Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum Definition:

Latin: do justice though the heavens fall.

Related Terms: Salus Populi Est Suprema Lex, Roman Law

A maxim referred to, form time to time, by courts in their judgments to signify that though there may be significant or unpopular consequences to their decision, judgment in accordance with the principles of justice will issue regardless.

Georgia Supreme Court fiat justitiaAbove the main hearing bench of the Georgia Supreme Court (United States) is the inscription:

Fiat Justitia, Ruat Caelum.

Other spellings:

  • Fiat justitia, ruat coelum
  • Fiat justitiae, ruat caelum.

Often shorted to, simply, fiat justitia and presented as let right be done.

Litigants will reference this maxim to address a defendant's concern that to allow the claim might ruin a corporation, an insurance fund or jeopardize the resources of some public service.


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