The legal maxims are very short, brief or concise in nature. They are to the
point statement. These maxims often used as fundamental rule or principle which
society has to follow. There are some legal maxims which are commonly used in
law of torts and came into light through cases. The most important factor for
constituent of tort is that person or plaintiff from legal damage.1
These maxims are widely used in torts, following are the maxims which are
define in detail further:
Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium is a Latin maxim which means Where there is right,
there is a remedy. If any wrong has done then law will provide remedy for
that. In other words, it can be said that law if any damage has been done or
a persons right has been infringed the court will provide remedy as
according to this maxim. The law presumes that there is no right without
remedy and if all remedies are gone to enforce a right, the right in point
of law cease to exist. Justice Pollock mentioned that right and wrong are
contrary to each other. Right actions are those which are based on moral
values and it is not prohibited by law whereas wrong actions are those which
are not based on moral values and rules and is prohibited by law.3
It is said that law of tort is development of this maxim. The term 'jus'
refers to 'legal authority to do something' and remedium refers that person
has right of action in court of law. It was observed by Circuit Court of
Appeals of USA that it is an elementary maxim of equity of jurisprudence and
without remedy there is no wrong.4
The maxim says that if rights are
available to person, then it is necessary to be maintained by that person
only and remedy is available when that person is injured during the exercise
of duty. It is not possible to imagine a right without remedy. The rights
infringed and remedy sought must be legal. There are so many wrong which are
not actionable as it does not give sufficient reason to take legal action
because they are not recognized by law. It means that there is not a legal
remedy for every wrong done.
There are certain limitations on this maxim that it does not apply over
political and moral wrong which are not actionable, where proper remedy is
given under common law, if negligence is on part of plaintiff, in cases of
public nuisance and promises made without consideration like personal
commitment, for example, you are inviting someone on dinner but because of
certain situation you are unable to give dinner, here that person has no
right to file suit against you.
Sardar Amarjit Singh Kalra vs Pramod Gupta and Others The Supreme Court held that maxim Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium is recognized as
a basic principle of theory or philosophy of law and that courts have to
protect and maintain right of people and help them, in place of denying
Bhim Singh Vs State of Jammu and Kashmir Bhim Singh was an MLA from J & K Constituency, was unlawfully detained
by police officer and restrained from giving vote and also not presented
before magistrate within time. Thus, he was unable to cast a ballot but
the participant whom he wanted wins the elections. So, he filed a suit
that he was prevented from exercising his rights. His Fundamental Right
under Article 21 was infringed. The Supreme Court held that defendants
were responsible and awarded Rs. 50,000 as compensation to petitioner
for infringement of his rights.
Ashby Vs White Ashby was qualified voter however he stopped from voting in
Parliamentary elections. The candidate he wanted to vote, won election.
The court held that though plaintiff has suffered no damage as candidate
he wished for, won election but legal right has infringed and he is
entitled to enforce right. The maxim was applied in case and
compensation provided to petitioner.
Holt CJ said that "If man will multiply injuries, action must be
multiplied too; for every man who is injured ought to have recompensate".
Shivkumar Chadha Vs Municipal Corporation of Delhi The Supreme Court held that where statutory enactments do not provide
any remedy but only creates rights and liabilities, if any person
complains of his rights being violated or wrongly affected such person
can approach civil court on basis of principle of legislation that where
there is right, there is remedy.
Injuria Sine DamnoIt means, Injury without Damage. It means infringement of an absolute
legal right without any actual loss or damage. According, to this maxim even
smallest of legal injury even if it does not lead to any damage is liable to
be compensated with adequate compensation.
For example, If A roams around B's house without any reason, then
there is violation of legal right of B and maxim is applicable.
The maxim covers the cases which are actionable per se that is which are
actionable without proof of any damage or loss. Like trespass to land is
actionable even though no damage has been caused as a result of trespass. In
such, type of cases there is no requirement to prove that as a consequence
of act, the plaintiff has suffered any harm.
