Important LEGAL MAXIMS LAWYERS & Student NEED TO KNOW
Actionable per se – The very act is punishable and no proof of damage is required.
Ad hoc – For the particular end or case at hand.
Alibi – At another place, elsewhere
Audi alteram partem – No man shall be condemned unheard.
Amicus Curiae – A friend of court or member of the Bar who is appointed to assist the Court.
Assentio mentium – The meeting of minds, i.e mutual assents
Doli incapax – Incapable of crime.
Detinue – Tort of wrongfully holding goods which belong to someone else.
Denatio mortis causa – Gift because of death.
Estoppel – Prevented from denying.
Ex parte – Proceedings in the absence of the other party.
Ex gratia – As a favour.
Ex officio – Because of an office held.
Fatum – Beyond human foresight.
Justitia nemini neganda est – Justice is to be denied to nobody.
Lex non a rege est violanda – The law must not be violated even by the king.
Locus standi – Right of a party to an action to appear and be heard by the court and be heard by the court.
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.
Misnomer – A wrong or inaccurate name or term.
Modus operandi – Way of working.
Modus Vivendi – Way of living.
Nemo bis punitur pro eodem delicto – Nobody can be twice punished for the same offence.
Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa – Nobody can be judge in his own case.
Nolle prosequi – a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit.
Novation – Transaction in which a new contact is agreed by all parties to replace an existing contract.
Quo warranto – By what authority. A writ calling upon one to show under what authority he holds or claims a public office.
Ratio decidendi – Principle or reason underlying a court judgement.
Res ipsa loquitor – The thing speaks for itself.
Rex non protest peccare – The king can do no wrong.
Salus populi est suprema lex – The welfare of the is the supreme law.
Status quo – State of things as they are now.
Sine die – “with no day”(indefinitely).
Sine qua non – “without which nothing”. An essential condition; a thing that is absolutely necessary. Basically a component of an argument that, if debunked, causes the entire argument to crumble.
Ubi jus ibi remedium – Where there is a right, there is a remedy.
Vis major – Act of God.
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.
Waiver – Voluntarily giving up or removing the conditions.