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
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
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.