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Unlocking The Power Of Legal Maxims: How Latin Phrases Shape Indian Law Interpretation And Implementation

Legal maxims are concepts or norms of law that are often utilised by judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals to govern their interpretation and implementation of the law in Indian law. These sayings, which are frequently expressed in Latin, have grown over centuries of legal precedent and use.

Some of India's most popular legal adages are listed below:

  • Audi alteram partem:

    This maxim means "hear the other side", and is a fundamental principle of natural justice. It implies that no person should be condemned unheard and that every person has the right to be heard in a fair and impartial manner.
  • Res judicata:

    This maxim means "a thing adjudicated", and refers to the principle that a matter that has been finally decided by a court of competent jurisdiction cannot be re-litigated by the same parties.
  • Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa:

    This maxim means "no one should be a judge in his own cause", and refers to the principle of bias. It implies that a person who has an interest in a matter should not be allowed to decide it.
  • Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea:

    This maxim means "an act does not make a person guilty unless there is a guilty intention", and is a principle of criminal law. It implies that a person cannot be punished for an act that was not committed with a guilty mind.
  • Ignorantia juris non excusat:

    This maxim means "ignorance of the law is no excuse", and implies that a person cannot escape liability for a criminal or civil offense by pleading ignorance of the law.
  • Salus populi suprema lex:

    This maxim means "the welfare of the people is the supreme law", and refers to the principle that the interests of the community should take precedence over individual interests.
  • Qui facit per alium facit per se:

    This maxim means "he who acts through another acts himself", and refers to the principle of vicarious liability. It implies that a person who directs or authorizes another to do something is himself responsible for the act.

These are just a few examples of the many legal maxims that are recognized and applied in Indian law. Also Read:

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