Dictionary of Latin Law Terms

Duhaime's Latin Law DictionaryEdward Coke wrote that (Latin) maxims (are):

"... a sure foundation or ground of art, a principle, all one with a rule, a common ground, postulatum or an axiom, which it were too much curiosity to make nice distinctions between the two."

To Coke's, we propose these words of James Mackintosh:

"Maxims are the condensed good sense of nations."

Latin maxims articulate the principled foundations on which the law is built. Each is a time-tested, ancient treasure of Roman law which not only embellish as much the common law as the civil law, but rightfully shape, mold and intellectually structure and ground lawyers, from their first day of law school to the last law journal they read in retirement.

Ab Absurdo
Latin: an evidentiary suggestion or statutory interpretation that is, or leads to, an absurdity.
Aberratio Ictus
Latin: the accidental harm to a person; e.g. perpetrator aims at X but by chance or lack of skill hits Y.
Ab Initio
Latin: from the start; from the beginning.
Accusare Nemo Se Debet Nisi Coram Deo
Latin: no man is obliged to accusehimself except before God.
Acta Exteriora Indicant Interiora Secreta
Latin: The outward acts show the secret intentions.
Actio Personalis Moritur Cum Persona
Latin: any right of action dies with the person.
Actus Curiae Neminem Gravabit
Latin: An act of the court shall prejudice no one.
Actus Dei Nemini Facit Injuriam
Latin: An act of God causes legal injury to no one.
Actus Regis Nemini Est Damnosa
Latin: The law will not work a wrong.
Actus Reus
Latin: a prohibited act.
Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea
Latin: conviction of a crime requires proof of a criminal act and intent.
Ad Colligendum Bona
Latin: for the collection of the goods of the deceased.
Ad Damnum
Latin: to the damage.
Ad Hoc
Latin: limited in time; to this point.
Ad Infinitum
Latin: forever; without limit; indefinitely.
Ad Litem
Latin: for the suit.
Ad Proximum Antecedens Fiat Relatio Nisi Impediatur Sententia
Latin: relative words must ordinarily be referred to the last antecedent, the last antecedent being the last word which can be made an antecedent so as to give a meaning.
Ad Quaestionem Facti Non Respondent Judices, Ad Quaestionem Juris Non Respondent Juratores
Latin: The judge instructs on points of law and the jury decides matters of fact.
Aequum et bonum
Latin: what is right and just..
A fortiori
Latin: with all the more force.
Agnatio
Latin: members of a group having a common male ancestor.
Alea jacta est
Latin: the die is cast.
Alia Enormia
Latin: The catch-all phrase in trespass pleadings to refer to all such other harms and damages that may have been caused by the alleged trespasser other than those specified.
Alibi
A defence to a criminal charge to the effect that the accused was elsewhere than at the scene of the alleged crime.
Alieni juris
Latin: under the legal authority of another.
Aliunde
Latin: otherwise.
Amicus Curiae
Latin: friend of the court.
Animus
Latin: intention.
Animus Contrahendi
Latin: an intention to contract.
Animus Furandi
Latin: an intent to do wrong.
Argumentum Ab Inconvenienti Plurimum Valet In Lege
Latin: An argument drawn from inconvenience is forcible in law.
Audi Alteram Partem
Latin; literally 'hear the other side'.
Audita Querela
An application to a court after judgment seeking to avoid execution of that judgment because of some event intervening between judgment and execution which compromises the judgment creditor's entitlement to execution.
A Vinculo Matrimonii
Latin: of marriage.
Avunculus
Latin: a mother's brother.
Bona Fide
Latin: good faith.
Bona Vacantia
Property that belongs to no person, and which may be claimed by a finder.
Boni Judicis Est Ampliare Jurisdictionem
Latin: good justice is broad jurisdiction.
Bonus pater familias
Latin: the good family man.
Casus Foederis
Latin: treaty event.
Causa Causans
The real, effective cause of damage.
Causa Proxima Et Non Remota Spectatur
Latin: the immediate, not the remote cause, is to be considered.
Causa Sine Qua Non
An intervening cause of loss which, though not direct, may nonetheless contribute to the loss.
