa possessio est pacis jus - Long possession is the law of peace.

Longa possessio parit jus possidendi et tollit actionem vero domino - Long possession produces the right of possession and takes away from the true owner his action.


Magister rerum usus; magistra rerum experientia - Use is the master of things; experience is the mistress of things.

Major continet in se minus - The greater contains the less.

Majus est delictum se ipsum occidere quam alium - It is a greater crime to kill one s self than another.

Mala fide - In bad faith.

Mala grammatica non vitiat chartam - Bad grammar does not vitiate a deed.

Mala in se - Bad in themselves.

Mala prohibita - Crimes prohibited.

Malitia supplet aesatem - Malice supplies age.

Malo animo - With evil intent.

Mandamus - We command.

Maximus magister erroris populus est - The people are the greatest master of error.

Melior est conditio possidentis, ubi neuter jus habet - Better is the condition of the possessor where neither of the two has the right.

Melior testatoris in testamentis spectanda est - In wills the intention of a testator is to be regarded.

Meliorem conditionem suam facere potest minor deteriorem nequaquam - A minor can make his position better, never worse.

Mens rea - Guilty state of mind.

Mentiri est contra mentem ire - To lie is to act against the mind.

Merito beneficium legis amittit, qui legem ipsam subvertere intendit - He justly loses the benefit of the law who seeks to infringe the law.

Minatur innocentibus qui parcit nocentibus - He threatens the innocent who spares the guilty.

Misera est servitus, ubi jus est vagum aut incertum - It is a miserable slavery where the law is vague or uncertain.

Mors dicitur ultimum supplicium - Death is called the extreme penalty.

Muilta exercitatione facilius quam regulis percipies - You will perceive many things more easily by experience than by rules.


Nam nemo haeres viventis - For no one is an heir of a living person.

Naturae vis maxima est - The force of nature is the greatest.

Necessitas inducit privilegium quoad jura privata - With respect to private rights necessity induces privilege.

Necessitas non habet legem - Necessity has no law.

Necessitas publica est major quam privata - Public necessity is greater than private necessity.

Negligentia semper habet infortuniam comitem - Negligence always has misfortune for a companion.

Nemo admittendus est inhabilitare se ipsum - No one is allowed to incapacitate himself.

Nemo bis punitur pro eodem delicto - No one can be twice punished for the same offence.

Nemo cogitur suam rem vendere, etiam justo pretio - No one is bound to sell his own property, even for a just price.

Nemo contra factum suum venire potest - No man can contradict his own deed.

Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa - No one can be judge in his own case.

Nemo plus juris transferre ad alium potest quam ipse habet - No one can transfer to another a larger right than he himself has.

Nemo potest contra recordum verificare per patriam - No one can verify by the country, that is, through a jury, against the record.

Nemo potest esse tenens et dominus - No one can at the same time be a tenant and a landlord (of the same tenement).

Nemo potest facere per alium, quod per se non potest - No one can do through another what he cannot do himself.

Nemo potest mutare consilium suum in alterius injuriam - No one can change his purpose to the injury of another.

Nemo praesumitur esse immemor suae aeternae salutis et maxime in articulo mortis - No one is presumed to be forgetful of his eternal welfare, and particularly in the hour of death.

Nemo prohibetur pluribus defensionibus uti - No one is forbidden to make use of several defences.

Nemo punitur pro alieno delicto - No one is punished for the crime of another.

Nemo se accusare debet, nisi coram Deo - No one should accuse himself except in the presence of God.

Nemo tenetur accusare se ipsum nisi coram Deo - No one is bound to accuse himself except in the presence of God.

Nemo tenetur armare adversarium contra se - No one is bound to arm his adversary against himself.

Nexus - Connection

Nihil quod est inconveniens est licitum - Nothing inconvenient is lawful.

Nil facit error nominis cum de corpore constat - An error of name makes not difference when it appears from the body of the instrument.

Nisi - Unless

Non compus mentis - Not of sound mind and understanding

Non constat - It is not certain

Non decipitur qui scit se decipi - He is not deceived who knows that he is deceived.

Non definitur in jure quid sit conatus - What an attempt is, is not defined in law.

Non est arctius vinculum inter homines quam jusjurandum - There is no stronger link among men than an oath.

Non est factum - It is not his deed

Non est informatus - He is not informed.

