Legal Maxims

Legal Maxims

The legal Maxims are the established propositions and  principles of law. Early English commentators held them in high regard, considering them as powerful as statutes. They believed that maxims helped in resolving doubts, improving judgment, enhancing arguments, correcting unnecessary complexities, and refining the understanding of law.

This admiration for maxims was also noted in Scottish legal practices, where legal maxims were frequently used to settle matters related to individuals’ rights, remedies, and liabilities. These principles which are though in less value but still applicable these days, are derived from the Latin maxims, maxims of Equity, and Brocard (law). The majority of Latin maxims have their roots in the Medieval era of European states where Latin was the language of law.

A list of most significant maxims are given hereunder in alphabetical order:-

Legal maxims with A:

Ab initio:

From the beginning
When the agreement to sell to the extent of minor is void ab initio, there was no need for the minor to challenge it.
Muhammad Aqil V. Muhammad Amir 2023 SCMR 1032

Absolute sententia expositore non indiget:

A clear, complete and unambiguous statement needs no interpretation.
When you have plain words capable of only one interpretation, no explanation of them is required.

Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale:

The accessory good does not lead to but follows the main / principal good.
This maxim is not limited to goods in it’s application. It also applies to rights and facts etc as well. When the main right is legally terminated, the accompanying right, which is secondary to the main right, cannot continue. The secondary right does not precede but follows its main counterpart. Therefore, when the main obligation is terminated by release or discharge, the obligation of the guarantor is also terminated.

Actionable per SE:

The action without proving is punishable.
Tort of private nuisance is actionable on proof of damage and not actionable per se.
Jalla V Shell international trading and shipping co. 2023 SCMR 1573

Actor sequitur forum rei:

Determination of court of competent jurisdiction.
For determination of territorial jurisdiction, the scheme of law is that plaintiff shall follow the court of defendant or property in dispute. Section 15 to 20, C.P.C are relevant in this context.
Ejaz V Abdul Haleem 1999 MLD 1315

A communi observentia non est recedendum:

There should be no departure from common observance or practice.
It is a firmly established legal principle that when the law specifies a particular way of doing something, it must be done in that manner. Failure to do so would render it unlawful.
Saqib Ramzan V state 2023 PCrLJ 1479
The collector of sales tax, Gujranwala V Super Asia Muhammad Din and sons. 2017 SCMR 1427

A coelo usque and centrum:

From the heavens to the centre of the earth.
This phrase is used to denote the extent of the right of the proprietor of land, who, on his feudal invenstiture in the land becomes entitled to everything pertinent or belonging to it whether above or below the ground such as house trees or minerals
Seven up bottling company (Pvt.) Ltd vs Lahore development authority (L.D.A) Lahore. 2003 CLC 513

Acta exteriora indicant interiora secreta:

The outward acts show the internal secrets.
The reason assigned for this distinction is that, where a general license is given by the law, the law judges by the subsequent act with what intent the original act was done, but where the party himself gives a license, he cannot for any subsequent cause punish that which is done by his own license. In the latter case, the accused alone is punishable. 

Actio personalis moritur cum persona:

Personal actions die with the person. 
All right of action existing in favour or against a person survive but personal activities connected with the individuality of the deceased do not survive. 
Gul Muhammad V Jan Muhammad 2022 PLD 40 High Court Azad Kashmir

Actus curiae neminem gravabit:

No one shall be prejudiced by the act of court.
This principle provides a pathway for an extensive administration of justice in the sense that patent and obvious error or oversight on the part of court in any decision or order can be reviewed so that no man should suffer because of the fault of court.
Abid Jan V Ministry of Defence through Secretary Islamabad 2023 SCMR 1451
Homoeo Dr.Asma Noreen Syed V Government of the Punjab 2022 SCMR 1546

Actus die nemini facit injurium:

No one shall be prejudiced by the act of God.
An event is referred to be “an act of God” when it results from the actions of nature alone, without the involvement of humans. No one is prejudiced by an act of God. When an act of nature keeps a man from carrying out a legal responsibility, the law does not hold him accountable. It is not possible to see the anticipated event as an act of God. The judge has the authority to find someone negligent if their actions caused an accident and nature’s conduct was predictable. Foreseeable refers to an incident that resulted in the loss and was brought on by natural factors that could not have been avoided with reasonable caution or foresight

Actus legis nemini facit injurium:

The act of law injures no one.
A party should not suffer on account of an act or omission by the Court or State functionaries.
State v. Asif Adil etc.1997 SCMR 209

Actus me invito, non est meus actus:

An involuntary act is not one’s own act.
An act done against one’s will is not such a person’s act. The law presumes coercion in certain cases, by a husband over his wife. Intentions denominate the action, and especially so in criminal cases.

Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea:

An act without a guilty intention does not make the person guilty.
The intent and act must concur to constitute crime.”Mens rea”; if a man is suffering from mental disorder he cannot be said to have committed a crime as he does not know what he is doing.  
State of Rajasthan V Shera Ram alias Vishnu Dutta 2012 SCMR 1768
Nasir Abbas V state 2011 SCMR 1966

Actus Reus:

Unlawfull action
An offence is constituted where there is Actus reason i.e unlawfull act and Mens Rea i.e guilty mind. Without Mens Rea, Actus reas does not constitute offence or loss pursuant thereto. Also without an overt act ( Actus reas), there is no offence merely on the basis of Mens Rea.
Tahir Naqash V the state PLD 2022 SC 385
Muhammad Masood Chishti V Chairman National Accountability Bureau, Islamabad 2021 PLD 350 Islamabad  
Mitra Jawanmardi V Her Majesty The Queen and Attorney General of Quebec 2020 SCMR 541

Actori incumbit probatio, reus in excipiendo fit actor:

The (burden of) proof weighs on the plaintiff, but the defendant in objecting becomes a plaintiff.
Initially, the onus is on the plaintiff who asserts, however when the respondent denies a claimant’s offer of proof, the burden of proof shifts to the respondent to refute the claimant’s evidence

 Ad hock:

For the particular period e.g. appointment of ad-hoc employees.
The established principle states that ad-hoc employee does not have the right to expect permanent employment from their initial hiring date. It is clear that the time spent in temporary roles cannot be considered as part of their total service. Seniority within a position begins only upon official permanent appointment, and it cannot be applied retroactively. Therefore, temporary employees are only entitled to seniority starting from their formal regularization date, not from their initial temporary appointment.
Majid Akhtar V Province of Sindh through cheif secretary new Sindh secretariat Karachi and 3 others 2019 PLC(CS) 771
PTCL V Muhammad Samiullah 2021 SCMR 998

Ad hominem

Directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
This fallacy occurs when, instead of addressing someone’s argument or position, you irrelevantly attack the person or some aspect of the person.

