Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Vinculum Juris Definition:

Latin: a legal bound.

In Roman law, as with its successor, the civil law, theorists describe a fundamental feature of obligations (torts and contracts) by the legal tie, the vinculum juris that it creates between two persons.

Howe writes:

“The phrase vinculum juris as employed in the definition of the Institutes, is an energetic expression signifying the tenacity of the legal tie, which is thus likened to a tether of steel.”

Laferriere wrote that once a person became vinculum juris:

“He ceased to belong completely to himself.”


  • Burrill, A., Law Dictionary and Glossary, Vol. II (New York: Baker, Voorhis & Co., Law Publishers, 1867), page 595
  • Howe, W., Studies in the Civil Law (Littleton, Colorado: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1980), page 99
  • Laferriere, F., Histoire du Droit Civil de Rome et du Droit Francais (Paris, 1846)

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