Important LEGAL MAXIMS LAWYERS NEED TO KNOW


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

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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.