Ad questiones facti non respondent judices; ad questiones legis non respondent juratores:

The judges do not answer to a question of fact; the jury do not answer to a question of Law.
To put it simply, the jury decides matters of fact, while the judge decides questions of law.  

Aequitas nunquam contravenit leges:

Equity and Law are not contradictory.
Equity comes into play only when some important aspect is overlooked by the law, however, in no situation, the equity would override the law. There is another maxim which elaborate this, i.e. Aequitas sequitur legem ( Equity follows the law).

Aequitas factum habet quod fieri oportuit:

Equity regards as done that which ought to have been done.
The doctrine of satisfaction well illustrates this principle of law. Where a person is under an obIigation to perform an act, equity looks on it as done, and allows the same results to follow as if it were actually done.

Affirimanti non neganti incumbit probatio:

The claiment bears the burdon of proof.
A fact alleged by one party, when disputed by opposite party must be proved. The burden of proof is upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies.

A fortiori:

An argument that it is based on an even stronger argument.
Where a relief of mandatory Injunction being a principle relief sought, could not be granted, then a fortiori, a temporary injunction in aid of such relief, also did not lie.
Syed Shoaib Khursheed V. Al mal securities and services LTD 2019 CLD 1309

Agentes et consentientes pari poena plectentur:

The persons doing and the persons consenting to a particular act are liable to the same punishment.
If B. suffers a life-threatening injury from A.’s murderous purpose, and C. knows about it and helps to facilitate the harm, then both of them are equally responsible and subject to punishment.

Alienatio rei praefertur juri accrescendi:

Allenation of property is preferred by law then the accumulation.

Allegans contraria non est audiendus:

He who makes statements mutually inconsistent is not to be listened to.

“Qui approbat non reprobat’–Said maxim quite literally translates to “the one who approbates, cannot reprobate” or “that which | approve, T cannot disapprove”–Doctrine of approbate and reprobate was established upon Scottish Laws and is now an essential principle of equity—To approve or reject anything is to approbate or reprobate– Person cannot approbate and reprobate something simultaneously, according to law- Doctrine of approbate and reprobate is also commonly known as the “doctrine of election’ in English Law– Doctrine of election bases itself upon the maxim “‘allegans contraria non est audiendus” which means when people make comments that contradict one another, they will not be heard.
Silver Star Insurance Company Limited, Lahore V Kamal Pipes Industries Lahore 2023 CLD 1342
Mst Anwar Mai V Ghulam Sarwar 2022 MLD 1112

Allegans suam turipitudinem non est audiendus:

One who is alleging his own infamy is not to be heard.
It is held that the person who boasts/alleges of his own depraved conduct should not be heard.
Shafqat Ali Shah V Nasreen Akhtar 2020 PLD 148 Peshawar High Court

Aliquis non debet esse index in propria causa quia non protest esse index at pars:

That No man ought to be a judge in his own cause, because he cannot act as a judge and at the same time be a party, or Nemo debet esse judex in causa propria sua. None can be a Judge in his own cause. 
Rehmat Elahi V Government of West Pakistan PLD 1965 Lah. 112


Claim or evidence of being at another place, elsewhere.
An alibi is a claim or evidence that a person was elsewhere when an act, especially a criminal one, is said to have occurred. A plea of alibi can be considered bt the trial court only after recording of evidence.

Hamza Sadaqat V State 2022 YLR 1024

Amicus Curiae:

A person who is also named as friend of court, appointed by the court for assistance.
Banking Court can appoint an amicus curiae under section 5(8) of the Financial Institutions (Recovery of Finance) Ordinance, 2001.
The Bank of Punjab through Attorney V Institute of Leadership and management through Secretary and others 2017 CLD 1784

Ante Litem Motam:

Before initiating the dispute/controversy
Documents containing admissions and declarations ante litem motam are admissible in the court to prove age of the party as asserted in the pleading .

Pir Anwar Shah V Malik Asad Sikandar 1987 MLD 1376
Habibullah Khan V Saadat Khan 1990 MLD 355

A person can tell lie but a document cannot:

It is a principle of evaluation of evidence which is about presumption of correctness. 
Riasat Ali V Rahim Bakhsh 1992 CLC 2193

Assentio mentium:

Implied mutual consent if parties to a contract.
This term is a synonym to the term ‘ consensus ad idem’

A quicquid plantatar solo, solo credit:

Things affixed to the land /soil, belong to the land /soil.
It is principle of law that the things attached to the land also belongs to the land owner. If a stranger built any structure on land of ‘A’, no law prevents ‘A’ claiming said structure’s ownership 
Inayatullah V Lyallpur improvement trust, Lyallpur 1977 SCMR 488
Rameden V Dyson (1865) 49 H R 543

Argumentum ab inconvenient plurimum valet in lege:

An argument based on inconvenience has much force of law law.
In cases where a deed or instrument contains ambiguous language and a single interpretation of the words used is the only possible interpretation, the grantor’s lack of foresight is demonstrated by the inconvenience arguments. However, in cases where the instrument contains no such language and the words used can only have one meaning, the grantor’s lack of foresight is demonstrated.

Audi alteram partem.