Caveat
Latin: let him beware. A formal warning.
Caveat Emptor
Latin: buyer beware.
Certiorari
A formal request to a court challenging a legal decision of an administrative tribunal, judicial office or organization (eg. government) alleging that the decision has been irregular or incomplete or if there has been an error of law.
Cessante Ratione Legis, Cessat Ipsa Lex
Latin: The reason for a law ceasing, the law itself ceases.
Cestui Que Trust or Cestui Que Use
Latin: the beneficiary of a trust.
Ceteris Paribus
Latin: all things being equal or unchanged.
Comitatus
Latin: a contract of personal services between a land lord and his men.
Commodum Ex Injuria Sua Nemo Habere Debet
Latin: a wrongdoer should not be enabled by law to take any advantage from his actions.
Commorientes
Two or more persons dying at about the same time, usually in the same event, but in circumstances in which it is impossible to determine the order of death.
Communis Error Facit Jus
Latin: Common error makes right.
Consensus
A decision achieved through negotiation whereby a hybrid resolution is arrived on an issue, dispute or disagreement, comprising typically of concessions made by all parties, and to which all parties then subscribe unanimously as an acceptable resolution.
Consensus Ad Idem
Latin: a meeting of the minds.
Consensus Tollit Errorem
Latin: Consent obviates errors in the course of judicial proceedings.
Consortium
Companionship, love and affection and intimacy between husband and wife within a mariage.
Consuetudo Volentes Ducit, Lex Nolentes Trahit
Customs leads the willing, law drags the unwilling.
Contemporanea Expositio
That the meaning of words in a document are to be understood in the sense which they bore at the time of the document.
Corpus Delicti
Latin: the body of the offense.
Crimen Omnia Ex Se Nata Vitiat
Latin: property obtained by crime is tainted (vitiated).
Cuicunque Aliquis Quid Concedit Concedere Videtur Et Id Sine Quo Res Ipsa Esse Non Poluit
Latin: Whoever grants a thing is supposed also tacitly to grant that without which the grant itself would be of no effect.
Cuius Est Solum Ejus Est Usque Ad Caelum
Latin: whose is the soil, his it is even to the skies and to the depths below.
Cuius Est Solum Ejus Est Usque Ad Coelum Et Ad Inferos
Latin: for whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to heaven and down to hell.
Cujus Est Commodum Ejus Debet Esse Incommodum
Latin: Whose is the advantage, his also should be the disadvantage.
Culpa Lata
Latin: gross negligence.
Cursus Curiae Est Lex Curiae
Latin: The practice of the court is the law of the court.
Custodia Legis
In the custody of the law; the taking, seizing or holding of something by lawful authority.
Damnum Absque Injuria
Latin: harm absent a wrong.
Damnum Injuria Datum
Latin: wrongful injury to the property of another.
De Bene Esse
To take something for what it is worth, such as evidence collected for the time being, in the absence of, but in anticipation of, litigation, admissibility to be determined when such thing is sought to be used against another at trial.
De Bonis Non
Latin: assets not yet administered.
Decree Nisi
A provisional decision of a court which does not have force or effect until a certain condition is met such as another petition brought before the court or after the passage of a period time.
Dedimus Potestatem de Attornato Faciendo
Latin: to substitute an attorney.
De Facto
Latin: in fact.
De Fide et Officio Judicis non Recipitur Quaestio, sed de Scientia Sive sit Eror Juris sive Facti
Latin: The bona fides and honesty of purpose of a judge cannot be questioned, but his decision may be impugned for error of law or of fact.
De injuria sua propria absque tali causa
Latin: of his own wrong (or injury) without any other cause.
De Jure
Latin: of the law.
Delegatus Non Potest Delegare
Latin: a delegate cannot delegate.
Delict
A civil law term which imposes liability on a person who causes injury to another, or for injury caused by a person or thing under his custody.
De Minimis Non Curat Lex
Latin: a common law principle whereby judges will not sit in judgment of extremely minor transgressions of the law.
De Non Apparentibus Et De Non Existentibus Eadem Est Ratio
Latin: What is not juridically presented cannot be judicially decided.
