Legal Maxims Notes | Study Legal Reasoning for CLAT - CLAT

CLAT: Legal Maxims Notes | Study Legal Reasoning for CLAT - CLAT

The document Legal Maxims Notes | Study Legal Reasoning for CLAT - CLAT is a part of the CLAT Course Legal Reasoning for CLAT.
All you need of CLAT at this link: CLAT

Legal maxim, a broad proposition (usually stated in a fixed Latin form), a number of which have been used by lawyers since the 17th century or earlier. Some of them can be traced to early Roman law.

  • Most lawyers love to throw around Latin phrases. The reason for this is that ancient Rome's legal system has had a strong influence on the legal systems of most western countries. After all, at one time, the Romans had conquered most of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
  • The Roman motto was divide et impera (dee-vee-deh eht im-peh-rah) — "divide and conquer." As they conquered nations, they set out to "Latinize" the "barbarians" (anyone who wasn't Roman). Their goal was to teach them how to think, act, and be like real Romans. As the Roman Empire slowly crumbled and disappeared, the new orders in all these lands gradually adapted to the existing legal system. This is why lawyers today love those Latin phrases!

Legal Maxims Notes | Study Legal Reasoning for CLAT - CLAT

Important Legal Maxims

  • A Priori ➜ From the Antecedent to the Consequent.
  • Ab initio ➜ From the beginning.
  • Action mixta ➜ Mixed action.
  • Actio personalis moritur cum persona ➜ A personal right of action dies with the person.
  • Actionable per se ➜ The very act is punishable and no proof of damage is required.
  • Actus Curiae Neminem Gravabit ➜ Act of the Court shall prejudice no one.
  • Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea ➜ An act does not make a man guilty unless there be guilty intention. 
  • Actus reus ➜ Wrongful act.
  • Addendum  A thing to be added.
  • Ad hoc ➜ For the particular end or case at hand.
  • Ad idem ➜ At the same point.
  • Ad litem ➜ Referring to the case at law.
  • Ad valorem ➜ According to the value.
  • Affidavit ➜ A sworn written statement usable as evidence in court.
  • A fortiori ➜ For a stronger reason.
  • Alibi ➜ At another place, elsewhere
  • Alieni juris of another’s right ➜ Of another’s right.
  • Aliunde ➜ From another source.
  • Amicus Curiae ➜ A friend of court or member of the Bar who is appointed to assist the Court.
  • Animus possidendi ➜ Intention to possess.
  • Ante ➜  Before
  • Audi alteram partem ➜ Hear the other side.
  • Autrefois acquit ➜ Previously acquitted.
  • Benami ➜ Nameless.
  • Bona fide ➜ In good faith, genuine.
  • Bona vacantia ➜ Property with no owner or which does not have an obvious owner and which usually passes to the crown.
  • Caveat ➜ A caution registered with the public court to indicate to the officials that they are not to act in the matter mentioned in the caveat without first giving notice to the caveator.
  • Caveat actor ➜ Let the doer beware.
  • Caveat emptor ➜ Let the buyer beware.
  • Caveat venditor ➜ Let the seller beware.
  • Certiorari ➜ A writ by which orders passed by an inferior court is quashed.
  • Consensus ad idem ➜ Agreement as to the same thing (Meeting of the minds)
  • Corpus ➜ Body
  • Corpus delicti ➜ The facts that constitute an offence.
  • Corpus legis ➜ Body of laws.
  • Corrigenda ➜ A list of things to be corrected (in a book).
  • Curriculum vitae  The course of one's life.
  • Cy pres ➜ As nearly as may be practicable/possible.
  • Champerty ➜ Financial help given to a person starting a proceeding against a party, where the person giving help has a share in the damages to be recovered.
  • Damnum sine injuria ➜ Damage without injury.
  • Defacto ➜ In fact. (As a matter of fact).
  • De jure ➜ “By law” (where the legal title is clear).
  • Dehors ➜ Outside, foreign to (French term).
  • De novo ➜ To make something anew.
  • Dies non ➜ Day on which no legal business is transacted. E.g. Bank holiday, National holiday.
  • Del credere agent ➜ Is a mercantile agent who in consideration of extra remuneration called a del credere commission undertakes to indemnify his principle against loss arising from the failure of persons with whom he enters a contract.
  • Delegatus non potest delegare ➜ A delegate cannot further delegate.
  • Dictum ➜ Statement of law made by judge in the course of the decision but not necessary to the decision itself.
  • Dispono ➜ Convey legally.
  • De Minimis non curat lex ➜ The law not deal with trivial things.
  • Detinue ➜ Tort of wrongfully holding goods which belong to someone else.
  • Dictum ➜ Saying or statement made by a judge.
  • Denatio mortis causa ➜ Gift because of death.
    Try yourself: Bona Vacantia means _______
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  • Ejusdem Generis ➜ Of the same kind or nature. Where there are general words following particular and specific words, the general words must be confined to things of the same kind as those specified.
  • Estoppel ➜ Prevented from denying.
  • Ex nudo pacto actio non oritur ➜ No action arises on a contract without a consideration.
  • Ex parte ➜ Proceedings in the absence of the other party.
  • Ex post facto  By reason of a subsequent act
  • Ex turpi causa non oritur actio ➜ No action arises from an illegal or immoral cause.
  • Ex gratia  ➜ As a favour.
  • Ex officio ➜ Because of an office held.
  • Expressio unius est exclusio alterius ➜ The mention that one thing is included implies that another thing is expressly excluded.
  • Fatum ➜ Beyond human foresight.
  • Fait accompli ➜ Things done and no longer worth arguing against; an accomplished act.
  • Factum  An act or deed.
  • Factum probanda ➜ Fact in issue, which is to be proved.
  • Factum probans ➜ Relevant fact.
  • Ferae naturae ➜ Dangerous by nature; of a wild nature.
  • Force majeure ➜ Circumstance beyond one’s control, irresistible force or compulsion.
  • Functus officio ➜ No longer having power or jurisdiction.
  • Habeas corpus ➜ A wirt to have the body of a person to be brought in before the judge.
  • Ignorantia facti excusat, ignorantia juris non excusat  Ignorance of fact excuses, ignorance of law does not excuse.
  • Ignorantia legis neminem excusat ➜ Ignorance of law is no excuse.
  • Injuria sine damno ➜ Injury without damage.
  • Injuria non excusat injuriam  A wrong does not excuse a wrong.
  • Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium ➜ State or public interest requires that there should be a limit to litigation.
  • Ipso facto ➜ By the very nature of the case; by the mere fact.
  • In camera  In private