To hear the accused. “No one shall be condemned unheard”. 
It is a rule of natural justice. In essence, it is a well- structured process to provide a fair chance to the accused to respond to the allegations and explain their position within the stipulated timeframe or, in other words, it provides a levelheaded course of action to ensure impartiality, justness and rectitude to the person in receipt of notice with an opportunity to explain why he is not guilty of any violation of law.
Collector customs, Model Customs Collectorate Peshawar V Muhammad Ismail 2023 SCMR 1319
The principle is not limited to Courts but is extended to all proceedings by whosoever made. PLD 1961 Kar. 709
Imam Ali v. D.M. Lyallpur PLD 1965 Lah. 318

A licence or a passport cannot be impounded, cancelled or withdrawn by Government without hearing the party affected.
Superintendent Police v. Abubakar 1972 SCMR 154

Autrefois acquit and autrefois convict:

Plea of being already acquitted / convicted in same matter.
A civil action on the same cause after criminal action is not barred on this principle. 
Tariq Irshad V Special Judge 2022 PCrLJ 1050

Legal Maxims with B

Balance of convenience:

To weigh the relief granted to the plaintiff against the harm that will be inflicted on the defendant.
The balance of convenience refers to the situation where, if an injunction is not granted and the suit is later decided in favor of the plaintiff, the inconvenience suffered by the plaintiff would be greater than that faced by the defendant if the injunction is granted. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the plaintiff to demonstrate that the inconvenience to them would be greater than that which might be experienced by the defendant.
Atif Ahmad and another V SECP through chairman and 5 others 2023 CLD 313

Benefit of doubt:

The condition of believing in the honesty or trustworthiness of something or someone despite uncertainties.
If a situation arises that raises reasonable doubt in a cautious person’s mind about the guilt of the accused, then the accused would be entitled to the benefit of that doubt, not as a favor or concession, but as a right. Holy prophet (PBUH) said, the mistake of Qazi (judge) in releasing a criminal was better than his mistayin punishing an innocent. There is a famous saying of Benjamin Franklin, “It is better that 10 guilty persons be acquitted rather than one innocent person be convicted.
Bibi Sakina V Zakir Hussain alias Shah Wali 2023 YLR 1241
Muhammad Noor V Riaz Shah 2016 MLD 757

Benignae faciendae sunt interpretationes chartarum, ut res magis valeat quam pereat:

Documents should be construed favorably so that the instrument is kept available rather than rendered perished.

Be that as it may:

Nevertheless or despite that fact:
This phrase us used when discussion is made by moving to a second point without deciding the position of right or wrong of firstly said point.
Muhammad Ishaq V Member (consolidation) Board of Revenue 2021 CLC 884

Bis dat qui cito dat:

Value of prompt payment is worth a twice payment.

Bona fide:

With good / honest intention
Plaintiff was bound to prove that the transaction was bona fide.
Mehr Noor Muhammad V Nazir Ahmed PLD 2024 SC 45

Bona vacantia

Vacant goods or ownerless property belongs to the crown.
All the unclaimed and ownerless goods, things or property passes to the state as an incident of sovereignty.
Muhammad Hassan V Dharamdas 2000 YLR 637

Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem

For effectively serving the justice, a judge should interpret his jurisdiction broadly.
A good judge should consider it obligatory to extend his jurisdiction .
River steam Navigation co.Ltd V The Commissioners for the port of Chittagong and another PLD 1961 Dhaka 412

Buyer beware:

While dealing in transaction, a buyer should beware of relevant facts.
Plaintiff should have exercised reasonable care about ascertaining the title of the seller.
M.Anwar Qureshi V Jamiluddin Farooqi 2007 MLD 1192

Legal Maxims with C

Caveat Venditor. 

Let the seller beware

Caveat emptor qui ignorare non debuit quid jus alienum emit:

let the buyer beware, who should not be ignorant that he is purchasing the rights of other person.
A buyer buys at his own risk.
Rao Abdul Rehman (Deceased) V Muhammad Afzal (Deceased) 2023 SCMR 815


An order in writ through which a superior court reviews a case that has been tried in a lower court.
When a High Court exercises its jurisdiction for certiorari, it directs a lower court under its constitutional oversight to correct any jurisdictional errors in a judgment or decision being challenged, in a manner that the High Court could certify the same order or judgment. Although certiorari is a prerogative of the High Court under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan, it remains a discretionary power.
Muhammad Azim Khan Afridi V The president of Pakistan through principal secretary and others 2023 SCMR 68
Darvesh Khan v. Muhammad Sher Khan and others 1986 SCMR 352

Cessante ratione legis, cessat ipsa lex:

The reason of law ceasing, the law itself ceases. 
The commissioner of income tax Karachi Sindh and Balochistan V The Neither land trading society Karachi 1960 PTD 758

Chirographum apud debitorun repertum praesumitur solutum:

A deed bond found with the debtor is presumed to be paid.

Clausulae inconsuetae semper inducunt suspicionem:

A suspicion always arose from unusual cluase of instrument.
Anything deviating from the usual business practices is indicative of fraud. Uncommon clauses in a document raise suspicions.

Crimen trahit personam:

The person bears the burden of the crime.
The act of committing a crime grants jurisdiction to the courts of the place where the crime occurred over the individual who committed it. 

Cognovit actionem:

Confession of claim/action
This term indicates the written confession by a defendant admitting to the claims brought against them by a plaintiff. This confession, typically made under specified conditions in court, effectively authorizes the plaintiff’s attorney to enter judgment and enforce it through execution.

Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur:

The thoughts and intents of men are not punishable.
Mere thoughts that frequently occur are not punishable since they are harmless, lack meaning, and cannot be proven.

Confession facta in judicio omni probatione major est:

A confession in legal proceedings carries more weight than any other form of evidence.
In Criminal case proceeding, a confession of commission of crime is considered an evidence of utmost force.
Muhammad Khan v. Sarkar. 1973 P.Cr.LJ 269

Consuetudo et communis assuetudo vinc it legum non scriptam, si sit specialis: et interpetatur legum scriptam, si lex sit generalis:

Custom and common usage overcome the unwritten law, if it be special; and interpret the written law if it be general.

