Legal Maxims, Blacks Law Dictionary, 9th edition.

dikutip dari:

Maxime ita dicta quia maxima estejus dignitas et certissima auctoritas, atque quod maxime omnibus probetur – A maxim is so called because its dignity is cheifest and its authority is the most certain, and because it is most approved by all.

Regula pro lege, si deficit lex – If the law is inadequate, the maxim serves in its place.

Non jus ex regula, sed regula ex jure – The law does not arise from the rule (or maxim), but the rule from the law.


Home ne sera puny pur suer des breifes en court le roy, soit il a droit ou a tort. – A person shall not be punished for suing out writs in the Kings court, whether the person is right or wrong.

Homo vocabulum est naturae; persona juris civilis. – Man (homo) is a term of nature: “person” (persona), a term of civil law.

Omnis persona est homo, sed non vicissim – Every person is a human being, but not every human being is a person.

Persona est homo cum statu quodam consideratus – A person is a human being considered with reference to a certain status.

Corpus humanum non recipit aestimationem – The person of a human being can have no price put on it.

Crimen trahit personam – The crime brings with it the person.
• That is, the commission of a crime gives the courts of the place where it is committed jurisdiction over the person of the offender.

Idem est scire aut scire debere aut potuisse. – To be bound to know or to have been able to know is the same as to know.

Ignorantia eorumquae quis scire tenetur non excusat. – Ignorance of those things that anyone is bound to know does not excuse.

Ignorantia juris non exusat. – Ignorance of the law does not excuse.

Injura servi dominum pertingit. – The servants’ wrong doing reaches the master. The master is liable for injury done by his servant.

Qui facit per alium facit per se – A person who acts through another acts as himself.
• The acts of an agent are considered the acts of the principle.

Qui per alium facit per seipsum facere videtur – A person who does anything through another is considered as doing it himself.

Jura naturae sunt immutabilia. – The laws of nature are unchangeable.

Peccata contra naturam sunt gravissima – Offences against nature are the most serious.

Perpetual ex est nullam legem humanam ac positivam perpetuam esse; et clausula quae abrogationem excudit ab initio non valet – It is a perpetual law that no human or positive law can be perpetual; and a clause in law that precludes abrogation is void from the outset.

Leges naturae perfectissimae sunt et immutabiles; humani vero juris condition simper in infinitum decurrit, et nilhil est in eo quod perpetuo stare posit. - The laws of nature are most perfect and immutable; but the condition of human law is an unending succession, and there is nothing in it that can stand forever.

Legis construction non facit injuriam. - The construction of the law does not do wrong.

Justitia nemini neganda est. – Justice is to be denied to no one.

Legitime imperanti parere necesse est - One who commands lawfully must be obeyed.

Le ley de dieu et ley de terre sont tout un, et l’un et l’autre preferre et favour le common et publique bien del terre. - The law of god and the law of the land are all one: and both promote and favor the common and public good of the land.

Le salut du people est la supreme loi. - The safety of the people is the highest law.

Nunquam fictio sine lege – There is no fiction without law.

Les fictions naissent de la loi, et non la loi des fictions - Fictions arise from the law, and not law from fictions.

Consuetudo regni Angliae est lex Angliae – The custom of the kingdom of England is the law of England.

Lex Agliaelex terra est. – The Law of England is the Law of the Land.

Lex est norma recti. – Law is a rule of right.

Consensus facit legem – Consent makes Law.

Lex non debet conquerentibus in justitia exhibenda. – The Law ought not to fail in dispensing justice to those with a grievance.

Lex non oritur ex injuria. – The Law does not arise from an un-lawful act.

Apices juris non sunt jura – Legal niceties are not law.

Libertinum ingratum leges civiles in pristinam servitutem redignunt; sed leges Angliae semel manumissum semper liberum judicant. – The civil laws reduce an ungrateful freedman to his original slavery; but the Laws of England regard a person once manumitted as ever after free.

Licita bene miscentur, formula nisi juris obstet. – Lawful acts are well joined together; unless some form of Law prevents it.

Mayor haereditas venit unicuique nostrum a jure et legibus quam a parentibus – A greater inheritance comes to every one of us from right and the Laws than comes from parents.

Maleficia propositis distinguuntur. – Misdeeds are distinguished from proposals; crimes are distinguished by the intention (with which they are committed).

