Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Aequum et bonum Definition:

Latin: what is right and just..

Related Terms: Natural Law

Also spelled æquum et bonum.

Walter Shumaker's 1901 dictionary:

"Aequum et bonum est lex legum: What is just and right is the law of laws."

John Bouvier's explanation came short of a definition:

"The Roman conception involved in æquum et bonum or æquitas is identical with what we mean by reasonable or nearly so.

"On the whole, the natural justice or reason of the thing which the common law recognizes and applies does not appear to differ from the law of nature which the Romans identified with jus gentium, and the medieval doctors of the civil and common law boldly adopted as being divine law revealed through man's natural reason."


  • Shumaker, Walter and Longsdorf, George Foster, The Cyclopedic Dictionary of Law Comprising the Terms and Phrases of American Jurisprudence, Including Ancient and Modern Common Law, International Law, and Numerous Select Titles From the Civil Law, the French and the Spanish Law, Etc., Etc. With an Exhaustive Collection of Legal Maxims, (St. Paul, Minnesota: Keefe- Davidson Law Book Company, 1901).

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