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Glossary F-N

Glossary of Legal Latin Terms

See also: Glossary A-E and Glossary O-Z in this legal reference.

Glossary F-N

  • Falsa Demonstratio Non Nacet definition: A wrong description of an item in a legal document (such as a will) will not necessarily void the gift if it can be determined from other facts.
  • Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum definition: do justice though the heavens fall.
  • Fieri Facias definition: that you cause to be made. Mostly used to refer to a writ of judgment enforcement obtained under the old common law of England.
  • Formulary system meaning: civil procedure introduced in the mid-Republic and continuing until the 3rd century . A. D. (when it was superseded by cognitio system). The procedure was introduced by the praetors, who required the parties to formulate the issues in a case by a formal statement (formula), which was then passed on to the iudex for a determination of the facts. The various kinds of formulae recognized by the praetor would be set forth in his Edict (Roman law).
  • Functus Officio definition: an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because of the arrival of an expiry date or because an agency has accomplished the purpose for which it was created.
  • Furiosi Nulla Voluntas Est definition: mentally impaired persons cannot validly sign a commit their will.
  • Furtum definition: theft or a thing stolen..
  • Habeas Corpus definition: a court petition which orders that a person being detained be produced before a judge for a hearing to decide whether the detention is lawful.
  • Hereditas Damnosa definition: an inheritance that is more of a burden than a benefit.
  • Hereditas definition: the estate of a deceased person.
  • Hereditas Jacens definition: an unclaimed estate.
  • Heres suus meaning: a person who, upon death of a pater familias, became sui iuris (Roman law).
  • Honestiores / humiliores meaning: during the Empire, the populace was divided broadly into two classes. The honestiores were persons of status and property, the humiliores persons of low social status (Roman law). Only the latter were subject to certain kinds of punishment (crucifixion, torture, and corporal punishment) (Roman law).
  • Hostis Humani Generis definition: the enemy of mankind.
  • Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat definition: ignorance of the law is no excuse.
  • Impubes meaning: a person under the age of puberty (age 12 for girls, 14 for boys) (Roman law). They lacked full legal capacity and, if independent (sui iuris) had to be in tutelage (Roman law).
  • In Absentia definition: in the absence of.
  • In Camera definition: A closed and private session of Court or some other deliberating body.
  • In Fictione Juris Semper Aequitas Existit definition: With legal fictions, equity always exists.
  • In haec verba definition: verbatim.
  • In iure cessio meaning: a formal transfer of property in open court before the consul or praetor (Roman law).
  • In iure meaning: the initial proceedings of a trial, held before the praetor, at which the issues were framed for decision. It concluded with a “joinder of issue” (litis contestatio) (Roman law). The matter then went to the iudex for trial (apud iudicem) (Roman law).
  • In Jure Non Remota Causa Sed Proxima Spectatur definition: In law the near cause is looked to, not the remote one.
  • In Limine definition: at the beginning or on the threshold.
  • In Loco Parentis definition: A person who, though not the natural parent, has acted as a parent to a child and may thus be liable to legal obligations as if he/she were a natural parent.
  • In Pari Delicto definition: both parties are equally at fault.
  • In Personam definition: regarding a person; a right, action, judgment or entitlement that is attached to a specific person(s).
  • In Rem definition: regarding a thing; proprietary in nature; a right or judgment related to the use or ownership of an item of property.
  • In Terrorem definition: in terror, fright, threat or warning.
  • In tota fine erga omnes et omnia definition: for all purposes, in regards to all and everything.
  • In Toto definition: in total.
  • Infamia meaning: a condition of disgrace, involving significant legal disabilities, resulting from immoral or wrong conduct (conviction for a crime, condemnation in delictal actions, and actions involving breach of trust) (Roman law).
  • Inter Alia definition: ‘among other things’, ‘for example’ or ‘including’.
  • Inter Partes definition: between, among parties.
  • Inter Se definition: as between or amongst themselves.
  • Inter Vivos definition: from one living person to another living person.