Malum non praesumitur - Evil is not presumed.

Malum quo communius eo pejus – The more common the evil, the worse.

Malus usus est abolendus – An evil custom ought to be abolished; a bad usage should be abolished.

Malus uses est abolendus, quia in consuetudinibus, non diuturnitas temporis, sed soliditas rationis est consideranda – An evil custom is to be abolished, because in customs, not length of time, but solidity of reason, is to be considered.

Mandatarius terminus sibi positos transgredi non potest – A Mandatory cannot exceed the bounds of his authority.

Melius est omnia mala pati quam malo consentire – It is better to suffer every wrong than to consent to wrong.

Merito beneficium legis amittit qui legem ipsam subvertere intendit – A person deservedly loses the protection of the law who attempts to overturn the law itself.

Misera est servitus ubi jus est vagum aut incertum – It is a miserable slavery where the law is vague or uncertain.

Mora reprobatur in lege – Delay is disapproved of in law.

Negatio conclusionis est error in lege – The denial of a conclusion is error in law.

Nemo alieno nominee lege agree potest – No one can sue at law in the name of another.

Nemo contra factum suum (proprium) venire potest – No one can contradict his own deed.

Nemo est supra leges – No one is above the laws.

Nemo ex alterius facto praegravari debet – No one ought to be burdened in consequence of another’s act.

Nemo potest esse simul actor et judex. – No one is able to do a thing, unless he can do it lawfully.

Nihil quod est contra rationem est licitum – Nothing that is against reason is lawful.

Nihil quod est licitum est inconveniens – Nothing that is lawful is improper.

Nihil tamproprium imperio quam legibus vivere – Nothing is so becoming to authority as to live according to the law.

Non est certandum de regulis juris – There is no disputing rules of law.

Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus, aut differamus rectum vel justitiam – We shall sell to no one, deny to no one, or deley to no one, equity or justice.

Omnia quae jurecontrahuntur contrario jure pereunt – All obligations contracted under a law are destroyed by a law to the contrary.

Optimus interpretandi modus est sic leges interpretare ut leges legibus accordant – The best mode of interpreting laws is to make laws agree with laws.

Origine propria neminem posse voluntate sua eximi manifestum est – It is manifest that no one by his own will can be stripped of his origin (or be banished from his place of origin).

Origo rei inspici debet – The origin of a thing ought to be regarded.

Par in parum imperium non habet – An equal has no power over an equal.

Plus peccat auctor quam actor – The instigator of a crime is a worse offender than the perpetrator.

Potentia debet sequi justitium, non antecedere – Power ought to follow, not precede, justice.

Sequi debet potential justitiam, non praecedere – Power should follow justice, not precede it.

Praetextu liciti nondebet admitti illicitum - What is illegal ought not to be admitted under pretext of legality.

Quae communi legi derogant stricte interpretantur – (Statutes) that derogate from the common law should be strictly construed.

Quae legi communi derogant non sunt trahenda in exemplum – Things that derogate (or detract) from the common law are not to be drawn into precedent.

Qui primum peccat ille facit rixam – Who first offends causes the quarrel.

Qoad ad jus naturale attinet, omnes hominess aequales sunt – All men are equal as far as natural law is concerned.

Quadcunque aliquis ob tuteam corporis sui feceit jure id fecisse videtur – Whatever one does in defence of his person, he is considered to have done legally.

Quod ipsis, qui contraxerunt, et successoribus eorum obstabit – That which bars those who have contracted will bar their successors also.

Ratio in jure aequitas integra – Reason in law is perfect equity.

Reprobata pecunia liberat solventem – Money refused releases the person paying (or offering payment).

Rerum suarum quilibet est moderator et arbiter – Everyone is the manager and disposer of his own matters.

Res generalem habet significationem, quia tam corporea, quam incorporeal, cujuscunque sunt generic naturae sive speciei, comprehendit – The word “things” has a general signification, because it comprehends corporeal as well as incorporeal objects, of whatever sort, nature, or species.

Salus populi (est) suprema lex – The safety of the people is the supreme law.
• The phrase is sometimes put in the imperative: Salus populi suprema lex esto – Let the safety of the people be the supreme law.

Salus reipublicae suprema lex – The safety of the state is the supreme law.

Sapiens omnia agit cum consilio – A wise man does everything advisedly.