Corpus delicti:

Body of crime.
It is an object which serves as evidence to prove that the crime was committed.
Inayat V State 1983 SCMR 539

Coram non judice:

Before a judge or court lacking authority or jurisdiction to hear and decide.
It refers to a proceeding that falls outside a judge’s authority or lacks legal jurisdiction.
Muhammad Ahmad Sadiq V Abdul Abid PLD 2021 Karachi 1 

Consensus ad idem:

Mutual willingness of minds
This maxim referes to the commen intention and understanding of the parties to a contract which is also termed as “mutuality of minds”
Raja Muhammad Hafeez and 8 others V Muhammad Ilyas through L.Rs and others 2016 YLR N 52

Cursus curiae est lex curiae:

A court’s customery practice is the law of the court 
Practice of court is the law of court.
1995 PTD (Tribe.) 523

Custodia Legis:

legal custody
By appointing reciver, the court took the property into legal custody which is termed as Custodia legis.
Additional Registrar of the Companies V M.G. Realtors (Pvt.) Limited 2021 CLD 1158

Cui jurisdictio data est ea quoque concessa esse videntur sine quibus jurisdictio explicari non potuit:

Whoever is granted jurisdiction must also be considered to have been granted those things without which the jurisdiction cannot be exercised.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Sadiqqui V Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Law and Justice, Islamabad PLD 2018 SC 538

Cum confitente sponte mitius est agendum:

The person who confess at his own, should be treated liniently by the court.
A linient view should be taken by the court in respect of quantum of sentence where the accused hy confessed willingly.
Muhammad Arif V The state 1991 PCrLJ 623

Legal Maxims with D

Debitum in praesenti, solvendum in futuro:

A debt or an obligation, the fulfillment of which required to be made in future and not in present.
1965 PTD 142 Kerala High Court India

Delegatus non potus delegare:

A delegatee of power cannot further delegate it.
When the legislature grants powers to an individual, implying a reliance on their personal judgment and discretion, that individual is generally expected to personally exercise those powers. However, this principle is not without exception and must be considered in light of the specific language, scope, and purpose of the statute granting such powers. Legislation might explicitly outline a statutory process for delegating these powers to an administrative authority, after which the delegate can then exercise the delegated authority independently.
Allied Bank Limited V The Commissioner of Income Tax, Lahore 2023 SCMR 1166

De Morte hominis Nulla est cunctatio longa:

No delay is long concerning the death of a person.
Gull Zaman V Sher Zaman and others PLD 1972 SC 26

De facto:

From the fact/ reality in existence
The core principle of the de facto doctrine relates to the exercise of power by a public office holder who, though not legally entitled, performs the duties of the office. This principle is rooted in public policy, aiming to maintain the regularity of public business, prevent confusion, and protect the rights acquired by individuals affected by the actions of such office holders. However, for the de facto doctrine to apply, the office itself must exist. In the case where the office no longer exists, as with the Labour Court which was repealed on 30.04.2010, there is no basis for applying the de facto doctrine. 
Muhammad Shabir and another V Quaid-e-Azam University through vice chancellor Islamabad and others 2022 SCMR 487

De jure:

From the Law
Abdul Basit Zahid V Modaraba Al Tijarah 2002 CLD 46

De Novo:

From the starting point/ beginning.
Fida Hussain V Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Civil Secretariat. 2023 SCMR 1109

Delay defeats equity:

Equity dictates that those seeking its assistance must act promptly.
The delay in seeking recourse through the established forum is a factual circumstance that can result in the creation of valuable rights for the opposing party. However, approaching this Court after an inordinate delay of 14 to 15 months, when viewed together, suggests that the circumstances of the case align with the principle that “delay defeats equity.” This principle is also known with other maxim ” justice delayed is justice denied “.

Muhammad Yasir V Additional District Judge, West Islamabad 2021 YLR 1676

De minimus non curat lex:

The law does not concern itself with trifles. Section 95, P.P.C.

Detur Digniori:

Let it be given to the more deserving / worthy

Dominus Litis:

The principal party in a lawsuit; that is, the one who is truly and directly involved in the case, as opposed to their attorney or advocate.
Plaintiff being dominus litis may choose against whom he wished to litigate. He cannot be forced to add other person’s as his opposit party.
Ali asghar V Raja Muhammad Saddique 2021 CLC 1348

Donatio mortis causa:

A gift made while considering one’s imminent death, with the condition that it only takes effect upon death, and where the donor relinquishes control over the gift.
A donatio mortis causa is a gift made during the donor’s lifetime, with the condition that the donee will receive full ownership if the donor passes away.

Damnum sine injuria:

A substantial loss without legal injury 
Damnum sine Injuria is a legal principle that describes damages without an injury or damages that do not involve the violation of any legal rights belonging to the plaintiff. Since no legal right has been infringed, no legal action can be taken in cases of damnum sine injuria.

Doli capax:

An old enough child to be responsible for commission of an act.
In legal terminology, a child of above 10 year is named as doli capax who is considered old enough have to be legally responsible for the commission of wrongful acts. It is opposite to Doli incapax.

Double Jeopardy:

Charging a person multiple times for the same offense.
Dual punishment of same cause is hit by the doctrine of double Jeopardy.
Sohail Ahmad V Government of Pakistan through Secretary of Interior Ministry, Islamabad 2022 SCMR 1387

Dubio secundum reum potius quam secundum actorem litom Dori opertet:

Where the case is doubtful the decisions should be passed in favour of Defendant and not of plaintiff.
Muhammad Khan Durani V Abdul Ali Durani 2020 MLD 426

Legal Maxim with E

Ei Incumbit Probatio qui dicit non qui negat

The person who asserts is bound to prove it.
Burden of proof rests on the party who asserts the affirmative of an issue, not on the party who denies it. This principle, a well-recognized rule of evidence regarding the burden of proof, recognizes that a negative assertion is typically difficult to prove.
Muhammad Subhan V Biqis Begus PLD 1994 Karachi 106

Ejesdem generis:

