Legal Maxims

Prohibition

Prohibition

Literal Meaning To forbid or to stop. It is popularly known as ‘Stay Order’. Explanation A writ of prohibition is issued primarily by a superior court to prevent an inferior court or tribunal from exceeding its jurisdiction in cases pending before it or acting...

Ab Extra

Ab Extra

Literal Meaning From without, from the outside Origin Latin Explanation The knowledge obtained from external sources refers to Ab Extra. This maxim deals with the situation in which, aside from the real source of it the source of something is. Where there is any...

Per Minas

Per Minas

Literal Meaning By means of menaces or threats Origin Latin Explanation When a person is forced to enter into a contract by threats or menaces, it can be called per minas. When a person fears death or any mayhem on not acting according to the threat, the person may...

Persona Non Grata

Persona Non Grata

Literal meaning Person not welcome Origin Latin Explanation This maxim has evolved in the field of diplomatic relations and such a declaration means that the foreign diplomat is unwelcome in that country; he is not permitted to enter or continue to stay in a...

Nolle Prosequi

Nolle Prosequi

Literal meaning Unwilling to pursue Origin Latin Explanation This maxim means that there is no longer a will to pursue the case forward. It is generally applied by a judge or the prosecutor with respect to a criminal case. In some instances, it is also used by a...

Animus Nocendi

Animus Nocendi

Literal meaning Mind to Harm Origin Latin Explanation In criminal jurisprudence, the maxim animus nocendi is indicative of a state of mind of the criminal offender. It denotes that the offender has the actual and exact knowledge of the criminal act that is being...

Contemporanea Expositio Est Optima Et Fortissmo in Lege

Contemporanea Expositio Est Optima Et Fortissmo in Lege

Literal Meaning The best way to construe a document is to read it as it would be read when it was made. Origin Latin Explanation This maxim is based on the principle of Salmond- “the essence of law lies in the spirit, not its letter or the latter is significant only...

Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus

Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus

Literal Meaning A person making contradictory allegations are not to be heard Origin Latin Explanation The legal maxim ‘Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus’ means that a person adducing to the contrary is not to be heard. This is the principle of good faith that a...

Pari Materia

Pari Materia

Literal Meaning Of the same matter; on the same subject Origin Latin Explanation The doctrine of Pari Materia is a useful tool for the interpretation of statutes that work towards the same objective. It is an ordinary rule of interpretation of statutes that the words...

Vigilantibus Non Dormientibus Jura Subveniunt

Vigilantibus Non Dormientibus Jura Subveniunt

Literal Meaning The law assists only those who are vigilant, and not those who sleep over their rights. Origin Latin Explanation The maxim refers to the obligation of individuals to not only be aware of their rights under the law, but also to be vigilant while...

Noscitur A Sociis

Noscitur A Sociis

Literal Meaning The meaning of a word may be known from accompanying words Origin Latin Explanation The above principle is a rule of construction and is one of the rules of interpretation that is used by the courts to interpret the legislation. The translation of...

Suppressio Veri or Suggestio Falsi

Suppressio Veri or Suggestio Falsi

Literal Meaning Suppression of truth or Suggestion of an untruth Origin Latin Explanation This maxim has emerged as a rule of equity, as well as a rule of law. It means that when with respect to a material fact of the case, either suppression of truth or suggestion of...

Fiat Iustitia Et Pereat Mundus

Fiat Iustitia Et Pereat Mundus

Literal meaning Let justice be done, though the world shall perish Origin Latin Explanation It is very aptly said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This sentence was the motto of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor. The maxim aptly summarises the...

Ei Incumbit Probatio, Qui Dicit, Non Qui Negat

Ei Incumbit Probatio, Qui Dicit, Non Qui Negat

Literal Meaning The burden of proof lies upon the person who affirms but not who denies. Origin Latin Explanation The principle as stated means that the onus to prove the guilt of the accused lies upon the person who affirms it i.e. it is the prosecution’s duty to...

Nunc Pro Tunc

Nunc Pro Tunc

Literal Meaning Now for Then Origin Latin Explanation According to this maxim, a court or party to a divorce forgets to file the papers necessary to obtain the final decree (after the interlocutory judgment has been granted), and the result is that the divorce never...

Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius

Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius

Literal meaning The explicit mention of one (thing) is the exclusion of another Origin Latin Explanation The legal maxim simply means that if one of the two possibilities of an event is talked about expressly, then the second possibility is kicked out by default....

Dubia In Meliorem Partem Interpretari Debent

Dubia In Meliorem Partem Interpretari Debent

Literal meaning Doubtful things should be interpreted in the best way Origin Latin Explanation This maxim is often abbreviated as “to give the benefit of the doubt”. It simply means that, if there is no prima facie or circumstantial evidence to prove a certain act,...

Nemo Cogitur Suam Rem Vendere Etiam Justo Pretio

Nemo Cogitur Suam Rem Vendere Etiam Justo Pretio

Literal meaning No one is bound to sell his own property, even for a just price. Origin Latin Explanation This legal maxim lays emphasis on the simple fact that no one can be forced or bound to sell his property, without his free consent to do so. It is a...

Dramatis Personae

Dramatis Personae

LITERAL MEANING Persons of the Play ORIGIN Latin EXPLANATION This Latin maxim is used to refer collectively to the characters represented in a dramatic work. This phrase is the conventional heading for a list of characters that are published in the play or theatrical...

Cuius Est Solum, Eius Est Usque Ad Coelum Et Ad Inferos

Cuius Est Solum, Eius Est Usque Ad Coelum Et Ad Inferos

Literal meaning Whoever's is the soil, it is theirs all the way to Heaven and all the way to Hell Abbreviated form ad coelum Origin Latin Explanation The maxim is based on the principle that governs the English property laws and solves the question regarding the...

Dies Dominicus Non Est Juridicus

Dies Dominicus Non Est Juridicus

Literal Meaning Sunday is not a day for judicial or legal proceedings Origin This Latin maxim has, at its origin, the 4th of the Ten Commandments, to keep Sunday ‘holy’; later, Sunday was said to be the day of the week upon which Jesus resurrected. Explanation It...

Nemo Judex In Causa Sua

Nemo Judex In Causa Sua

Literal meaning No one is a judge in his own case Origin Latin Explanation The underlying principle of the maxim says that, no one can judge his own case. It is said so because it contradicts the principles of natural justice. The principles of natural justice include...

Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam

Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam

Literal Meaning The perpetual memory of the matter. Origin Latin Explanation This maxim was generally used in Roman Documents. It's written at the end of the document to show that it is “permanent” and “trustworthy”. It’s also used in depositions to preserve the...