Scire debes cum quo contrahis – You ought to know with whom you make an agreement.

Scire et scire debere aequiparantur in jure – To know a thing and to be bound to know it are regarded in law as equivalent.

Scribere est agree - To write is to act.

Statutum affirmativum non derogate communi legi – An affirmative statute does not take away from the common law.

Tout ce que la loin e defend pas est permis – Everything that the law does not forbid is permitted.

Ubicunque est injuria, ibi damnum sequiter – Wherever there is a legal wrong, there damage follows.

Ubi damna dantur victus victori in expensis condemnari debet – Where damages are awarded, the party that did not succeed ought to be adjudged to pay expenses for the party that prevailed.

Ubi factum nullum, ibi fortia nulla – Where there is no fact, there are no strong points.

Ubi jus, ibi remedium – Where there is right, there is a remedy.

Ubi jus incertum, ibi jus nullum – Where the right is uncertain, there is no right.

Vani timoris justa excusatio non est – There is no legal excuse based on groundless fear.

Actore non probante, reus absolvitur – If the plaintive does not prove his case, the defendant is acquitted.

Actus me invitio factus non est meus actus – An act done (by me) against my own will is not my act.

Actus servi, in iis quibus opera ejus communitur adhibita est, actus domini habetur – The act of a servant in those things in which he is usually employed is considered the act of his master.

Adjuvari quippe nos, non decipi, beneficio opotet – Surly we ought to be helped by a benefit, not be entrapped by it.

Angliae jura in omni casu libertati dant favorem – The laws of England are favorable in every case to liberty.

Animus ad se omne jus ducit – The mind brings every right to itself.
• Often explained: It is the intention that all law applies.

A piratis aut latronibus capti liberi permanent – Those captured by pirates or robbers remain free.

Bis dat qui cito dat – He pays twice who pays promptly.

Chartarum apud debitorem repertum praesumitur solitum – When the evidence (or voucher) is found in the debtors’ possession, the debt is presumed paid.

Collegium est societas plurium corporum simul habitantium – A college is a society of several people dwelling together.

Cuilibet licet juri pro se introducti renunciare. – Anyone may waive or renounce the benefit of a principle rule of law that exists only for his protection.

Cum quod ago non valet ut ago, valeat quantum valere potest. – When that which I do is of no effect as I do it, let it have as much effect as it can (that is, in some other way).

Custome serra prise stricte. – Custom shall be construed strictly.

Deceptis, non decipientibus, jura subveniunt. – The laws help persons who have been deceived, not those deceiving.

Decreta conciliorum non ligant reges nostros. - The decrees of councils do not bind our Kings.

Derogatur legi cum pars detrahitur; abrogatur legi, cum prorsus tollitur. – There is derogation from the law when part of it is taken away; there is abrogation of a law when it is abolished entirely.

Dormiunt aliquando leges, Nunquam moriunter. – Laws sometimes sleep but never die.

Ejus est nolle, qui potest velle. – A person who can will (exercise volition) has a right to refuse to will (withhold consent).

Nulla impossibilia aut inhonesta sunt praesumenda; vera autem et honesta et possibilia. – No impossible or dishonorable things are to be presumed; but things true, honourable, and possible.

Quodque dissolvitur eodem modo quo ligature – In the same manner that anything is bound, it is unbound.

Naturale est quidlibet dissolve eo modo quo ligature – It is natural for a thing to be dissolved in the same way in which it is bound.

Unumquodque dissolvitur eodem ligamine quo ligature – Everything is dissolved by the same binding by which it is bound together.

Unumquodque eodem modo dissolvitur quo colligatur – Any obligation is discharged in the same manner as it is constituted.

Unumquodque eodem modo quo colligatum est dissolvitur – In the same manner in which anything is bound, it is loosened.

Nihil tam naturale est quam eo genere quidque dissolvere quo colligatum est – Nothing is so natural as that an obligation should be dissolved by the same principle by which it was contracted.

Eisdem modis dissolvitur obligatio quae nascitur ex contractu, vel quasi, quibus contrahitur. – An obligation that arises from a contract or quasi contract is dissolved in the same ways in which it is contracted.

Scriptae obligations scriptis tolluntur, et nudi consensus obligato contrario consensus dissolvitur – Written obligations are undone by writing, and the obligation of mere consent (or naked agreement) is dissolved by a bare consent to the contrary.

