Latin Phrases

ab extra – from Outside

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ab extra
From outside

ab initio
From the beginning

actus reus
A guilty deed or act

ad hoc
For this purpose

ad infinitum
To infinity, without limit, forever

Elsewhere, at another place

From elsewhere, from a different source


bona fide
Sincere, in good faith

bona vacantia
Vacant goods, i.e., goods without an owner

cadit quaestio
Question falls, i.e., the matter admits of no further argument

A write from a High Court to Lower Court

ceteris paribus
Other things being equal

Unanimously, by general consent

consensus ad idem
Agreement as to the same things

To the contrary

contra bonos mores
Contrary to good morals

coram non judice
Before one who is not a judge


corpus delicti
The body of the offense

custos morum
A guardian of morals

de bonis asportatis
Of goods carried away

de die in diem
From day to day

de facto
In fact

de futuro
In the future

de integro
As regards the whole

de jure
Rightful, by right

de lege ferenda
What the law ought to be (as opposed to what the law is)

de lege lata
What the law is (as opposed to what the law ought to be)

de novo
Starting afresh


Doubting the correctness of the decision

ei incumbit probatio qui
The onus of proving the fact rests upon a man

et cetera
Other things of that type

ex cathedra
With official authority

ex concessis
In view of what has already been accepted

ex facie
On the fact of it

ex gratia
Out of kindness, voluntarily

ex parte
Proceeding brought by one person in the absense of another

ex post facto
By reason of a subsequent fact

Something which is to be done

An act, or a deed

fructus naturales
Vegetation which grows naturally without cultivation

The same person or being

id est (i.e)
That is

in camera
In private

in delicto
At fault

Marks, signs

in esse
In existence

in extenso
At full length

in limine
At the outset, on the threshold

in loco parentis
In place of a parent

in omnibus
In every respect

in pleno
In full

in situ
In its place

in solidum
The whole.
In a situation where several co-obligants are bound “in solidum”, each is liable in full payment or performance. The creditor may choose which of the obligants s/he will sue. Every person whose name appears on a bill, whether as acceptor or endorser, is liable in full payment of its contents. After payment, s/he may do diligence against the others for relief.
Term ‘in solidum’ is contrasted with term ‘pro rata’. To be bound ‘pro rata’ is in a joint obligation to not be bound for the whole but only for their share.

inter alia
Amongst other things

Temporary; in the meanwhile

in terrorem
As a warning or a deterrent

ipsissima verba
The very words of a speaker

ipso facto
By that very fact

A right that is recognised in law

jus naturale
Natural justice

locus in quo
Scene of the event

magnum opus
A great work of literature

mala fides
Bad faith

mens rea
Guilty state of mind

nemo dat quod non habet
No one can give a better title than he has



non compus mentis
Not of sound mind and understanding

non constat
It is not certain

non est factum
It is not her/his deed

non sequitur
It does not follow, i.e., an inconsistent statement

onus probandi
Burden of proof


par delictum
Equal fault

pari passu
On an equal footing

per curiam
In the opinion of the court

per minas
By means of menaces or threats

per quod
By reason of which

post mortem
After death

prima facie
On the face of it

prima impressionis
On first impression

pro hac vice
For this occasion

pro tanto
So far; to that extent

pro tempore
For the time being

publici juris
Of public right

Consider whether it is correct

The question is raised

How much; an amount

quid pro quo
Consideration; something for something

In the matter of…

Matter, affair, thing, circumstance

res gestae
The thing done

res nulis
Nobody’s property


The legal position is different, it is otherwise

Do not delete, let it stand

sub modo
Within limits

sub nomine
Under the name of

sub silentio
In silence

suggestio falsi
The suggestion of something which is untrue

sui generis

suppressio veri
The suppression of the truth

talis qualis
Such as it is

uberrima fides
Good faith

uno flatu
At the same moment, with one breath

Word by word, exactly

vice versa
The other way around



Bancus Communium Placitorum
Court of Common Pleas

bona mobilia
Moveable property

bona peritura
Perishable goods

bona vacantia
Unclaimed property

felo de se
A suicide

locum tenens
A deputy

lex talionis
The law of retaliation

bona fiscalia
Public property

chartae libertatum
Charters of liberties

capias ad audiendum
Writ ordering appearance in court

capias ad respondendum
Writ ordering the arrest of a person

capias ad satisfaciendum
Writ ordering satisfaction of an order

dies juridicus
A day on which the court is in session

dies non juridicus
A day on which the court is not in session

Means of support (i.e., food, clothing, shelter)

Forensic argumentation; cross-examination

de lunatico inquiriendo
A writ to inquire into the insanity of a person

ambigendi locus
Room for doubt

amicus curiae
Friend of the court (i.e., impartial spokesperson)

bona fides
Documents proving identity (or ‘good faith’)


fieri facias
writ authorizing execution of a judgment

ex curia
Out of court

nolle prosequi
To be unwilling to prosecute

absente reo
The defendant being absent

accedas ad curiam
You may approach the court

contra ius commune
Against common law

To be informed by an appellate review court

custodia legis
In the custody of law

decessit sine prole (DSP)
Died without children

ad internecionem
To extermination

a mensa et toro
From table and bed (i.e., a legal separation)

cum onere
With the burden [of proving a charge]

de jure
In law /by right

in statu pupillari
In the state of being a ward



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