Legal Latin maxims and expressions


Legal Latin columns

Latin maxims and legal phrases are sometimes compared to axioms in geometry. These are the established universal principles of law, usually well known to people in the legal profession. However, it must be said that these pages can in no circumstances be used as a source of legal advice, legal counseling and/or simple recommendation on any matter, including but not limited to judicial proceedings of criminal, civic, family, common law and Court TV. By choosing to read the text below you, the reader, scienter relinquish any right to use these maxims for any purpose other than personal use without expressed written consent etc., etc. In other words, folks, if you need a lawyer, get a lawyer. If you need a law degree - get a law degree. Of course, if you happen to be a lawyer, here is your chance to breathe some life into your Latin. If instead of legal maxims you need more general Latin expressions, I have special pages dedicated to mottos, sayings, quotes, slogans etc.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V

Damnum sine injuria - damage without legal injury.

De bonis asportatis - Of goods carried away.

De bonis non administratis - Of goods not administered.

De die in diem - From day to day.

De facto - In fact.

De futuro - In the future.

De integro - As regards the whole.

De jure - Rightful, by right.

De minimis lex non curat - The law does not notice trifling matters.

De novo - Starting afresh.

Debile fundamentum fallit opus - Where there is a weak foundation, the work fails.

Debita sequuntur personam debitoria - Debts follow the person of the debtor.

Debitor non praesumitur donare - A debtor is not presumed to make a gift.

Debitum et contractus sunt nullius loci - Debt and contract are of no particular place.

Debitum in praesenti, solvendum in futuro - A present debt is to be discharged in the future.

Delegata potestas non potest delegari - A delegated authority cannot be again delegated.

Derivativa potestas non potest esse major primitiva - The power which is derived cannot be greater than that from which it is derived.

Deus solus haeredem facere potest, non homo - God alone, not man, can make an heir.

Dies Dominicus non est juridicus - Sunday is not a day in law.

Discretio est discernere per legem quid sit justum - Discretion is to discern through law what is just.

Doli incapax - Incapable of crime.

Dominium - Ownership.

Domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium - Every man s house is his safest refuge.

Dona clandestina sunt semper suspiciosa - Clandestine gifts are always suspicious.

Dormiunt leges aliquando, nunquam moriuntur - The laws sometimes sleep, but never die.

Doti lex favet; praemium pudoris est; ideo parcatur - The law favors dower; it is the reward of chastity, therefore let it be preserved.

Dubitante - Doubting the correctness of the decision.

Duo non possunt in solido unam rem possidere - Two cannot possess one thing each in entirety.