De Non Sane Memorie
Latin: of insane memory.
De Novo
Latin: new.
Dicta or Dictum
Latin: saying.
Dies Dominicus Non Est Juridicus
Latin: Sunday is not a day for judicial or legal proceedings.
Divorce a Mensa et Thoro
An obselete form of divorce order which did not end the marriage but allowed the parties to reside separate; in effect, a legal or judicially-sanctioned separation of two married persons.
Dolus Eventualis
Awareness of the likely outcome of an action.
Dominion Utile
Latin: the property rights of a tenant; exclusive right to use a thing
Dominium Directum
Latin: qualified ownership of a land: not having possession or use of property but retaining ownership.
Domitae Naturae
Animals which are of a nature easily tamed and may be readily domesticated.
Domus Sua Cuique Est Tutissimum Refugium
Latin: Every man's house is his refuge.
Donatio Mortis Causa
A death-bed gift, made by a dying person, with the intent that the person receiving the gift shall keep the thing if death ensues.
Duces Tecum
Latin: bring with you.
Dum Casta
Latin: for so long as she remains chaste.
Dum Sola
Latin: for so long as she remains unmarried.
Dum Sola et Casta Vixerit
Latin: for so long as she remains single (unmarried) and chaste.
Dum Vidua
Latin: for so long as she remains a widow.
Ejusdem or Eiusdem Generis
Of the same kind or nature.
Emptio or Emtio
Latin for 'purchase' or referring to the contract in which something is bought.
En banc
(French) As a full bench.
Error In Objecto
A mistake by a perpetrator as to the identity of the victim; an error as to the object of his act.
Erunt animae duae in carne una
Latin: two souls in one flesh.
Et. al.
Latin: and others.
Et Impotentia Excusat Legem
The law excuses someone from doing the impossible.
Ex Aequo Et Bono
Latin: in justice and fairness.
Exceptio Non Adimpleti Contractus
Latin: exception of a non-performed contract.
Ex Debito Justitiae
Latin: as of right.
Executio Juris Non Habet Injuriam
Latin: The execution of the law does no injury.
Ex Juris
Latin: outside of the jurisdiction.
Ex officio
Latin: by virtue of office.
Exordium
Latin: introduction.
Ex Parte
Latin: outside the awareness of a party; for one party only.
Ex Patriate
A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citizenship and has become a subject or citizen of another country.
Ex Post Facto
Latin: after the fact.
Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius
Latin: the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other.
Ex Rel
Latin: on the relation of, or the information of.
Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio
Latin: Of an illegal cause there can be no lawsuit.
Falsa Demonstratio Non Nacet
A wrong description of an item in a legal document (such as a will) will not necessarily void the gift if it can be determined from other facts.
Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum
Latin: do justice though the heavens fall.
Fieri Facias
Latin: that you cause to be made. Mostly used to refer to a writ of judgment enforcement obtained under the old common law of England.
Functus Officio
Latin: an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because of the arrival of an expiry date or because an agency has accomplished the purpose for which it was created.
Furiosi Nulla Voluntas Est
Latin: mentally impaired persons cannot validly sign a commit their will.
Furtum
Latin: theft or a thing stolen..
Habeas Corpus
Latin: a court petition which orders that a person being detained be produced before a judge for a hearing to decide whether the detention is lawful.
Hereditas
Latin: the estate of a deceased person.
Hereditas Damnosa
Latin: an inheritance that is more of a burden than a benefit.
Hereditas Jacens
Latin: an unclaimed estate.
Hostis Humani Generis
Latin: the enemy of mankind.
Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat
Latin: ignorance of the law is no excuse.
In Absentia
Latin: in the absence of.
In Camera
A closed and private session of Court or some other deliberating body.
In Fictione Juris Semper Aequitas Existit
Latin: With legal fictions, equity always exists.
In haec verba
Latin: verbatim.
In Jure Non Remota Causa Sed Proxima Spectatur
Latin: In law the near cause is looked to, not the remote one.
In Limine
Latin: at the beginning or on the threshold.
In Loco Parentis
A person who, though not the natural parent, has acted as a parent to a child and may thus be liable to legal obligations as if he/she were a natural parent.