Scripta litera manet – The written word endures.

Nihil tam naturale est quam eo genere quidque dissolvere quo colligatum est; ideo verborum obligatio contrario consensus dissolvitur - Nothing is so natural as to dissolve anything in the way in which it was bound together; therefore the obligation of words is taken away by words; the obligation of mere consent is dissolved by the contrary consent.

Nihil est magis rationi consentaneum quam eodem modo quodque dissolvere quo conflatum est – Nothing is more consonant to reason than that everything should be dissolved in the same way as it was made.

Quo modo quid constituitur eodem modo dissolvitur – In whatever mode a thing is constituted, in the same manner it is dissolved.

Nullus liber homo capiatur, aut imprisonetur – Let no Freeman be taken or imprisoned
• This language appears in Magna Carta, ch. 39.

Nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum – Nor shall we go upon him, nor send upon him, except by lawful judgment of his peers; we will not go against him or send against him except by lawful judgment of his peers.
• This language appears in Magna Carta, ch. 39.

Nemo praesens nisi intelligat – One is not present unless he understands.

Nemo qui condemnare potest absolvere non potest. – No one who can condemn is unable to acquit.

Nemo sine actione experiture, et hoc non sine breve sive libello conventionali – No one goes on trial without an action, and no one can bring an action without a writ or bill.

Nemo tenetur seipsum infortuniis et periculis exponere – No one is bound to expose himself to misfortune and dangers.

Nihil perfectum est dum aliquid restat agendum – Nothing is perfect while something remains to be done.

Officium nemini debet esse damnosum – An office ought not be injurious to no one.

Omnis definitio in jure civili periculosa est, parum est enim ut non subverti posit – Every definition in the civil law is dangerous, for there is very little that cannot be overthrown.

Qui ignorat quantum solvere debeat, non potest improbus videri – A person who does not know what he ought to pay cannot be regarded as dishonest.

Ubi non est lex, ibi non est transgression quoad mundum – Where there is not a law, there is not a transgression, as far as this world is concerned.

Cejus est instituere, ejus est abrogare. – Whoever can institute, can also abrogate.

Droit ne poet pas morier. – Right cannot die.

Leges vigilantibus, non dormientibus subveniunt. The laws aids those who keep watch, not those who sleep (that is, the vigilant, not the negligent).

L’ou le ley done chose, la ceo done remedie a vener a ceo – Where the Law gives Right, it gives remedy to recover.

Jus non habenti tute non paretur. – It is safe not to obey a person who has no right.

Nemo damnum facit, nisi qui id fecit quod facere jus non habet – No one does damage except the person who did what he has no right to do.

Neminem laedit qui jure suo utitur – A person who exercises his own rights injures no one.

Qui jure suo utitur, nemini facit injuraiam – A person who exercises his proper right harms no one.

Non videtur vim facere qui jure suo utitur et ordinaria actione expertur – A person is not judged to use force who exercises his own right and proceeds by ordinary action.

Nullus videur dolo facere qui suo jure utitur – No one is to be regarded as acting by fraud who exercises his legal right.

Nemo debet bis vexari pro eadem causa – No one should be twice troubled for the same cause.

Nemo de domo sua extrahi potest – No one can be dragged (taken by force) from his own house.

Debet sua cuique domus esse perfugium tutissimum. – Every persons house should be his safest refuge.

Domus sua cuique est titissimum refugium. – Everyone’s house is his safest refuge.

Domus tutissimum cuique refugium atque receptaculum sit. - Everyone’s house should be his safest refuge and shelter.

Nullus jus alienum forisfacere potest – No one can forfeit another’s right.

Quilibet potest renunciare juri pro se inducto – Anyone may renounce a right introduced for his own benefit.

Omnes licentiam habere his qua pro se indulta sunt renunciare – All have liberty to renounce these things that have been granted in their favour.

Omnis indemnatus pro innoxio legibus habetur – Every uncondemed person is held by the law as innocent.

Culpa est immeiscire se rei ad se non pertinenti. – It is a fault for anyone to meddle in a matter not pertaining to him.

Currit tempus contra desides et sui juris contemptores. – Time runs against the indolent and those who are not mindful of their rights.

Electio est interna libera et spontania separation unius rei ab alia, sine compulsione, consistens in animo et voluntate. – Choice is an internal, free, and spontaneous separation of one thing from another, without compulsion, consisting in intention and will.

