Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Quando Jus Domini Regis Et Subditi Concurrunt, Jus Regis Praeferri Debet Definition:

Latin: When the right of the sovereign and that of a subject conflict, the right of the sovereign is to be preferred.

Related Terms: Rex Non Potest Peccare

An ancient maxim of the common law that indicated the precedence the king had over his subjects in the exercise of his legal rights, in shielding himself from private claims, and of his standing in the courts of law.

This maxim, combined with others, especially rex non potest peccare (the king can do no wrong) were amng the sovereign's most powerful legal tools for centuries.

Radin's 1955 law dictionary offers the best rendering of the maxim:

"When the right of our lord the king and of his subject clash, the right of the king should be preferred."

In the 1844 edition of his treatise, Herbert Broom rendered quando jus domini regis et subditi concurrunt, jus regis præferri debet as follows:

"Where the title of the king and the title of a common person concur, the king's title shall be preferred."

Citing William Blackstone1, Justice Rogers of the Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, in Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Johnson Shipyards Corporation:

"The prerogative of the crown of England had its origin in a maxim of the common law: quando jus domini regis et subditi concurrent, jus regis præferri debet (no suit or action could be brought against the king, even in a civil action)."

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