In Pari Delicto
Latin: both parties are equally at fault.
In Personam
Latin: regarding a person; a right, action, judgment or entitlement that is attached to a specific person(s).
In Rem
Latin: regarding a thing; proprietary in nature; a right or judgment related to the use or ownership of an item of property.
Inter Alia
Latin: 'among other things', 'for example' or 'including'.
Interest Reipublicae Ut Sit Finis Litium
Latin: in the interest of society as a whole, litigation must come to an end.
Inter Partes
Latin: between, among parties.
Interpretatio Cessat in Claris
Latin: Interpretation stops when a text is clear.
In Terrorem
Latin: in terror, fright, threat or warning.
Inter Se
Latin: as between or amongst themselves.
Inter Vivos
Latin: from one living person to another living person.
In tota fine erga omnes et omnia
Latin: for all purposes, in regards to all and everything.
In Toto
Latin: in total.
Intuitu Personae
Latin: Because of the person.
Ipso facto
Latin: By the act itself.
Ipso jure
Latin: by operation of law.
J. D.
Abbreviation for juris doctor or doctor of jurisprudence and the formal name given to the university law degree in the United States.
Judex
A form of judge in early Roman law.
Jura Regalia
Rights which belong to the Crown or to the Government.
Jurat
The written certification by a judicial officer that a deponent or affiant recognizes and endorses all parts of an affidavit he or she proposes to sign, and confirms that an oath has been administered in this regard to the affiant.
Jure
Latin: by right, under legal authority.
Jure Coronae
A right of the Crown.
Juris Utriusque Doctor
Latin: a combined law degree, in both civil and canon law.
Jus
Latin: the law or a legal right.
Jus Ad Bellum
Latin: the legal authority to wage war.
Jus Cogens
Latin: peremptory law.
Jus Detractus
Latin: The right to deduct.
Jus Disponendi
Latin: The right to dispose of a thing.
Jus Dispositivum
Law adopted by consent.
Jus Ex Injuria Non Oritur
Latin: a legal right or entitlement cannot arise from an unlawful act or omission.
Jus Publicum
Latin: legal rights enjoyed by all citizens; more recently used in reference to the right of the public to access shorelines for fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing and other related purposes.
Jus Spatiandi Et Manendi
Latin: the right to stray and remain.
Justiciar
An obsolete judicial position of English nobility; that of chief justice of the realm.
Jus Vitae Necisque
Latin: Power of life and death.
Leges Posteriores Priores Contrarias Abrogant
Latin: Later laws abrogate prior contrary laws.
Lex Causae
Latin; law of the cause.
Lex Fori
Latin for the law of the forum.
Lex Loci Contractus
Latin: the law of the place where the contract is made.
Lex Loci Delecti
Latin: the place of the wrong.
Lex Non Cogit Ad Impossibilia
Latin: The law does not compel a man to do that which is impossible.
Lex Non Scripta
Unwritten law; the common or custom law.
Lex Scripta
Written law; statutes.
Lex Situs
A conflict of law rule that selects the applicable law based on the venue or location of something.
Lis Pendens
Latin: a dispute or matter which is the subject of ongoing or pending litigation.
Locus
Latin: the place; venue.
Locus Regit Actum
Latin: The law of the place where the facts occurred.
Locus Standi
Latin: legal standing before a court.
Lubricum Linquae Non Facile Trahendum Est In Poena
Latin: the law tends to overlook rash or inconsiderate language spoken in the heat of the moment.
Mala Fides
Latin: bad faith.
Malum in se
Latin: something wrong in itself.
Malum prohibitum
Latin: wrong because prohibited.
Mandamus
A writ which commands an individual, organization (eg. government), administrative tribunal or court to perform a certain action, usually to correct a prior illegal action or a failure to act in the first place.
Mansuetae Naturae
Latin: animals which are now generally domestic, presumed gentle and readily tamed, such as dogs, cats, cows and horses.
Mea Culpa
Latin: I am guilty.
Melius Est Petere Fontes Quam Sectari Rivulos
Latin: it is better to seek the sources than to follow the tributaries.