  • Interdict meaning: an order issued by the praetor or other magistrate, usually giving rise to further proceedings if disregarded (Roman law). It was used especially as a procedural device to determine property rights; but it was also the normal way to start proceedings for the protection of both public and private interest (Roman law). The particular circumstances under which an interdictum would be issued were set forth in the praetor’s Edictum (Roman law).
  • Interest Reipublicae Ut Sit Finis Litium definition: in the interest of society as a whole, litigation must come to an end.
  • Interpretatio Cessat in Claris definition: Interpretation stops when a text is clear.
  • Intuitu Personae definition: Because of the person.
  • Ipso facto definition: By the act itself.
  • Ipso jure definition: by operation of law.
  • Iudex meaning: the “judge,” an unpaid private person chosen from the list (album) drawn up according to wealth to decide a case referred to him by the praetor (Roman law). If the case was heard by a panel of iudices, they were known as recuperatores (Roman law).
  • Ius civile meaning: the law applying to Roman citizens (Roman law).
  • Ius gentium meaning: the law common to all peoples (Roman law).
  • Ius honorarium meaning: the law developed in edicts issued by the praetors during the Republic and early Empire, aiding, supplementing or amending existing rules or procedures of the ius civile (Roman law). It was finalized in the 2nd century A (Roman law).D (Roman law). in the Edictum Perpetuum (Roman law). The procedures developed by the praetors (the formulary system) were superseded in the 3rd century by the cognitiones (Roman law).
  • Judex definition: A form of judge in early Roman law.
  • Jura Regalia definition: Rights which belong to the Crown or to the Government.
  • Jurat definition: The written certification by a judicial officer that a deponent or affiant recognizes and endorses all parts of an affidavit he or she proposes to sign, and confirms that an oath has been administered in this regard to the affiant.
  • Jure Coronae definition: A right of the Crown.
  • Jure definition: by right, under legal authority.
  • Jus Ad Bellum definition: the legal authority to wage war.
  • Jus Cogens definition: peremptory law.
  • Jus definition: the law or a legal right.
  • Jus Detractus definition: The right to deduct.
  • Jus Disponendi definition: The right to dispose of a thing.
  • Jus Dispositivum Law adopted by consent.
  • Jus Ex Injuria Non Oritur definition: a legal right or entitlement cannot arise from an unlawful act or omission.
  • Jus Publicum definition: legal rights enjoyed by all citizens; more recently used in reference to the right of the public to access shorelines for fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing and other related purposes.
  • Jus Spatiandi Et Manendi definition: the right to stray and remain.
  • Jus Vitae Necisque definition: Power of life and death.
  • Leges Posteriores Priores Contrarias Abrogant definition: Later laws abrogate prior contrary laws.
  • Legis actio meaning: any action at law (Roman law). Also, the “causes of action” in early Roman law (Roman law).
  • Lex Causae definition: law of the cause.
  • Lex Fori definition: the law of the forum.
  • Lex Loci Contractus definition: the law of the place where the contract is made.
  • Lex Loci Delecti definition: the place of the wrong.
  • Lex Non Cogit Ad Impossibilia definition: The law does not compel a man to do that which is impossible.
  • Lex Non Scripta definition: Unwritten law; the common or custom law.
  • lex non scripta, diuturni mores consensus utensium comprobati definition: Law derived from custom must be firmly entrenched in practice and adopted and followed by tradition.
  • Lex Scripta definition Written law; statutes.
  • Lex Situs definition: A conflict of law rule that selects the applicable law based on the venue or location of something.
  • Lis Pendens definition: a dispute or matter which is the subject of ongoing or pending litigation.
  • Locus definition: the place; venue.
  • Locus Regit Actum definition: The law of the place where the facts occurred.
  • Locus Standi definition: legal standing before a court.
  • Lubricum Linquae Non Facile Trahendum Est In Poena definition: the law tends to overlook rash or inconsiderate language spoken in the heat of the moment.
