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Literal Meaning



Latin term; in Roman law – Legal or lawful action; actions of or at law


The legis actiones is the oldest known form of civil procedure in the history of Roman law. The peculiar aspect of a trial in an action under the legis actiones process was distinguished by the separation of the trials into two stages, the first of which took place before a magistrate, in whose oversight all the preliminaries were conducted, and the second, in which the matter was finally determined, was performed before a judge.

According to Roman law, the trial itself was divided into two parts. The first was a summary examination before a judge who determined whether there was a question to be investigated and if so, what it was. After the issues had been enumerated and the safeguards established, the parties decided to prosecute the case with a judex, who was not a prosecutor nor a magistrate but a famous layman. The hearings before the Judex were more informal: advocates brought out claims, offered testimony and listened to witnesses. The Judex made a statement but had no administrative authority.

A judex is a private person appointed in Roman law to hear and determine a case and corresponding most nearly to a modern referee or an arbitrator appointed by the court.

Case Laws

In Mithlesh Rani vs. The State Transport Appellate tribunal it was held that, in legal terminology, it has the sense of directions sent by the Magistrate to the Judge for the disposition of cases, with respect to which the legis actions (forms of actions) were inadequate. Word ‘formulate’ thus is to be understood as to express in a formula, or as a formula; or to put or State in exact, concise and systematic form.

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