Mens Rea
Latin for guilty mind; guilty knowledge or intention to commit a prohibited act.
Mobilia Sequuntur Personam, Immobilia Situa
Latin: movables follow the person, immovables their locality.
Modus Operandi
Latin: method of operation.
Mortis Omnia Solvit
Latin: Death puts an end to everything.
Mutatis Mutandis
Latin: with changes on points of detail.
Necessitas Indicit Privilegium Quoad Jura Privata
From necessity spring privileges upon private rights.
Nemo Debet Bis Vexari Pro Una Et Eadem Causa
Latin: No-one shall be tried or punished twice in regards to the same event.
Nemo Debet Locupletari Ex Aliena Jactura
Latin: no one should be enriched by another's loss.
Nemo Judex In Parte Sua
Latin: no person can judge a case in which he or she is party or in which he/she has an interest.
Nemo Patriam In Qua Natus Est Exuere, Nec Ligeantiae Debitum Ejurare Possit
Latin: No one can renounce the country in which he was born nor the bond of allegiance.
Nisi Prius
Latin: unless, before. More commonly, a civil jury trial.
Nolle Prosequi
Latin: no prosecution.
Nolo Contendere
Latin: I will not defend.
Non Compos Mentis
Latin: Not of sound mind.
Non Est Factum
Latin: not his deed.
Non Potest Adduci Exceptio Ejusdem Rei Cujus Petitur Dissolutio
Latin: A plea of a matter sought from a court, cannot be contradicted by the same litigant.
Non Potest Rex Gratiam Facere Cum Injuria Et Damno Aliorum
The king cannot confer a favor on one subject which occasions injury and loss to others.
Non Sequitur
Latin: it does not follow.
Noscitur a sociis
Latin: that the meaning of a word may be known from accompanying words.
Nota Bene
Latin: note well.
Nova Constitutio Futuris Formam Imponere Debet, Non Praeteritis
Latin: a new law ought to be construed to interfere as little as possible with vested rights.
Nudum Pactum
Latin: an empty pact; a contract for which there is no consideration.
Nullum Tempus Occurit Regi
Latin: time does not run against the King.
Nunc Pro Tunc
Latin: deemed retroactive.
Nuptias non concubitus sed consensus facit.
Latin: consent, not physical intercourse, constitutes marriage.
Obiter Dictum
Latin: an observation by a judge on a matter not specifically before the court or not necessary in determining the issue before the court.
Omne Majus Continet In Se Minus
Latin: The greater contains the less.
Omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem
Latin: All things are presumed against the individual who destroys evidence.
Omnis Innovatio Plus Novitate Perturbat Quam Utilitate Prodest
Latin: The disturbance resulting from an innovation is so great an evil as to outweigh any benefit that might arise from it.
Onus
Latin: the burden.
Pacta Sunt Servanda
Latin: agreements must be kept.
Parens Patriae
Latin: literally, father of the country. Refers to the inherent jurisdiction of the courts to make decisions concerning people who are not able to take care of themselves.
Pari Delicto
Latin: of equal fault.
Pari Passu
Latin: Equitably and without preference.
Pater est quem nuptiae demonstrant
Latin: The father is he who is married to the mother.
Patrocinium
A contract under Roman law where a man agrees to be another's servant in exchange for food and shelter.
Peccatum illud horribile, inter Christianos non nominandum
Latin: that horrible crime not to be named among Christians.
Pendente Lite
Latin: during litigation.
Per Capita
Latin: by the head.
Per Curiam
Latin: on behalf of the court.
Per Incuriam
Latin: through want of care.
Per Infortunium
Latin: by misadventure.
Per Quod Consortium Amisit
Latin: whereby he loses the company of his wife.
Per Se
Latin: of itself.
Per Stirpes
Latin: by the plant.
Pia Causa
Latin: charitable purposes.
Piracy Jure Gentium
Piracy according to the law of nations.
Plene Administravit
Latin for administration (is) complete.
Præcipe or Precipe
Latin: an initiating document presented to a court clerk to be officially issued on behalf of the court or a the covering memo or letter from the lawyer (or plaintiff) which accompanies and formally asks for the writ to be issued by the court officer.
