Legal Maxims

Nudum Pactum

Literal meaning A naked agreement Origin Latin Explanation The maxim denotes an agreement made without any consideration. As per law, for a contract to be valid it must show a mutual intent to contract including an offer, an acceptance, and a consideration. Thus, one...

Volenti Non-Fit Injuria

Literal Meaning To A Willing Person, No Injury Is Done Origin Latin Explanation It is one of the major defenses in the Law of Torts. As per this maxim, the person who himself voluntarily waived or abandoned his right cannot have any claim over it. It is a common law...

Lex Prospicit Non Respicit

Literal Meaning The Law looks forward, not backward. Origin Latin Explanation An established rule of interpretation of legislation is that unless a contrary intention appears, it is presumed not to be intended to have a retrospective operation. The idea behind this is...

Qui Facit Per Alium Facit Per Se

Literal Meaning He who acts through another does the act himself. Origin Latin Explanation The above maxim is similar in the sense of the Latin maxim - Respondeat Superior, which is a traditional basis of vicarious liability. It means, that an employer is liable for...

Respondeat Superior

Literal Meaning Let the Master Answer Origin Latin Explanation The above legal doctrine holds an employer or the principal legally responsible/ liable for the wrongful acts of an employee or agent when it occurs within the scope of the employment or agency. It is...

Mala Grammatica Non Vitiat Chartam

Literal Meaning Bad grammar does not vitiate a deed. Origin Latin Explanation This legal maxim denotes that a will cannot be invalidated merely based on bad grammar. This maxim is further continued with another maxim ‘Sed in expositione instrumentorem mala grammatica...

Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur

Literal Meaning Silence equals consent. Origin Latin Explanation One who remains silent is considered to approve. According to this maxim, we are considered to be consenting to trespass against us, if we say nothing or do nothing. Illustration A and B are siblings. A...

Nemo contra factum suum venire potest

Literal Meaning No one can go against his own act Origin Latin Explanation When a person has performed an act, it is binding on him and he/she cannot depart from that act or do anything contrary to it. No one can intervene in his/her own deed. The principle of...

Leges Posteriores Priores Abrogant

Literal Meaning Subsequent laws repeal prior conflicting ones Origin Latin Explanation This is also referred to as the doctrine of implied repeal which is a concept in the constitution where an act of Parliament conflicts with an earlier one, the later Act takes...

Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio

Literal Meaning No action arises from an immoral cause or base consideration. Origin Latin Explanation A person is not allowed to claim damages from the defendant if the plaintiff himself is involved or has committed an illegal act. The legal maxim Ex Turpi Causa Non...

Accusare Nemo Se Debet, Nisi Coram Deo

Literal Meaning No man is obliged to accuse himself except before God. Origin Latin Explanation This legal maxim denotes that any accused person is entitled to make a plea of not guilty, and also that a witness is not obliged to give a response or submit a document...

Actus Dei Nemini Facit Injuriam

Literal Meaning An act of God causes legal injury to no one. Origin Latin Explanation When an event is caused by the effect of nature without any human intervention, it is called ‘an act of God.’ No one is responsible for the inevitable accidents. The act of God...

Actus Non Facit Reum, Nisi Mens Sit Rea

Literal Meaning An act does not make one guilty unless there is a criminal intent. Origin Latin Explanation According to this maxim, to be guilty of a crime under criminal law, two elements are considered which include a guilty act and a guilty state of mind. Without...

Audi Alteram Partem

Literal Meaning Hear the other side or both the sides must be heard before passing any order. Origin Latin Explanation This doctrine gives a right that one shall not be condemned of anything without being heard. It is based on the principles of natural justice and...

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