A compilation of important legal maxims and foreign words to assist you in attain a tight grasp over this niche aspect of Legal Aptitude. You can further visit THIS PAGE to supplement what you take from the following list.
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.
Bona fide – In good faith.
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.
Corpus – Body
Damnum sine injuria – Damage without injury.
De facto – In fact.
De jure – By law.
De novo – To make something anew.
Dictum – Statement of law made by judge in the course of the decision but not necessary to the decision itself.
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.
Factum probans – Relevant fact.
Fraus est celare fraudem – It is a fraud to conceal a fraud
Functus officio – No longer having power or jurisdiction.
Habeas corpus – A writ to have the body of a person to be brought in before the judge.
Injuria sine damno – Injury without damage.
Ipso facto – By the mere fact.
In promptu – In readiness.
In lieu of – Instead of.
In personam – A proceeding in which relief I sought against a specific person.
Innuendo – Spoken words which are defamatory because they have a double meaning.
In status quo – In the present state.
Jus in personam – Right against a specific person.
Jus in rem – Right against the world at large.
Jus non scriptum – Customary law.
Jus scriptum – Written law.
Jus – Law or right.
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.
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
Novation – Transaction in which a new contact is agreed by all parties to replace an existing contract.
Onus probandi – Burden of proof.
Per se – By itself
Prima facie – At first sight.
Palimony – Money which the court orders a man to pay regularly to a woman with whom he has been living and from whom he is separated.
Per curiam – By a court.
Per incuriam – Because of lack of care.
Prima facie – On the face of it
Qui facit per alium, facit per se – He who acts through another acts himself
Quid pro quo – Something for something
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)
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.