Praemunire
An offence initially to prefer the Pope or his authority as against the King of England or Parliament, but later included a wide assortment of offenses against the King and always leading to serious penalties.
Precarium
Latin: the giving of land as a reward or to secure a debt.
Prima Facie
(Latin) A legal presumption which means on the face of it or at first sight.
Pro Bono
Latin: for the good.
Pro Forma
Latin: for the sake of form.
Pro jure patrio stamus
Latin: we will defend our rights.
Pro Possessore
Latin: a person who holds something only as possessor, not necessarily as owner.
Pro Possessore Habetur Qui Dolo Injuriave
Latin: he whose possession is taken away by fraud or injury will be deemed to continue to possess.
Proprio Motu
Latin: of one's own initiative.
Pro Rata
Latin: to divide proportionate to a certain rate or interest.
Pro Se
Latin: on one’s own behalf.
Pro Socio
Latin: on behalf of a partnership.
Pro Tempore
Latin: something done temporarily only and not intended to be permanent.
Quaere
Latin for "query" as in an issue on which some doubt or question exists.
Quaestor
In ancient Roman law, senior legal advisor.
Quam legem exteri nobis posuere, eandem illis ponemus
Latin: What law is imposed by foreign powers on our merchants, we will impose on their's.
Quando Jus Domini Regis Et Subditi Concurrunt, Jus Regis Praeferri Debet
Latin: When the right of the sovereign and that of a subject conflict, the right of the sovereign is to be preferred.
Quantum
Latin: amount or extent.
Quantum Meruit
Latin: as much as is deserved.
Quia Emptores
A 1290 English statute that held that notwithstanding the subdivision (subinfeudation) of a feeholding; the new tenant owed feudal rights and obligations not to the seller but to the Land Lord.
Quicquid Plantatur Solo, Solo Cedit
Latin: whatever is planted in the ground, belongs to the ground.
Quid Pro Quo
Latin: something for something.
Qui Facit Per Alium Facit Per Se
Latin: he who acts through another, acts himself.
Qui Jure Suo Utitur Neminem Facit Injuriam
Latin: he who exercises his legal rights harms no one.
Qui Jussu Judicis Aliquod Fecerit, Non Videtur Dolo Malo Fecisse, Quia Parere Necesse Est
Latin: One who does a wrongful act by order of a Court having jurisdiction, is not liable in tort, because he must obey the law.
Qui Non Obstat Quod Obstare Potest, Facere Videtur
Latin: an individual who does not prevent something which he/she could of prevented, is taken to have done that thing.
Qui Prior Est Tempore, Potior Est Jure
Latin: he who is earlier in time is stronger in law.
Qui Tam
Latin: who as well.
Quod Ab Initio Non Valet In Tractu Temporis Non Convalesait
Latin: That which was originally void does not by lapse of time become valid.
Quod Remedio Destituitur Ipsa Re Valet, Si Culpa Absit
Latin: That which is without a remedy is valid by the thing itself, if there be no fault.
Quorum
The minimum number of voting members that must be in attendance at a meeting of an organization for that meeting to be regularly constituted.
Quo Warranto
Latin: legal procedure taken to stop a person or organization from doing something for which it may not have the legal authority, by demanding to know by what right they exercise the controversial authority.
Rapina
Latin: to take away forcefully.
Ratio Decidendi
Latin: reasons for a decision.
Ratione Loci
Latin: by reason of the place.
Ratione Personae
Latin: by reason of his person.
Ratione Soli
Latin: In relation to territory, land.
Rebus Sic Stantibus
Latin: changed circumstances.
Reddendum
Latin: that part of a lease which sets out the amount of rent and when it is payable.
Remanet
Latin: an action that has been put over, deferred to a later time.
Res Derelicta
Latin: a thing abandoned.
Res Gestae
Latin: things done.
Res Ipsa Loquitur
Latin: the thing speaks for itself.
Res Judicata
Latin: already subject to judicial determination.
Res Noviter Veniens Ad Notitiam
Latin: Fact(s) newly coming to knowledge.