“Ejusdem generis” is not a legal rule but a principle of interpretation that helps a court determine the legislative intent.
This principle does not empower the court to undermine or deviate from the legislative intent by restricting the scope of a statute more than intended by the lawmaker.
Al-Rai Memorial Education Society through general secretary V Commissioner Sindh Employees, Social Security Institute Karachi PLC 2008 Karachi 293

Each day of delay to be explained:

Where litigant approach the court after prescribed time limitations, he is bound to explain the reason of delay of each day.
Object of law of limitation is to help the vigilantes and not those who sleep over their right. Therefore, it is settled rule that the delay if occured in approaching the court, shall be explained with sufficient good cause for each and every day. 
Umar Ahmad V Additional District Judge, Burewala 2010 MLD 68

Equity looks to the intention and not to the form:

Equity always seeks to uncover the true intention behind a contract, focusing on the actual intent rather than the superficial appearance that might obscure it.
It is one of the guiding principle for functioning of a court as equitable remedy. 
Muhammad Safdar Khan V Muhammad Nadeem Abbasi 2021 MLD 617

Emins nova Consitutio Futuris forma Imponere Debet:

Every new rule ought to prescribe a form for future, not for past, acts.
It is widely accepted that no one has an inherent right in procedural matters. This is why laws governing procedure are typically presumed to apply retroactively unless stated otherwise, as they do not impact vested rights. Referring to the amendment in question as merely procedural would distort the concept of procedural law. The principle “ominis nova constitutio futuris formam imponere debet, et non praeteritio” (a new law ought to shape the future, not the past) has been a longstanding rule, emphasizing that retrospective laws are generally viewed as problematic and contrary to the principle that laws should regulate future actions rather than alter past transactions conducted under the existing law. 
Fazal-ur-Rehman V Abdul Rasheed PLD 1967 Lahore 828 

Equity follows the law:

Rules of Equity shall nowhere overcome the law.
This maxim clearly states that the principles of equity should not be applied in situations where the common law, even if deemed unjust or unreasonable, is not deficient.
Abdul Sattar V Mudassar Ali 2014 YLR 2087

Evidence had to be weighed and not counted:

Preference ought to be given to credible evidence of witness not number of witnesses.
If the legislature were to require the presence of multiple witnesses, situations might arise where cases relying on the testimony of a single witness would result in the perpetrators going unpunished. A single competent witness, meeting the criteria outlined in Article 3 of Qanun-e-Shahadat, can provide reliable evidence.
Qurban V State 2015 YLR 2018

Ex injuria jus non oritur:

Law or legal right does not arise from unjust or illegal acts
If someone attempting to break into your home at night falls into a deep construction hole, they might be prevented from claiming damages due to ex injuria.


To stop or refrain 
It is a principle of law that refrain a person from claiming or acting something contrary to his previous act or claim.
Muhammad Raqeeb V Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Chief Secretary Peshawar 2023 SCMR 992

Ex officio:

That other position or privilege which a person gain by virtue of an office.

Ex post facto:

With retrospective effect.

Ex parte:

Decision favour of one party without hearing the other party 

Ex debito justitiae:

A right/remedy which cannot be refused by court’s discretion.
It applies to remedies that a court has to grant when they are claimed as different from those which are granted by the court in it’s discretion. Power of a court to act ex debito justitiae is inherent power to fix procedural errors.
Junaid Wazir V Superintendent of Police PRU/Dolphin Police Lahore 2024 SCMR 181

Expressim facit cassare tacitum:

What is expressed excludes what is impliedly silent.
Maxim ‘expressio unius personae est exclusio alterius’ provides that where one thing is expressly prescribed in law to do something in a particular manner, it shall be impliedly considered that such is the only way to do that thing.
Fair Trading Company V Additional Collector of customs. 2020 PTD 2069 Customers appellate Tribunal Lahore.
Main Shaukat Ali V Punjab Public Service Commission 2019 SCMR 118

Ex turpi causa non oritur actio:

No legal action arises from an illegal act or cause.

Mirza V Patel 2016 SCMR 1637

Ex dolo Malo non oritur actio:

A fraudulent act cannot give right of action.
Court will not provide any help to the individual founding his cause of action upon fraudulent, immoral or illegal act.
Surraya Begum V Aftab Ahmad Khan 1995 CLC 1603

Ex antecedentibus et consequentibus fit optima interpretatio:

The best interpretation is one that considers every part of the document to establish a consistent and unified meaning.
Every contract should be interpreted in light of its purpose and all its terms. The entire content must be examined to understand the parties’ intentions, even if the immediate focus is on the meaning of a single clause. The sense and meaning of any specific part of the document can be deduced from what precedes and what follows.
Iqbal Begum V Abdul Ghaffar 1995 CLC 105

Expremio units alterius’ exclusio

The explicit mention of one thing imlpies the exclusion of other. 
Another alternate maxim ” Expressio unimus est exclusio alterius’
Electric Equipment Manufacturing Co.Ltd Sheikhupura V Government of the Punjab 1979 PLC 416

Legal Maxims with F

Factum probandum

The fact which needs to be proved.
It indicates those evidentiary facts which are required to be proved to prove the main facts.

Falsus in uno falsus in omnibus:

False/Deceitful in one thing is False/Deceitful in all matters.
It is a legal principle that a witness who provides false testimony on one matter is not considered credible to testify on any matter.
Muhammad Nawaz alias Niazi V the state 2023 PCrLJN 87
Muhammad Umair V state 2023 PCrLJN 2

Falsa demonstratio non nocet:

A false description does not render the whole document or proceeding invalid.
The petitioner’s counsel argues that the trial court incorrectly treated a purely civil case as a family court case, thereby failing to exercise jurisdiction properly. However, this argument is not valid since the trial was conducted under the Civil Procedure Code (C.P.C). Therefore, any misdescription in the judgment, such as the judge identifying himself as a Judge Family Court alongside Civil Judge, would not affect the legality of the trial. Under this maxim, such mis description does not impact the validity of the proceedings. 
Pio Gul v. The State PLD 1960 SC (Palk) 307
Matiullah V Mst. Saddiq 2017 MLD 1871

Fiat justitia rust coelum: 

