LEGAL MAXIMS for CLAT/ AILET and other Exams 2021

LEGAL MAXIMS for CLAT/ AILET and other Exams (A to Z)

Legal maxims starting with A

  • A priori- from the antecedent to the consequent
  • Ab initio- From the beginning
  • Actori incumbit onus probandi- the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff
  • Actiones legis– law suits
  • Action mixta- Mixed action
  • Actus reus- A guilty deed or act
  • Actus nemini facit injuriam– The act of the law does no one wrong
  • Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea– the act does not make one guilty unless there is a criminal intent
  • Ad hoc- for this purpose
  • Ad infinitum- Forever, without limit, infinity
  • Alibi- At another place, elsewhere
  • Assentio mentium- The meeting of minds, i.e. mutual assent
  • Audi alteram partem- Here the other side
  •  Actio personalis mortiur cum persona- a personal action dies with the person
  • Amicus curiae- a friend of court or member of Bar who is appointed to assist the court
  • Ad litem- Referring the case at law
  • Actus curiae neminem gravabit- Act of the Court shall prejudice no one.
  • A fortiori- for a strong reason 
  • Autrefois acquit- Previously acquitten.
  • Animo attestandi- The intention of attesting
  • Animo deserendi- The intention of deserting
  • Animo testandi- With an intention of making a will
  • Ante- Before

Legal maxims starting with B

  • Bona vacatia- Property with no owner or which does not have an obvious owner and which usually passes to the crown.

Legal maxims starting with C

  • 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.
  •   Cause Proxima, non remota spectator- The immediate, and not the remote cause is to be considered
  • Caveat emptor- Let the purchaser beware
  • Consensus as idem- Agreement as to the same things.
  • Corpus delicti- The body, i.e. the gist of crime
  • Cy pres- As nearly as maybe practical/possible.
  • Corpus legis- Body of law

Legal maxims starting with D

  • Damnum sine injuria- Damage without legal injury
  • De facto- In fact
  • De jure- By law, right
  • De minimis lex non curat- The law does not notice trifling matters
  • De novo- Starting afresh
  • Doli incapax- Incapable of crime(minor)
  • Delegate non potest delegare- A delegate cannot further delegate
  • Detinue- Tort of wrongfully holding goods which belongs to someone else
  • Denatio mortis causa- Gift because of death

Legal maxims starting with E

  • Ejusdem generis- Of the same kind
  • Estoppel- Prevented from denying
  • Ex gratia- Out of kindness, voluntary
  • Ex parte- Proceeding brought by one person in the absence of another
  • Ex post facto- By reason of a subsequent act
  • Ex officio- Because of an office held

Legal maxims starting with F

  • Fait accompli- Things done and no longer worth arguing against; an accomplished act
  • Factum probanda- Fact in issue, which is to be proved
  • Force majeure- Circumstances beyond one’s control, irresistible force or compulsion
  • Functus officio- No longer having power or jurisdiction

Legal maxims starting with H

  • Habeas corpus- Produce the body

Legal maxims starting with I

  • Ignorantia facit excusat, ignorantia juris non excusat- Ignorance of fact can be excused, but ignorance of law cannot be excused
  • In delicto- At fault
  • Injuria sine damno- Injury without damage
  • Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium-   State or public interest requires that there should be a limit to litigation
  •  In limine- At the outset, on the threshold
  • In personam- Against the person.
  • In rem- Against the whole world
  • Inter alia- Amongst other things
  • Interim- Temporary, in the meanwhile
  • Ipso facto- By the very fact
  • Inter vivos- Between living persons.
  • Intra vires- Within the powers
  • Id or idem- The same thing or the same person
  • Innuendo- Spoken words which are defamatory because they have a double meaning
  • In status quo- In the present state
  • Intestate- To die without making a will


Legal maxims starting with J

  • Jus- A right that is recognised in law
  • Jus in personam- Right against a specific person
  • Jus in rem- Right against the world at large

Legal maxims starting with L

  • Lis pendens- A pending suit
  • Locus standi- A right to be heard
  • Lex fori- Law of the place where the cases been heard
  • Lex loci actus- Law of the place where the act took place

Legal maxims starting with M

  • Mala fide- In bad faith
  • Mala in se- Bad in themselves
  • Mandamus- We command
  • Mens rea- Guilty state of mind
  • Mesne profits- The rents and profits which a trespasser has received/made during his occupation of premises, which are lost to the actual owner
  • Modus operandi- Way of working
  • Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa- No one can be a judge in his own case


Legal maxims starting with N

  • Novation- Transaction in which a new contract is agreed by all parties to replace an existing contract

Legal maxims starting with O

  • Obiter dictum- A saying by the way. An incidental opinion expressed by a judge, which is not binding
  • Onus Probandi- Burden of proof
  • Obiter dicta- Things which are said in passing

Do visit- Free Consent : Law of contract

Legal maxims starting with P

  • Per incurieam- Because of lack of care
  • Prima facie- On the face of it
  • Pro rata- In proportion
  • Pro bono public- For the public good
  • Privity of Contract- Relationship between the parties to a contract make it valid

Legal maxims starting with Q

  • Qui facit per alium, facit per se- He who acts through other acts himself
  • Quid pro quo- Consideration of something for something
  • Quo Warranto- By what authority. A write calling upon one to show under what authority he holds public office

Also Read- Consent in Criminal Law – Latest 2021

Legal maxims starting with R

  • Res gestae- Facts surrounding or relevant to a case and admissible as evidence
  • Res judicata- A thing adjudged is accepted for the truth
  • Respondeat superior- Let the principal answer
  • Res ipsa loquitor- The thing speaks for itself
  • Res Subjudice- Matter in course of trial

Legal maxims starting with S

  • Stare decisis- To stand by decisions (precedents)
  • Status quo- State of things as they are now
  • Suo Motu- On its own motion
  • Sine die- “With no day” (indefinitely)

also read: Dharma And The Justice Of India

Legal maxims starting with U

  1. Ultravires- Outside the powers
  2. Uberrimae fide- Of utmost good faith; of the fullest confidence
  3. Ubi jus ibi remedium- Where there is a right there is a remedy
  4. Vis major- Act of God; irresistible forces

Legal maxims starting with V

  • Volenti non fit injuria- An injury is not done to a person consenting to it.
  • Void- Of no legal effect


-: Anushka Hanotiya

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