  • Maiestas meaning: the term applied to a number of criminal offenses against the state, including treason, sedition, desertion from the army and, later, offenses against the emperor and his family (Roman law).
  • Mala Fides definition: bad faith.
  • Malum in se definition: something wrong in itself.
  • Malum prohibitum definition: wrong because prohibited.
  • Mancipatio- the formal transfer of property by bronze and scales (per aes et libram) (Roman law). Only res mancipi may be so transferred (Roman law). It was also the procedure for making a will, for the passing of a woman into marital subordination, for bringing people into bondage for the purpose of adoption or emancipation, or as the result of a noxal action (Roman law).
  • Mandamus definition: A writ which commands an individual, organization (eg. government), administrative tribunal or court to perform a certain action, usually to correct a prior illegal action or a failure to act in the first place.
  • Mansuetae Naturae definition: animals which are now generally domestic, presumed gentle and readily tamed, such as dogs, cats, cows and horses.
  • Manumissio meaning: the freeing of a slave (Roman law). Also used for the release from bondage following emancipatio (Roman law).
  • Manus meaning: the power of the pater familias over his wife and his sons’ wives (Roman law).
  • Mea Culpa definition: I am guilty.
  • Melius Est Petere Fontes Quam Sectari Rivulos definition: it is better to seek the sources than to follow the tributaries.
  • Mens Rea definition: Latin for guilty mind; guilty knowledge or intention to commit a prohibited act.
  • Minor meaning: a person over the age of puberty (cf (Roman law). impubes) but under the age of 25. If sui iuris they had full legal capacity, though they could be protected by a grant of restitutio in integrum (the right to rescind transactions) under certain circumstances (Roman law).
  • Mobilia Sequuntur Personam, Immobilia Situa definition: movables follow the person, immovables their locality.
  • Modus Operandi definition: method of operation.
  • Mortis Omnia Solvit definition: Death puts an end to everything.
  • Mutatis Mutandis definition: with changes on points of detail.
  • Necessitas Indicit Privilegium Quoad Jura Privata definition: From necessity spring privileges upon private rights.
  • Nemo Debet Bis Vexari Pro Una Et Eadem Causa definition: No-one shall be tried or punished twice in regards to the same event.
  • Nemo Debet Locupletari Ex Aliena Jactura definition: no one should be enriched by another’s loss.
  • Nemo Judex In Parte Sua definition: no person can judge a case in which he or she is party or in which he/she has an interest.
  • Nemo Patriam In Qua Natus Est Exuere, Nec Ligeantiae Debitum Ejurare Possit definition: No one can renounce the country in which he was born nor the bond of allegiance.
  • nimia subtilitas in jure reprobatur, et talis certitudo certitudinem Confundit definition: too much subtlety in law is condemned, and so much certainty confounds certainty.
  • Nisi Prius definition: unless, before. More commonly, a civil jury trial.
  • Nolle Prosequi definition: no prosecution.
  • Nolo Contendere definition: I will not defend.
  • Non Compos Mentis definition: Not of sound mind.
  • Non Est Factum definition: not his deed.
  • Non Potest Adduci Exceptio Ejusdem Rei Cujus Petitur Dissolutio definition: A plea of a matter sought from a court, cannot be contradicted by the same litigant.
  • Non Potest Rex Gratiam Facere Cum Injuria Et Damno Aliorum definition: The king cannot confer a favor on one subject which occasions injury and loss to others.
  • Non Sequitur definition: it does not follow.
  • Noscitur a sociis definition: that the meaning of a word may be known from accompanying words.
  • Nota Bene definition: note well.
  • Nova Constitutio Futuris Formam Imponere Debet, Non Praeteritis definition: a new law ought to be construed to interfere as little as possible with vested rights.
  • Noxal surrender meaning: the handing over of a slave or animal as compensation to the victim of a delict committed by him (Roman law).
  • Nudum Pactum definition: an empty pact; a contract for which there is no consideration.
  • Nullum Tempus Occurit Regi definition: time does not run against the King.
  • Nunc Pro Tunc definition: deemed retroactive.