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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Salus populi est suprema lex - The safety of the people is the supreme law.

Sciens - Knowingly.

Scienter - Knowingly.

Scire facias - That you cause to know.

Scribere est agere - To write is to act.

Se defendendo - In self defence.

Secus - The legal position is different, it is otherwise.

Semper praesumitur pro legitimatione puerorum - Everything is presumed in favor of the legitimacy of children.

Semper pro matriomonio praesumitur - It is always presumed in favor of marriage.

Sententia interlocutoria revocari potest, definitiva non potest - An interlocutory order can be revoked, a final order cannot be.

Servitia personalia sequuntur personam - Personal services follow the person.

Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas - So use your own as not to injure another s property.

Simplex commendatio non obligat - A simple recommendation does not bind.

Stare decisis - To stand by decisions (precedents).

Stet - Do not delete, let it stand.

Sub modo - Within limits.

Sub nomine - Under the name of.

Sub silentio - In silence.

Sublata causa, tollitur effectus - The cause being removed, the effect ceases.

Sublato fundamento, cadit opus - The foundation being removed, the structure falls.

Subsequens matrimonium tollit peccatum praecedens - A subsequent marriage removes the preceding wrong.

Suggestio falsi - The suggestion of something which is untrue.

Sui generis - Unique.

Summa ratio est quae pro religione facit - The highest reason is that which makes for religion, i.e. religion dictates.

Suppressio veri - The suppression of the truth.

Suppressio veri expressio falsi - A suppression of truth is equivalent to an expression of falsehood.