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.

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Ratio est legis anima, mutata legis ratione mutatur et lex - Reason is the soul of the law; when the reason of the law changes the law also is changed.

Re - In the matter of.

Reprobata pecunia leberat solventem - Money refused releases the debtor.

Res - Matter, affair, thing, circumstance.

Res gestae - Things done.

Res integra - A matter untouched (by decision).

Res inter alios acta alteri nocere non debet - Things done between strangers ought not to affect a third person, who is a stranger to the transaction.

Res judicata accipitur pro veritate - A thing adjudged is accepted for the truth.

Res nulis - Nobody s property.

Respondeat superior - Let the principal answer.

Rex est major singulis, minor universis - The King is greater than individuals, less than all the people.

Rex non debet judicare sed secundum legem - The King ought not to judge but according to the law.

Rex non potest peccare - The King can do no wrong.

Rex nunquma moritur - The King never dies.

Rex quod injustum est facere non potest - The King cannot do what is unjust.