Electiones fiant rite et libere sine interruptione aliqua. – Let choices be made in due form and freely; without any interruption.

Cuicunque aliquis quid concedit concedere videtur et id sine quo res ipsa esse non potuit - One who grants something to another grants also that without which the thing granted could not exist.
• This maxim is also sometimes written Cuicunque aliquid conceditur, conceditur etiam et id sine quo res ipsa non esse potuit (meaning “To whomever anything is granted, that also is granted without which the thing itself could not exist”).

Cujusque rei potissima pars est principium. – The principle part of anything is the beginning.

Designato unius est exclusion alterius, et expressum facit cessare tacitum. – The designation of one is the exclusion of the other; and what is expressed prevails over what is implied.

Electio semel facta, et placitum testatum, non patitur regressum. – A choice once made, and a plea witnessed (or intent shown), allows no going back.


Quad alias bonum et justum est, si per vim vel fraudum petatur, malum et injustum efficitur – What is otherwise good and just, if it is sought by force or fraud, becomes bad and unjust.

Nihil consensui tam contrarium est quam vis atque metus – Nothing is so opposite to consent as force and fear.

Vim virepellere licet, modo fiat moderamine inculpatae tutelae, non ad sumendam vindictam, sed ad propulsandam injuriam – It is lawful to repel force by force; but let it be done with the self control of blameless defense – not to take revenge, but to repel injury.

Vis legibus est inimica – Force is inimical to the laws.


In alta proditione nullus potest esse accessories sed principalis solummodo. – In High treason no one can be an accessory but only a principle.

Politiae legibus, non leges politiis, adaptandae – Politics are to be adapted to the laws, not the laws to politics.

Reus laesae majestatis punitur, ut periapt unus ne pereant omnes – A traitor is punished that one may die lest all perish.

Rex non debet judicare sed secundum legem – The king ought to judge according to law.

Crimen laesae majestatis omnia alia criminal excedit quoad poenam – The crime of treason exceeds all other crimes in its punishment.

Curia parliamenti suis propriis legibus subsistit. – The court of parliament is governed by its own laws.


Id quod nostrum est sine facto nostro ad alium transrerri non potest. – What belongs to us cannot be transferred to another without our act or deed.

Iniquum est alios permittere, alios inhibere mercaturum. – It is inequitable to permit some to trade and to prohibit others to do so.

Iniquum est ingenuis hominibus non esse liberam rerum suarum alienationum.- It is unjust for freeborn individuals not to have the free disposal of their own property.

Nemo cogitur rem suam vendere, etiam justo pretio – No one is bound to sell his property, even for a just price.

Nemo debet rem suam sine factu aut defectu suo amittere – No one should lose his property without his own act or negligence.

Pro possessione praesumitur de jure – From possession arises a presumption of right.

Pro possessore habetur qui dolo injuriave desiit possidere – A person is considered a possessor who has ceased possession through fraud or injury.

Occupantis fiunt derelicta – Things abandoned become the property of the (first) occupant

Quod meum est, sine facto sive defectu meo amitti seu in alium transferri non potest – What is mine cannot be lost or transferred to another without my act or through my forfeiture.

Quod meum est sine me auferri non potest – What is mine cannot be taken away without me (ie., my consent).

Quod nostrum est, sine facto sive defectu nostro, amitti seu in alium transferri non potest – That which is ours cannot be lost or transferred to another without our own act, our own default.

Quod nullius est id ratione naturali occupanti conceditur – What belongs to no one, by natural reason becomes property of the first occupant.

Res periit domino suo – The destruction of the thing is a loss to its owner.

Res sua nemini servit – No one can have servitude over his own property.

Spoliatus debet ante omnia restitui – A party forcibly deprived of possession ought first of all to have restitution.

A piratis et latronibus copta dominium non mutant – Things captured by pirates or robbers do not change their ownership.

Catalla juste possessa amitti non possunt – Chattels rightly possessed cannot be lost.

Contrectatio rei alienae animo furandi est furtum – Touching or taking anothers property with an intention of stealing is theft.

Damnum sentit dominus. – The damage falls on the owner.

Damnum sine injuria esse potest. – There can be damage without any act of injustice.

Dominium non potest esse in pendenti. – The right of property cannot be in abeyance.


