Legal Maxims – 1

Delhi Law Academy

 The table below contains a list of important Legal Maxims. Commit these to memory, as they are commonly asked directly in Law Entrance Exams.


Term Definition
Ab initio mundi from the beginning of the world
Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea A guilty mind is necessary to constitute a crime
Affirmanti, non neganti, incumbit probation The proof is incumbent upon the one who affirms, not on the one who denies
Amicus curiae Friend of court, a lawyer appointed by a court to represent a poor litigant
Audi alteram partem Hear the other side, no one shall be condemned unheard
Causa patet The reason is obvious
Causa sine qua non Cause essential to the occurring of the event
Consensus ad idem Agreement as to the same thing in the same sense
Consensus, non concubitus, facit matrimonium It is the consent of the parties, not their cohabitation, which constitutes a valid marriage
Damnum sine injuria Damnum means damage or harm. Sine means without. Injuria means legal injury, i.e. infringement of a legal right.A person may have suffered damage or harm but if there is no infringement of his legal right, such damage is not actionable
De die in diem From day to day
Injuria sine damnum Legal injury without damage. Even where no damage or harm is caused to a person he can still sue under tort if his legal right is infringed
Qui facit per alium facit per se He who acts through another acts himself
Respondeat superior Superior is responsible
Volenti non fit injuria Voluntarily suffered injury is not fit for action.Essential ingredients:(i)        The plaintiff had knowledge of risk

(ii)       He ran the risk with his free consent