Legal Maxims

sudhakar ca cwa (service) (1518 Points)

12 November 2010  


ab initio : from the beginning.
ad hoc : for particular purpose, pertaining to or for the purpose of, this case only.
ad interim  : in the meantime
amicus curiae : friend of the court; one who voluntarily or on invitation of the court, and not on the instructions of any party, helps the court in any judicial proceedings. 
audi alteram : hear the other side. Both sides should be heard before a decision is arrived at.
caveat emptor : let the purchaser beware. A maxim implying that the buyer must be cautious, as the risk is his and not that of the seller.
cestui que trust a beneficiary under a trust, the person for whose benefit a trust is created.
de facto : in fact : an expression indicating the actual state of circumstances independently of any question of right or title.
de jure : in law : independent of what obtains in fact.
dehors : outside of : unconnected with, unrelated to; 
de novo : anew.
ejusdem generis of the same kind or nature. Where a list of specific items is followed by general concluding clause, this is deemed to be limited to things of the same kind as those specified.
ex gratia : as a matter of grace or favour.
ex officio by virtue of an office.
ex parte : expression used to signify something done or said by one person not in the presence of his opponent.
fait accompli : an accomplished act.
in limine : at the outset.
in pari materia : upon the same matter or subject
in personam : against the person; an act or proceeding done or directed against or with reference to a specific person.
in rem : an act/proceeding done or directed with reference to no specific person or with reference to all whom it might concern.
inter alia : amongst other things.
inter vivos : between living persons
intestate : a person is deemed to die intestate in respect of property of which he or she has not made a testamentary disposition ("will") capable of taking effect. 
intra vires : within the powers; within the authority given by law.
ipse dixit : he himself said it; there is no other authority for it.
ipso facto by the mere fact, automatically
ipso jure : by the law itself; by the mere operation of law.
lis pendens : a pending suit.
locus standi : signifies a right to be heard.
mens rea : a guilty mind.
mesne profits : intermediate profits, the profits which a person in wrongful possession of the property actually received or might with ordinary diligence have received therefrom together with interest on such profits excluding the profits due to improvement made by the person in wrongful possession.
modus operandi  : mode of operating; the way in which a thing, cause etc. operates.
mutatis mutandis : with the necessary changes in points of detail, with such change as may be necessary.
nexus : bond, link or connection.
non obstante : "notwithstanding clause." A legislative device which is usually employed to give overriding effect to certain provisions over some contrary provision that may be found either in the same enactment, or some other enactment, that is to say, to avoid the operation and defect of all contrary provisions.
obiter dictum : an opinion of law not necessary to the decision. An expression of opinion (formed) by a judge on a question immaterial to the ratio decidendi, and unnecessary for the decision of the particular case. It is no way binding on any court, but may receive attention as being an opinion of high authority.
pendente lite : during litigation.
per incuriam : through carelessness, through inadvertence. A decision of the court is not binding precedent if given per incuriam, that is, without the court's attention having been drawn to the relevant authorities, or statutes.
pro tanto : to that extent, for so much, for as much as may be.
quid pro quo : the giving of one thing of value for another thing of value; one for the other; thing given as compensation.
ratio decidendi : reasons for deciding, the grounds of decision.
res integra : an untouched matter; a point without a precedent; a case of novel impression.
res judicata : a case or suit already decided.
rule nisi : a rule to show cause why a party should not do a certain act, or why the object of the rule should not be enforced.
rule absolute : when, having heard counsels, court directs the performance of that act forthwith.
sine die : without day.
sine qua non : an indispensable requisite.
stare decisis to stand by things decided; to abide by precedents where the same points come again in litigation.
status quo : existing condition.
sub judice : before a judge or court, pending decision of a competent count.
ultra vires : beyond one's powers.