Important Legal Maxims | Legal Language

The legal maxims (expressed in Latin) are important first principles that are logically obvious, inclined in public interest and convenient to use. The knowledge of legal maxims or these first principles is therefore hold high importance not only to law student but also to the entire legal fraternity, the lawyer and the judge.

A few important legal maxims with their english meanings are as follows:

  • SALUS POPULI EST SUPREMA LEX : Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.

  • AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM : Listen to the other side.

  • DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX : About minimal things. The law does not concern itself about trifles.

  • RES IPSA LOQUITOR : The principle that the mere occurence of some type of accident is sufficient to imply negligence.

  • REX NON POTEST PECCARE : The King can do no wrong.

  • VOLENTI NON FIT INJURIA : Damage suffered by consent is not a cause of action.

  • IGNORANTIA FACIT EXCUSAT : Ignorance of fact excuses, Ignorance of law does not excuse.

  • RESPONDENT SUPERIOR : Let the master answer.

  • RES IPSA LOQUITUR : The thing speaks for itself.

  • UBI JUS IBI REMEDIUM : For every wrong the law provides a remedy.

  • CAVEAT EMPTOR : Let the buyer beaware.

  • NEMO DEBET BIS VEXARI PRO UNA ET EADUM CAUSA : No man shall be twice vexed for one and same cause.

  • ACTUS DEI NEMINI FACIT INJURIAM : An act of God causes legal injury to no one.

  • VIGILANTIBUS NON DORMIENTIBUS JURA SUBVENIUNT : The law assists those who are vigilant and not those who sleep over their rights.

  • NOSCITUR A SOCIIS : The meaning of a doubtful word may be ascertained by reference to the meaning of words associated with it.

  • ACTUS NON FACIT REUM NISI MENS SIT REA : The intent and act must both concur to constitute the crime.

  • NOVA CONSTITUTIO FUTURIS FORMAM IMPONERE DEBET NON PRAETERITUS : A new law ought to be prospective, not retrospective, in its operation.

  • LEGES POSTERIORES PRIORES CONTRARIAS ABROGANT : Later laws repeal earlier laws inconsistent therewith.

  • IN JURE NON REMOTA CAUSA CAUSA SED PROXIMA SPECTATUR : In law, the immediate, not the remote, cause of any event is regarded.


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