Respondeat superior
Latin: let the principal answer.
Restitutio In Integrum
Latin: restitution to the original position.
Retraxit
Latin: a withdrawal of a legal action.
Rex Debet Esse Sub Lege, Quia Lex Facit Regem
The king should be subject to the law for the law makes the king.
Rex Non Potest Peccare
Latin: the king can do no wrong.
Rex Nunquam Moritur
Latin: the king never dies.
Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex
Latin: the welfare of an individual yields to that of the community.
Scaccarium
Latin: chess game but in English law, the exchequer, usually in reference to the Court of Exchequer.
Scienter
Latin: actual or guilty knowledge; knowingly.
Scintilla Juris
Latin: a spark of legal right.
Se Defendendo
Latin: self-defence.
Sic Utera Tuo Ut Alienam Non Laedas
Latin: use your property in such a fashion so as to not disturb others.
Sine Die
Latin: without a day. Taken to mean without fixing a day for continuation.
Sine Qua Non
Latin: without which, not.
Situs
Latin: location.
Stare Decisis
Latin: stay with what has been decided.
Statuta Suo Clauduntur Territorio, Nec Ultra Territorium Disponunt
Statutes are confined to their own territory and have no extra-territorial effect.
Statutes in Pari Materia
Statutes sharing a common purpose or relating to the same subject and which are construed together.
Strictissimi Juris
Latin: the strictest letter of the law.
Sub Judice
Latin: under judicial consideration.
Subpoena
Latin: an order of a court which requires a person to be present at a certain time and place or suffer a penalty (subpoena means, literally, under penalty).
Sui Generis
Latin: of its own kind.
Sui Juris
Latin: one's own law; having full capacity.
Summa Ratio Est Quae Pro Religione Facit
Latin: The best rule is that which advances religion.
Tenendum
Latin: to be held. In law, that part of a contract in which an interest in real property is created that sets out the extent or limitations of that interest.
Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae
1188 statement of English common law.
Transit In Rem Judicatam
Latin: The cause of action is changed into matter of record, which is of a higher nature, and the inferior remedy is merged in the higher.
Uberrimae Fidei
Latin: of the utmost good faith.
Ubi Eadem Ratio, Ibi Idem Jus
Latin: Where there is the same reason, there is the same law
Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium
Latin: For every wrong, the law provides a remedy.
Ubi scelus est id, quod non prosicit scire, jubemus (insurgere) leges, armari jura gladio ultore, ut exquisitis poenis subdantur infames, qui sunt, vel qui futuri sunt rei
Latin: Where that infamy exists,which ought not to be known, we commend the laws to be enforced and the authorities be armed with the avenging sword, that those infamous wretches may be overwhelmed with the severest punishment, who are, or shall be guilty of this crime.
Ultra Petita
Latin: beyond that which is sought.
Ultra Vires
Latin: beyond the powers.
Use
Latin: trust.
Usufruct
The rights to the product of another's property.
Usury
Excessive or illegal interest rate.
Utile Per Inutile Non Vitiatur
Latin: That which is useful is not vitiated by that which is useless.
Ut Res Magis Valeat Quam Pereat
Latin: It is better for a thing to have effect than to be made void.
Vacatur
Latin: to set aside a judgment.
Valeat Quantum Valere Potest
Latin: it shall have effect as far as it can have effect.
Vana Est Illa Potentia Quae Nunquam Venit In Actum
Latin: power is vain if never put into action.
Venditio
Latin: a sale.
Venditio Bonorum
Latin: sale of goods.
Verba Fata
Latin: faded, obsolete words.
Verba Fortius Accipiuntur Contra Proferentem
Latin: a contract is interpreted against the person who wrote it.
Videlicet
Latin: to wit or that is to say.
Vigilantibus Et Non Dormientibus Jura Subveniunt
Latin: the law assists those that are vigilant with their rights, and not those that sleep thereupon.
Vinculum Juris
Latin: a legal bound.
Vir
Latin: man or husband.
Viva Voce
Latin: by voice.
Viz
Latin: to wit, that is to say.
Volenti Non Fit Injuria
Latin: to one who is willing, no harm is done.

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