  • In limine  At the outset, on the threshold

  • In personam  Against the person

  • In situ  In its place

  • In prompt ➜ In readiness.
  • In posse ➜ In a state of possibility.
  • In lieu of ➜ Instead of.
  • Inter alia ➜ Among other things.
  • Inter se ➜ Among themselves.
  • In spece ➜ In kind.
  • Inter vivos ➜ Between living persons.
  • Intra vires ➜ Within the powers.
  • Inter alia  Amongst other things

  • Interim  Temporary, in the meanwhile

  • Ipso facto  By that very fact

  • In personam ➜ A proceeding in which relief is sought against a specific person.
  • Id or idem  ➜ The same thing or the same person.
  • In forma pauperis ➜  As a poor person.
  • Innuendo ➜ Spoken words which are defamatory because they have a double meaning.
  • In status quo ➜ In the present state.
  • In terrorem In order to cause terror.
  • Intestate ➜ To die without making a Will.
  • Jus ➜ Law or right.
  • Jus in personam ➜ Right against a specific person.
  • Jus in rem ➜ Right against the world at large.
  • Jus naturale  Natural justice.
  • Jus non scriptum ➜ Unwritten law; Customary Law.
  • Jus scriptum ➜ Written Law.
  • Jetsam ➜ Cargo which is thrown off a sinking ship.
  • Jurat Words at the end of an affidavit, showing the details of when and by whom it was sworn.
  • Lex Mercatoria ➜ The law merchant. It is a body of legal principles founded on the customs of merchants in their dealings with each other, and though at first distinct from the common law, afterwards became incorporated into it.
  • Lex fori ➜ Law of the place where the cases been heard.
  • Lex loci ➜ Law of the place.
  • Lex loci actus ➜ Law of the place where the act took place.
  • Lex Scripta  The written law
  • Lis ➜ A suit legal action.
    Try yourself:What is the legal maxim for 'Spoken words which are defamatory because they have a double meaning.?
     