Non facias malum ut inde veniat bonum - You shall not do evil that good may come of it.

Non jus, sed seisina, facit stipitem - Not right, but seisin makes a stock (from which the inheritance must descend).

Non refert quid notum sit judici si notum non sit in forma judicii - It matters not what is known to the judge if it is not known judicially.

Non sequitur - An inconsistent statement, it does not follow

Nullus commodum capere potest ex sua injuria propria - No one can derive an advantage from his own wrong.

Nullus recedat e curia cancellaria sine remedio - No one should depart from a Court of Chancery without a remedy.


Omne sacramentum debet esse de certa scientia - Every oath ought to be of certain knowledge.

Omnia delicta in aperto leviora sunt - All crimes (committed) in the open are (considered) lighter.

Omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem - All things are presumed against a wrongdoer.

Omnis innovatio plus novitate perturbat quam utilitate prodeat - Every innovation disturbs more by its novelty than it benefits by its utility.

Optima legum interpres est consuetudo - The best interpreter of laws is custom.

Optimus interpres rerum est usus - The best interpreter of things is usage.


Pacta privata juri publico non derogare possunt - Private contracts cannot derogate from public law.

Par delictum - Equal fault.

Pari passu - On an equal footing.

Partus sequitur ventrem - The offspring follows the mother.

Pater est quem nuptiae demonstrant - The father is he whom the marriage points out.

Peccata contra naturam sunt gravissima - Wrongs against nature are the most serious.

Pendente lite nihil innovetur - During litigation nothing should be changed.

Per curiam - In the opinion of the court.

Per minas - By means of menaces or threats.

Per quod - By reason of which.

Post mortem - After death.

Prima facie - On the face of it.

Prima impressionis - On first impression.

Pro hac vice - For this occasion.

Pro rata - In proportion.

Pro tanto - So far, to that extent.

Pro tempore - For the time being.

Publici juris - Of public right.


Quaeitur - The question is raised.

Quantum - How much, an amount.

Qui facit per alium, facit per se - He who acts through another acts himself.

Qui haeret in litera, haeret in cortice - He who stices to the letter, sticks to the bark.

Qui in utero est, pro jam nato habetur, quoties de ejus commodo quaeritur - He who is in the womb is considered as already born as far as his benefit is considered.

Qui non habet potestatem alienandi, habet necessitatem retinendi - He who has not the power of alienating is under the necessity of retaining.

Qui non habet, ille non dat - He who has not, does not give.

Qui non improbat, approbat - He who does not disapprove, approves.

Qui non obstat quod obstare potest facere videtur - He who does not prevent what he is able to prevent, is considered as committing the thing.

Qui non prohibet quod prohibere potest assentire videtur - He who does not prohibit when he is able to prohibit, is in fault.

Qui peccat ebrius, luat sobrius - He who does wrong when drunk must be punished when sober.

Qui potest et debet vetare et non vetat jubet - He who is able and ought to forbit and does not, commands.

Qui prior est tempore potior est jure - He who is prior in time is stronger in right.

Qui sentit commodum, debet et sentire onus - He who derives a benefit ought also to bear a burden.

Qui tacet consentire videtur - He who is silent appears to consent.

Quid pro quo - Consideration. something for something.

Quidcquid plantatur solo, solo cedit - Whatever is planted in or affixed to the soil, belongs to the soil.

Quod ab initio non valet, in tractu temporis non convalescit - What is not valid in the beginning does not become valid by time.

Quod constat curiae opere testium non indiget - What appears to the Court needs not the help of witnesses.

Quod necessarie intelligitur, id non deest - What is necessarily understood is not wanting.

Quod necessitas cogit, defendit - What necessity forces it justifies.

Quod non apparet, non est - What does not appear, is not.

Quod non habet principium non habet finem - What has no beginning has no end.

Quod per me non possum, nec per alium - What I cannot do through myself, I cannot do through another.

Quod prius est verius est; et quod prius est tempore potius est jure - What is first is more true; and what is prior in time is stronger in law.

Quod vanum et inutile est, lex non requirit - The law does not require what is vain and useless.

Quoties in verbis nulla est ambiguitas, ibi nulla expositio contra verba expressa fienda est - When there is no ambiguity in words, then no exposition contrary to the expressed words is to be made.