Sacramentum habet in se tres comites, veritatum justitiam et judicium: veritas habenda est in jurato; justitia et judicium in judice – An Oath has in it three components; truth, justice and judgment in the judge (administering the Oath).

Sacramentum si fatuum fuerit, licet falsum, tamen non committit perjurium – A foolish Oath, though false, does not make perjury.

In judicio non creditor nisi juratis. – In court no one is trusted except those sworn.

Contra veritatum lex nunquam aliquid permittit – The law never allows anything contrary to the truth.

Juramentum est indivisibile, et non est admittendum in parte verum et in parte falsum. – An Oath is indivisible; it is not to be accepted as partly true and partly false.

Jurat creditor in judicio. – In judgment a person who has sworn an oath is believed.

Justitia non novit patrem nec matrem, solum veritatem spectat Justitia. – Justice knows neither Father nor Mother; Justice looks to truth alone.

Lex non requirit verificari quod apparet curiae. – The Law does not require that to be proved which is apparent to the court.

Contra veritatem lex nunquam aliquid permittit – The Law never allows anything contrary to the truth.

Manifesta probatione non indigent – Obvious facts are not in need of proof.

Nihil possumus contra veritatum – We have no power against truth.

Non est arctius vinculum inter hominess quam jusjurandum – There is no closer (or firmer) link among men than an Oath.

Omne sacramentum debet esse de certa scientia – Every Oath ought to be founded on certain knowledge.

Perspicua vera non sunt probanda – Plain truths are not to be proved.

Principiis obsta – Oppose beginnings.
• Oppose a thing in its inception in order to have any success against it.

Quod prius est verius est; et quod prius est tempore potius est jure – What is prior is truer; and what comes earlier in time is stronger in right.

Principium est potissima pars cujusque rei – The beginning is the most powerful part of each thing.

Prior tempore, potior jure – Earlier in time, stronger in right.

Qui non improbat approbat – A person who does not disapprove approves.

Qui non negat fatetur – A person who does not deny admits.

Qui non obstat quod obstare potest, facere videtur – A person who does not prevent what he can prevent is considered to act.

Qui non propulsat injuriam quando potest infert – A person who does not repel an injury when he can brings it on.

Res judicacata facit ex albo nigrum, ex nigro album, ex curvo rectum, ex recto curvum – A matter adjudged makes white black; black white; the crooked straight; the straight crooked.

Res judicata pro veritate accipitur – A matter adjudged is taken for truth.

Sententia facit jus, et res judicata pro veritate accipitur – The judgment creates the right, and what is adjudicated is taken for truth.

Veritas, a quocunque dicitur, a Deo est – Truth, by whomsoever pronounced, is from God.

Veritas est justitiae mater – Truth is the Mother of justice.

Allegatio contra factum non est admittenda – An allegation contrary to the deed (or fact) is not admissible

Cum adsunt testimonia rerum, quid opus est verbis? – When the proofs of fact are present, what need is there of words?

De facto jus oritur. – From fact springs law; law arises from fact.


Le contrat fait la loi. – The contract makes law.

Legem enim contractus dat. – The contract gives the Law.

Pacta dant legem contractui – Agreements give law to the contract.

Contractus legem ex conventione accipiunt – Contracts receive legal validity from the agreement of the parties.

Pacta conventa quae neque contra leges neque dolo malo inita sunt, omni modo observanda sunt – Contracts that have been entered neither illegally nor with fraud must in all respects be observed.

Liberum est cuique apud se explorare an expediat sibi consilium. – Everyone is free to ascertain for himself whether a recommendation is advantages to him.

L’obligation sans cause, ou sur une fausse cause, ou sur cause illicite, ne peut avoir aucun effet. – An obligation without consideration, or on a false consideration, or on unlawful consideration, cannot have any effect.

Minus solvit qui tardius solvit; name et tempore minus solvitur – A person pays too little who pays too late; for, from the delay, the payment is less.

Nemo aliquam partem recte intelligere potest, antequam totum iterum atque iterum perlegerit – No one can properly understand any part of a thing until he has read through the whole again and again.

Nemo enim aliquam partem recte intelligere possit antequam totumiterum atque iterum perlegerit. – No one may be able rightly to understand one part before he has again and again read through the whole.

