Latin Terms for Legal Studies

Topics: Common law, Latin legal phrases, Stare decisis Pages: 2 (604 words) Published: February 19, 2013
** The pages are listed (for those who are using the Business Law textbook). =) CHAPTER 1
Under Public Law. The essential elements of a crime are (pg. 11): Actus reus: A wrongful act.
Mens rea: A guilty mind.
Under Private Law (pg. 12):
Cestui que trust: In trust law, a beneficiary or cestui que use, a.k.a. cestui que trust, is the person or persons who are entitled to the benefit of any trust arrangement.

Two of the more important maxims (guides or aids) commonly used by the courts are (pg. 20): Noscitur a sociis: (It is known from its associates) is used where a word is ambiguous or unclear in a group of specific words. Its meaning is limited to the same class or types of things as the specific words. Ejusdem generis: Means of the same kind, class or nature and is known as the class rule. Under this rule, the broad, general word is limited to the same class as the more specific words preceding it. Under subsidiary legislation (pg. 23):

Ultra vires: Beyond one’s legal power or authority.
Under Unwritten Law (English Law) (pg. 24):
Inter alia: Among other things.
Lex non cogit impossibilia: The law does not compel a man to do that which is impossible. /The law requires nothing impossible. Case law or precedent may comprise res judicata, ratio decidendi and obiter dictum (pg 29). Res judicata: Final order of the court binding the immediate parties to the decision. It assumes that there are 2 opposing parties, there is a definite issue and the court has so decided the issue acting within its jurisdiction. Judgement in the strictest sense. Only applies to the immediate parties. Ratio decidendi: It’s the reason for the decision. In a case, in addition to the res judicata the legal reasoning upon which the decision in that case was based may be used by judges in future cases when confronted with similar facts. This is called the ratio decidendi of the case. Obiter dictum: Anything else said about the law in the course of a judgement...
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