Let justice prevail, though the heavens fall. 
Malik Zafar Ali Awan, DSP Crime Branch Muzaffarabad Azad Kashmir V Azad Government of the state of Jamu and Kashmir through Chief Secretary Muzaffarabad 2023 PLC CS 844

Flagrante delicto:

In the commission of the offence,Provocation due to the sight by a husband of his wife in the act of adultery, reduces murder to man slaughter. i.e. from murder of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. (Section 302, PPC and section 304 (1), PPC)

Force Majeure:

Super or greater force that could neither be anticipated nor handled.
Especially, an unprecedented event that prevented someone from doing or completing something that he or she had agreed or officially planned to do—force majeure included both acts of nature (e.g., floods and hurricanes) and acts of people (e.g., riots, strikes, and wars).
Abdul Waheed V Additional District Judge PLD 2021 Lahore 453

Fraus et jus nunquam cohabitant:

Fraud undermines justice, irrespective of the participants’ good faith or just intentions.

Fraus est celare fraudem:

Concealment of fraud is another fraud.
The act of concealing a fraud is considered participation in or commission of the fraud itself. Fraud involves criminal deception for personal or financial gain, so hiding any fraudulent activity is unlawful.

Functus officio:

Lacking of power to re-examine the decision after it’s pronouncement.
Imran Ahmad Khan Niazi V Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Law and Justice Division Islamabad. 2024 PLD 102

Furiosi nulla voluntas est:

A mentally retarded person has no free will (to sign a contract)
It is principle of law that an instrument which is signed by a mentally impaired person cannot be considered as validly signed because there is absence of will in doing it.

Furious absentis loco est:

A lunatic or mentally retarded person is considered as equal to an absent person

Legal Maxims with G

Generalia specialibus non derogant: 

General thing do not derogate from special things. 
Special law’s specific provision displace the general law and render it inapplicable.
Securities and exchange commission of Pakistan V Adnan Faisal 2019 CLD 242

Generalibus specialia derogant and Generalia specialibus non derogant: 

Special things derogate from general things. General things do not derogate from special things.
It is established that a special or subsequent Act would take precedence over a general Act on the same subject, regardless of whether the special or subsequent Act contains derogatory, repealing, or overriding provisions. This is because it represents the latest intention of Parliament.
Qamar Hussain Shah V State PLD 2006 Karachi 331

Give the dog bad name and hang him:

When an individual has a history of misconduct, leading others to anticipate similar behavior from them in the future

Aftab Ahmad Cheema V Secretary to Government of Punjab, Home Department and another 1985 PLC CS 535

Legal Maxims with H

Habeas Corpus: 

Have the body. 
It is remedy provided by constitution by way of a writ directing that a person illegally detained be produced before the Court.
Abdul Rauf V Government of Punjab 2023 YLR 2525

He who seeks equity must do equity:

The plaintiff must come to the court with clean hands.
An injunction, as is commonly understood, is a remedy based on principles of equity, and thus must adhere to the fundamental principle of equity that “he who seeks equity must do equity.” The Specific Relief Act is governed by this principle. Therefore, a plaintiff seeking an injunction must demonstrate to the court that their actions and dealings in the matter have been fair, honest, and free from any taint of illegality. If the plaintiff has acted unfairly or inequitably in their dealings with the party against whom they seek relief, they cannot be granted the injunction.
Atif Ahmad and another V Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan through Chairman and 5 others 2023 CLD 313

Legal Maxims with I

In pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis:

Means In case of mutual fault, the depending party shall be in better position.
In absence of any evidence to prove the stance that plaintiff customer was involve in fraud of bank officials or had its knowledge, this maxim won’t apply.
Muhammad Mehmood Qureshi V U B.L PLD 1994 Karachi 323

In favorem vitae, libertatis et innocientiae, Omni praesumuntur:

All presumptions are in favor of life, liberty an innocence
In case of petition for cancellation of bail, court refused to cancel the bail in absence of any strong evidence and record to showing that accused has no heart disease or he has misused concession of bail.
The state through regional director ANF V Aziz-Ur-Rehman 2014 YLR 879

Ignorantia legis niminem excusat:

Ignorance of law is no excuse. 
The argument of being unaware of the law cannot be considered or accepted as a genuine excuse. There are also other maxims on this rule [ Ignorantia juris neminem of excusat ]. [ Ignorantia juris quod quisque scire teneture non excusat: Ignorance of the law which everybody is supposed to know does not afford excuse. ]
Hamid Mohamed AhmedAli Rehaif V United states 2019 SCMR 1332 Supreme Court of United States.
Collector of customs, MCC, Islamabad V ISRAR 2021 PTD 501

Ignorantia excusotur juris sed facti:

Ignorance of fact is excused but not ignorance of law 
While filing a time barred application of restoration of suit, petitioner did not file application for condonation of delay under section 5 of the limitation act as she could not have legal advice. However, her application was rightly rejected being time barred. Under this maxim courts were not suppose to go into merits of the same. There is another maxim on this point ‘ ingorantia facit excusat ‘ ; ignorantia juris non excusat. 
Mst. Riyasat Begum V Ejaz Ahmad 2023 CLC 597

Ignorantia praesumitur ubi scientia non probatur:

Ignorance is presumed where knowledge is not proved.
Muhammad Shafiullah V Government of Pakistan PLD 2002 Peshawar 50

Ignorantia juris sui non praejudicat juri:

Ignorance of one’s right does not prejudice the right.
In the case, it was proved that letter of appointment was not conveyed which resulted in delay of joining by the petitioner which delay cannot be attributed to the petitioner.
Khalif Dad V Muhammad Gull 1999 CLC 1892

Impossiblium Nulla obligatio est:

Their is no obligation to do impossible things.
Case of death of seven years prior. Court can inference of death even seven years before if evidence depicts so. Date of death in such case is not possible to prove. 
Gull Zamaan V Shyr Zaman PLD 1972 SC 26

Impotentia excusat legem:

Inability is considered an excuse in law.
When the law imposes a duty or responsibility but the individual is unable to fulfill it through no fault of their own, and there is no alternative remedy available to them, the law generally excuses them from that duty.
Gull Zamaan V Shyr Zaman PLD 1972 SC 26

In pari materia:

In a similar or analogous case.
Statutes in pari materia are statutes that are closely related, forming a system or code of legislation. They pertain to the same individuals or entities, the same class of individuals or entities, or share the same purpose or objective. Special laws, on the other hand, apply to specific subject areas, and when one special law regulates a particular subject, another law enacted for a different special purpose cannot impact the subject matter governed by the former. Statutes that are not in pari materia cannot influence the interpretation of each other.
Justice Qazi Faiz Isa V The president of Pakistan PLD 2021 SC 1

In limine:

On the threshold.