The only thing which is required to prove is infringement of legal right of
plaintiff. The amount of damage depends on several factors like extent of
legal injury, nature of infringement of right, precedent requirement, extent
of harm foreseen by defendant and few other criteria.
In case of this maxim loss suffered by plaintiff is relevant only for
measure of damages. If plaintiff has suffered no harm but wrongful act is
actionable, then the question arises that how much compensation shall be
paid to plaintiff. In such cases, court will award nominal damages. The
purpose is completed so far as violation of legal right doesn't remain
without legal remedy. But when act of infringement of legal right is owing
to mischievous and malicious act, in view of court, the court will grant
Ashbhy Vs White This is a landmark case on this maxim. In this plaintiff succeeded in
his action even when act of defendant doesn't cause any damage. The
plaintiff was eligible to vote and was prevented from voting which
results in infringement of his right to vote. The court held that
preventing a lawful voter from giving vote is violation of his legal
right and thus plaintiff awarded damages.
Bhim Singh Vs State of Jammu and Kashmir The Supreme Court recognized that right to vote has been infringed of
MLA Bhim Singh and granted an exemplary damage of Rs. 50,000. Further,
police official was criticizing adversely for negligence of their lawful
duty and mala fide conduct.
Damnum Sine Injuria: The maxim means, Damage without Injury. The term 'damnum' refers to
'damage', 'sine' refers to 'without' and 'injuria' refers to 'injury'. It
means that when an action is done either intentionally or not of inflicting
injury to someone else but without violating legal rights of person, then
such action isn't actionable under law. Even if plaintiff has suffered some
kind of monetary or physical damage due to act of defendant, the court of
law would not grant legal remedy as legal right has not been violated.
For example, If A has a judiciary preparation coaching in Delhi.
Every batch of his coaching is always full, but because of coaching opened
by B, A's batches are not filling as there is shift of students from
coaching of A to B. Here, A cannot file a suit against B yet A have suffered
monetary damages because of B's coaching.
It is an implied principle of law that there are no remedies for any wrongs
until any kind of legal right has been infringed. The court presumes that
damages have to be awarded where legal right has been infringed but where
there is no infringement of legal right, the maxim will apply thereby
providing no remedies.
There are several acts which are harmful but not wrong thereby giving no
right of action, Damnum may be absque injuria. An act which are done for
self defence against common enemy such as removal of support to land where
no such right of support has been acquired and damage caused due to acts
authorized by statute are instances of 'Damnum Absque Injuria' and damage
resulting isn't actionable.
In case of Action vs Blundell, defendants dig a coalpit intercepted water
which affected plaintiff's well. The court held plaintiff not liable as
plaintiff digs for his purposes and the inconvenience of defendant falls
within, Damnum Absque Injuria.
Gloucester Grammar School A defendant set up a school in neighborhood to that of plaintiff. As a
result, the plaintiff suffers monetary loss, plaintiff filed suit
against defendant. Here, court held that plaintiff has no right to
complain of opening a new school. Here, Damnum may be absque injuriua.
Hankford J. said that:
"As I have a mill and my neighbour builds another mill whereby profit of
my mill is diminished. I shall have no action against him although I
have suffered damage".
Mogul Steamship Co. Ltd. Vs McGregor Gow and Co. Several steamship companies came together and drove away the monopoly of
ship transportation of goods business of plaintiff's company. The
company having monopoly diminishes as customer started to shift towards
another company. The aggrieved company claimed damages.
The court held that Plaintiff had no cause of action as defendants
lawfully protect and extend their trade and increase profits.
Thus, tort is a wrongful conduct which results in infringement of legal right of
person and further it will provide remedies to the person whose right has been
infringed. There are certain basic maxims that is 'Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium
which means where there is right, there is remedy, 'Injuria Sine Damno
means the legal right of person is infringed but without actual damage or loss
and 'Damnum Sine Injuria' which means damage happened to plaintiff but his legal
right has not been infringed. On the basis of these maxims, the person whose
right has been infringed will provided remedy by court of law.
Written By: Arushi Srivastava -
Student [BALL.B Hons]
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