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  • Locus standi ➜ Right of a party to an action to appear and be heard by the court.
  • Laissez-faire ➜ Political theory where a government does nothing to control the.
  • Mala fide ➜ In bad faith.
  • Mandamus ➜ We command. A writ of command issued by a Higher Court to Government / Public Authority, to compel the performance of a public duty.
  • Mens rea ➜ Guilty mind.
  • Mansuetae naturae ➜ Harmless or tame by nature.
  • Mesne profits ➜ The rents and profits which a trespasser has received/made during his occupation of premises, which are lost to the actual owner.
  • Misnomer ➜ A wrong or inaccurate name or term.
  • M’ Naghten Rules ➜ Rules which a judge applies in deciding if a person charged with a crime is insane.
  • Modus operandi ➜ Way of working.
  • Modus Vivendi ➜ Way of living.
  • Mutatis mutandis  The necessary changes having been made
  • Nemo dat quod non habet ➜ No one can give what he does not have.
  • Necessitas non habet legem  Necessity has no law
  • Nemo debet bis puniri pro unodelicito  No one can be twice punished for the same offence
  • Non compus mentis  Not of sound mind and understanding
  • Nonfeasance ➜ Not doing something which should be done by law.
  • Novation ➜ Transaction in which a new contract is agreed by parties to replace an existing contract.
  • Obiter dictum ➜ A saying by the way. An incidental opinion expressed by a judge, which is not binding.
  • Onus Probandi ➜ Burden of proof.
  • Obiter dicta ➜ Things which are said in passing.
    Try yourself:Delegatus non potest delegare means ____________
    View Solution
  • Pari passu ➜ On equal footing or proportionately.
  • Per capita  Per head
  • Per se ➜ By itself; taken alone.
  • Prima facie ➜ At first sight; on the face of it.
  • Pro bono public ➜ For the public good.
  • Pro rata  In proportion
  • Palimony ➜ Money which a court orders a man to pay regularly to a woman with whom he been living and from whom he has separated.
  • Per curiam ➜ By a court.
  • Per incuriam ➜ Because of lack of care.
  • Privity of contract ➜ Relationship between the parties to a contract make it valid.
  • Qua  In so far as.
  • Quantum meruit  As much as he/she deserved.
  • Quasi  As if
  • Qui facit per alium, facit per se  He who acts through another acts himself.
  • Qui non improbat, approbat  He who does not disapprove,approves
  • Quorum  Of whom
  • Quo Warranto ➜ By what authority. A writ calling upon one to show under what authority he holds or claims a public office.
  • Quid pro Quo ➜ Something for something (action done in return for something done) or consideration.
  • Ratio decidendi ➜ Principle or reason underlying a court judgment.
  • Referendum  Something to be referred.
  • Res judicata ➜ A decision once rendered by a competent court on a matter in issue between the parties after a full enquiry should not be permitted to be agitated again.
  • Res ipsa loquitur ➜ The thing speaks for itself.
  • Respondeat superior ➜ Let the principal be liable.
  • Res sub judice ➜ Matter in course of trial.
  • Res gestae ➜ Facts surrounding or relevant to a case and admissible as evidence.
  • Salus populi est suprema lex  The safety of the people is the supreme law.
  • Sine die  Without a day (indefinitely).
  • Sine qua non  Something/someone indispensable.
  • Stare decisis  To stand by decisions (precedents).
  • Status quo  The current state of being.
  • Sub judice  Before a court.
  • Sub poena  Under penalty of law.
  • Sui generis  Of his/her/its kind, Unique.
  • Suppressio veri  The suppression of the truth.
  • Supra  Above or on an earlier page.
  • Suo Motu ➜ On its own motion.
  • Sans recours ➜ With no recourse.
  • Uberrimae fidei ➜ Of utmost good faith; of the fullest confidence.
  • Ubi jus, ibi remedium ➜ Where there is a right, there is a remedy.
  • Ultra vires ➜ Beyond the scope, power or authority.
  • Vis major ➜  Act of God; irresistible forces.
  • Volenti non fit injuria ➜ Damage suffered by consent gives no cause of action.
  • Veto ➜ Ban or order not to allow something to become law, even if it has been passed by a parliament.
  • Vice versa ➜ Reverse position.
  • Vexatious ➜ Annoying, done in order to annoy.
  • Verbatim ➜ Word by word, exactly
  • Vox populi ➜ Popular opinion
  • Waiver ➜ Voluntarily giving up or removing the conditions.

Try yourself:Ubi jus, ibi remedium means_____-
View Solution

The document Legal Maxims Notes | Study Legal Reasoning for CLAT - CLAT is a part of the CLAT Course Legal Reasoning for CLAT.
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