Ratio est legis anima, mutata legis ratione mutatur et lex - Reason is the soul of the law; when the reason of the law changes the law also is changed.

Re - In the matter of.

Reprobata pecunia leberat solventem - Money refused releases the debtor.

Res - Matter, affair, thing, circumstance.

Res gestae - Things done.

Res integra - A matter untouched (by decision).

Res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet - Things done between strangers ought not to affect a third person, who is a stranger to the transaction.

Res judicata accipitur pro veritate - A thing adjudged is accepted for the truth.

Res nulis - Nobody s property.

Respondeat superior - Let the principal answer.

Rex est major singulis, minor universis - The King is greater than individuals, less than all the people.

Rex non debet judicare sed secundum legem - The King ought not to judge but according to the law.

Rex non potest peccare - The King can do no wrong.

Rex nunquma moritur - The King never dies.

Rex quod injustum est facere non potest - The King cannot do what is unjust.


Salus populi est suprema lex - The safety of the people is the supreme law.

Sciens - Knowingly.

Scienter - Knowingly.

Scire facias - That you cause to know.

Scribere est agere - To write is to act.

Se defendendo - In self defence.

Secus - The legal position is different, it is otherwise.

Semper praesumitur pro legitimatione puerorum - Everything is presumed in favor of the legitimacy of children.

Semper pro matriomonio praesumitur - It is always presumed in favor of marriage.

Sententia interlocutoria revocari potest, definitiva non potest - An interlocutory order can be revoked, a final order cannot be.

Servitia personalia sequuntur personam - Personal services follow the person.

Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas - So use your own as not to injure another s property.

Simplex commendatio non obligat - A simple recommendation does not bind.

Stare decisis - To stand by decisions (precedents).

Stet - Do not delete, let it stand.

Sub modo - Within limits.

Sub nomine - Under the name of.

Sub silentio - In silence.

Sublata causa, tollitur effectus - The cause being removed, the effect ceases.

Sublato fundamento, cadit opus - The foundation being removed, the structure falls.

Subsequens matrimonium tollit peccatum praecedens - A subsequent marriage removes the preceding wrong.

Suggestio falsi - The suggestion of something which is untrue.

Sui generis - Unique.

Summa ratio est quae pro religione facit - The highest reason is that which makes for religion, i.e. religion dictates.

Suppressio veri - The suppression of the truth.

Suppressio veri expressio falsi - A suppression of truth is equivalent to an expression of falsehood.


Talis qualis - Such as it is.

Terra firma - Solid ground.

Testamenta latissimam interpretationem habere debent - Testaments ought to have the broadest interpretation.

Traditio loqui chartam facit - Delivery makes a deed speak.

Transit terra cum onere - The land passes with its burden.


Ubi eadem ratio ibi idem jus, et de similibus idem est judicium - When there is the same reason, then the law is the same, and the same judgment should be rendered as to similar things.

Ubi jus ibi remedium est - Where there is a right there is a remedy.

Ubi non est principalis, non potest esse accessorius - Where there is no principal, there can be no accessory.

Ubi nullum matrimonium, ibi nulla dos es - Where there is no marriage, there is no dower.

Ultima voluntas testatoris est perimplenda secundum veram intentionem suam - The last will of a testator is to be fulfilled according to his true intentio.

Ut poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes, perveniat - That punishment may come to a few, the fear of it should affect all.

Utile per inutile non vitiatur - What is useful is not vitiated by the useless.


Verba chartarum fortius accipiuntur contra preferentem - The words of deeds are accepted more strongly against the person offering them.

Verba debent intelligi cum effectu - Words ought to be understood with effect.

Verba intentioni, non e contra, debent inservire - Words ought to serve the intention, not the reverse.

Verbatim - Word by word, exactly.

Vi et armis - With the force and arms.

Via antiqua via est tuta - The old way is the safe way.

Vice versa - The other way around.

Vide - See.

Vigilantibus non dormientibus jura subveniunt - The laws serve the vigilant, not those who sleep.

Vir et uxor consentur in lege una persona - A husband and wife are regarded in law as one person.

Visitationem commendamus - We recommend a visitation.

Volens - Willing.

Volenti non fit injuria - An injury is not done to one consenting to it.

Voluntas in delictis non exitus spectatur - In offences the intent and not the result is looked at.

Voluntas reputatur pro facto - The will is taken for the deed.


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