Injuria non excusat injuriam:

One wrong does not justify another.
Abdul Majid V Tehsildar Municipal Administration 2020 CLC 1279

Injuria sine damnum:

A legal injury without a substantial loss.
Injuria sine demno means a breach of a legal right that doesn’t result in harm, loss, or damage to the plaintiff. Whenever a legal right is violated, the person holding that right has the right to take legal action.
Karachi Municipal Corporation V M.H.Qadri1988 PLC CS 196

In lieu of

In place of , or instead of
Property was given by husband to his wife in lieu of dower.
Pizada Noor-ul-basar V Mst. Pakistan Bibi 2023 SCMR 1980

In rem ; In personam:

In rem means for public at large ; in personam means for a specific person only.
If a tribunal renders a decision on a legal matter, the said judgement is always treated as being in rem and not in personam.
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Chief Secretary Peshawar V Maqsad Hayat 2023 SCMR 8

Inter alia:

Among other items
Article 14 of the Constitution inter alia safeguards the dignity of man and preserves the privacy of home and place of work

Inter vivos:

Taking effect during lifetime of parties
Creation of waqf inter vivos is provided in section 184 and 185 of Muhammadan Law.
Faraz Ahmad Bhutta V Additional District Judge PLD 2011 Lahore 483

Interest Reipublicae Ut Sit Finis Litium:

There should be an end of litigation in the interest of society.
The doctrine of finality based on this ancient principle that the interest of state lies in the fact that there must be an end of litigation.
Muhammad Raqeeb V Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Chief Secretary, Peshawar. 2023 SCMR 992

Ipso facto:

As a result of a fact
Delay in FIR is not ipso facto a ground for grant of bail.
Vazir Ali V state 2023 YLR 1582

Irreparable loss:

loss which cannot be retrieved, repaired or put back.
It is a loss which is incalculable on the yardstick of money.
Atif Ahmed V Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan through chairman and 5 others 2023 CLD 313

Legal Maxims with J

Jus cogens or ius cogens:

A fundamental rule or principle in international law that binds all states without exception.

Jus naturale:

Natural law, or law based on fundamental rights and liabilities.

Jus necessitatis:

A person’s entitlement to act without the threat of legal punishment.
This implies that if someone performs an action that is deemed necessary, even if it would typically be illegal, they cannot be penalized for it.

Jus scriptum:

All written laws of nation.
All laws that were put into writing, whether it originated from enactment or custom, as opposed to those parts of customary law that were not written down. It is opposite to ” Jus non scriptum ” i.e. unwritten laws e.g. customs etc

Jus soli:

Soil’s law or right
The right of anyone born in a state’s territory to nationality or citizenship, often called birthright citizenship in some English-speaking countries, is a principle that defines a person’s nationality based on their birth within the country’s territory.

Justitia nemini neganda est:

No one should be denied justice.
Another maxim also based on this rule ” Justitia non est neganda, non differenda ” Justice is not to be denied, not to be delayed.”A maxim meaning that all persons must be afforded their legal rights promptly.

Jus sanguins:

Jus sanguinis is a principle of nationality law that determines nationality of child based on the nationality of one or both parents. Children may be nationals of a specific state at birth if one or both of their parents are nationals of that state.

Judicis est jus dicere non dare:

It is not the duty of judge to make enactment but only to administer it.
Gull Zaman V Sher Zaman PLD 1972 SC 26

Justice delayed is justice denied & justice hurried is justice buried:

The High Court emphasized that a “Court” is not simply a physical structure made of construction material but, in its true sense, is a beacon of hope where the complainant or plaintiff seeks justice. The Court must always conduct itself in a manner that upholds this essence, ensuring that every decision it makes reflects its true purpose as a place where justice is served. Litigants should not just receive a disposal of their claims but a fair decision from a Court of law. The Court cannot, both legally and morally, use the excuse of a heavy workload or rush of work. Every decision made by a court should demonstrate that it was a deliberate decision based on the law, not an attempt to simply clear a backlog or to earn units/numbers. Courts must carefully balance the legal maxims of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and ‘justice hurried is justice buried.’
Miss Naseema Yousuf V Tehseen Abbas Gilgiti 2020 PLD 68

Justice should not only be done but should be manifestly seen to be done:

 The appellant had acted as a surety in a murder case, and because the accused was absent, the surety bond was forfeited, leading to proceedings against the appellant for recovery of the bond amount by the District Criminal Court. The appellant requested the transfer of the case from this Court, citing strained relations with the Sessions Judge, a member of the District Criminal Court, who was actively pursuing his arrest. The record did not indicate that the Sessions Judge was biased in handling the case.

However, in his response, the Sessions Judge commented that the appellant seemed to evade the law, and he by profession stands as a surety for accused persons. These remarks suggested that the Sessions Judge may have felt annoyed by the transfer request. Allowing him to continue deciding the case might create an appearance of injustice, even if justice was actually served. This situation could violate the principle that justice should not only be done but should also be seen to have been done. Therefore, the case against the appellant was transferred to another Court for fair and impartial disposal according to the law.
Ghulam Server V The state 1996 PCrLJ 1142

Judicial officium suum excedient non paretur:

Effect is not given to the decision of a Judge delivered in excess of his jurisdiction. No obedience is owed to a judge who exceeds his office or jurisdiction.