Partem aliquam recte intelligere nemo potest, antequam totum iterum perlegerit – No one can rightly understand any part until he has read the whole again and again.

Magis de bono quam de malo lex intendit. – The Law favors a good rather than a bad construction; - When an agreements words are susceptible of both a favorable and un-favorable meaning, the former is adopted. Thus, a bond conditioned to assign all officers will be construed to apply to assignable offices.

Omne jus aut consesusfecit, aut necessitas constituit, aut firmavit consuetude – Every right has been derived from consent, established by necessaty, or confirmed by custom.

Quando de una et eadem re, duo onerabiles existent, unus, pro insufficientia alterius, de integro onerabitur – When two persons are liable conserning one and the same thing, if one makes default, the other must bear the whole liability.

Qui tacet consentire videur – A party who is silent appears to consent.

Qui tacet nonutiqui fateur, sed tamen verum est eum non negare – A person who is silent does not indeed confess, but yet it is true that he does not deny.

Quod tacite intelligitur deesse non videtur – What is tacitly understood does not appear to be lacking.

Ejus est non nolle qui potest velle. – A person may consent tacitly who can consent expressly.

Quad constat clare, non debet verificari – What is clearly agreed need not be proved.

Semper in stipulationibus et in caeteris contractibus id sequimur quod actum est – In stipulations and other contracts, we always follow what was done (or agreed to).

Uniuscujusque contractus initium spectandum est et causa – The beginning and cause of each and every contract must be considered.

Contractus legem ex coventione accipunt – Contracs recieve legal validity from the agreement of the parties.

Voluit sed non dixit – The person willed but did not say.

Bona fides exigit ut quod convenit fiat – Good faith demands that what is agreed on shall be done.

Contractus ex turpi causa vel contra bonos mores nullus est – A contract founded on a wrongful consideration or against good morals is null.

Conventio vincit legem – The express agreement of the parties overrides the law.

Debitum et contractus sunt nullius loci. – Debt and contract belong to no particular place.


Lata culpa dolo aequiparatur. – Gross negligence is equivalent to fraud.

Culpa lata dolo aequiparantur. – Gross negligence is equivalent to fraud.

Magna culpa dolus est – Great fault (or gross negligence) is equivalent to fraud.

Magna negligentia culpa est; magna culpa dolus est – Great negligence is fault; great fault is fraud.

Nemo ex dolo suo proprio relevetur aut auxilium capiat – Let no one be relieved or gain advantage by his own fraud.

Nemo ex proprio dolo consequitur actionem – No one acquires a right of action from his own fraud.

Nemo commodum capere potest de injuria sua propria – No one can derive benefit from his own wrong.

Nullus commodum capere potest de injuria sua propria – No one can gain advantage by his own wrong.

Solvendo esse nemo intelligitur nisi solidum potest solvere – No one is understood to be in a state of solvency except the one who can pay all that he owes.

Dolo malo pactum se non servabit. – A pact made with evil intent will not be upheld.
• This Maxim is sometimes written: Dolo malo pactum se non servaturum – An agreement induced by fraud will not stand.

Dolus circuitu non purgatur. – Fraud is not purged by circuity.

Dolus et fraus nemini patrocinentur (patrocinari debent). – Deceit and fraud should excuse or benefit no one (they themselves require some excuse).

Maxims Bibliography
All maxims taken from Black’s Law Dictionary 9th ed, and referenced to the following:

Blackstone, William. Commentaries on the laws of England. 4 vols. Reprinted Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1979. From the 1st ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press 1765-1769.

Bracton, Henry de. De legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae. G. E. Woodbine ed.; S. E. Thorn transl. 4 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968.

The reports of Sir Edward Coke. J. H. Thomas & J. F. Frazer eds. 13 parts in 6 vols. London: Butterworth, 1826.

Coke, Sir Edward. The Institutes of the laws of England. Parts 2-4, in vols. Reprinted Buffalo, N.Y.: William S Hein, 1986. From the edition of London: Brooke, 1797.

Coke, Sir Edward. The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, or a Commentarie upon Littlton. 2 vols. Reprinted New York and London: Garland, 1979. From the first ed. London: Societe of Stationers, 1628.

The Digest of Justinian. T. Mommsen et al. 4 vols. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,1985.
Justonian’s Institutes. P Kueger ed.; P. Burks & Mcleod transl. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987.