Legal Maxims with L

Leges posteriores priors contraries abrogant:

Prior contrary laws are repealed by subsequent laws 
It is a rule of interpretation/ construction which becomes applicable where the existing provision of law does not match the amending provision.
Messrs Usmani Associates sub proprietry Firm V central board of revenue 2001 PTD 2982

Lex semper Debet remedium:

The concept implies that if a wrong has been committed against someone, there must be a way to seek a remedy for that wrong.
If a person has a right, they must also have the means to defend and uphold it, and should have a remedy if they are harmed while exercising or enjoying that right. It is futile to conceive of a right without a remedy, as the absence of either renders the other meaningless. Therefore, “remedy” in these maxims has a broader meaning than the word “action” does in its modern sense. An “action” is, in fact, a specific method prescribed by the law for enforcing a remedy or pursuing a claim or demand in a court of law.
All Pakistan textile Mills Association through Secretary V Federation of Pakistan through Secretary commerce , Ministry of commerce, Islamabad and 2 others PLD 2009 Lahore 494

Lex non cogit ad impossibilia:

The law does not require a person to do something that is impossible for them to do.
Muhammad Yar V Muhammad 2003 SCMR 1772

Lex Fori:

Law of the country or court where the proceeding is brought 
The court’s jurisdiction is always conferred by the laws of a country, based on the legal maxim “lex fori,” which refers to the law of the forum or the jurisdiction where the case is pending. This principle is also rooted in our system, as stated in Article 175(2) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, which specifies that “no court shall have any jurisdiction save as is or may be conferred on it by the Constitution or by or under any law.”
Khuda Bakhsh and another V The State 2023 MLD 1983

Lex neminem cogit ostender qued nescire praesumitur:

The law does not require anyone to disclose information that they are assumed not to be aware of.
Muhammad Shafiullah V Government of Pakistan PLD 2002 Peshawar 50

Lex non a rege est violanda:

Even a king must not violate the law.
A judge is always obligated to decide a case in accordance with the law. The phrase “in accordance with the law” means that an individual will adhere to the terms of the law or obey it. The principle that “the law is not to be violated by the King (Lex Non a Rege Est Violanda)” is an ancient maxim that applies equally to modern states. This principle illustrates that a king, when deciding any case, should not violate the law himself. The law is equal and applies equally to every person, regardless of their position or status, whether they are a king or not.
Mumtaz alias Bhutto V state 2021 PCrLJ 1300

Locus standi:

The entitlement or ability to initiate legal proceedings or to appear in court.
The principles of standing, or locus standi, are closely linked to the rule of law. Denying access to the court for someone challenging an unlawful action by a public institution would effectively allow that institution to operate without fear of judicial oversight.
Public interest law association of Pakistan and others V Federation of Pakistan and 8 others 2023 CLC 1535

Locus poententiae: 

A place or opportunity to repent.
The Learned Service Tribunal correctly noted in the challenged judgment that seniority is not an inherent right of a civil servant. Therefore, being placed above other civil servants in a seniority list does not grant an individual the right to invoke the doctrine of locus poeitentiae.
Mumtaz Ali Narai V Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh, and others 2008 PLC CS 255
Muhammad Himayatullah Farukhi PLD 1969 SC 407
Muhammad Zakir Khan V. Government of Sindh and others 2004 SCMR 497

Lex loci solutionis:

Law of the place of enforcement
When a contract is concluded in one country but is intended to be executed, either entirely or partially, in another country, the applicable law governing the contract, particularly regarding the manner of execution, is likely to be presumed as the law of the country where the performance is scheduled to occur (lex loci solutions.
K.S.B. Pumps Company Limited Lahore V Islamic Republic of Pakistan Karachi PLD 1979 Karachi 269
Hasham Issaq V Karachi Gas Company Limited PLD 1969 Karachi 109

Legal Maxims with M

Malum prohibitum:

An act that is unlawful solely because it is prohibited by statute, as opposed to conduct that is inherently wrong or malum in se.
No special law can declare a malum prohibitum as non offence.
Saeed Ghani V Dr. Shahid Masood 2022 YLR N 3 

Mala fide:

Carried out with bad and deceptive intention.
Assessing the performance of a subordinate officer by their Reporting or Countersigning Officer is primarily a matter of personal judgment based on direct observation of the officer’s work. The Tribunal or the Supreme Court usually should not interfere with this evaluation unless there is clear evidence of mala fide with specific details, or a significant violation of instructions by the Reporting or Countersigning Officer, as applicable.
Director General Intelligence Bureau V Riaz Ul Wahab 2023 SCMR 877


A judicial writ issued as an order to a lower court or an individual to fulfill a public or statutory obligation.
Article 199(1)(a)(i) of the Constitution grants this Court the authority to issue directives to authorities within its territorial jurisdiction who have neglected to decide any pending matter, thereby failing to fulfill their legal duties. Consequently, the Court can issue directives to every official to fulfill their obligations, as long as these directives are in accordance with the law. It is the duty of these officials to act fairly, justly, and reasonably in carrying out their responsibilities.

Muhammad Ashfaq and 4 others V Imran Nadeem and 3 others PLD 2023 lahore 694

Mens rea:

Guilty mind or intention for commission of act 
It is really important for prosecution to establish mens rea with Actus reus. In a case, where the mens rea was entirely missing, the apex court allowed appeal against conviction of accused. 
Muhammad Touqeer V State 2023 YLRN 40

Mutatis mutandis: 

Application of law with necessary changes.
As per dictionary meaning contained in Chamber’s 20th Century Dictionary “mutatis mutandis” means “with necessary changes” Black’s Law Dictionary defines the expression ‘mutatis mutandis’ as under:- With necessary changes in points of detail, meaning that matters or things are generally the same, but to be altered when necessary, as to names, offices, and the like.”
The legal term “mutatis mutandis” connotes, as per Venkataramaiy’s Law Lexicon as followS:- When a law directs that a provision made for a certain type of case shall apply mutatis mutandis in another, type of case, it means that it shall apply with such changes as may be necessary, but not that even if no change be necessary, some change shall nevertheless be made.
This expression mutatis mutandis is an adverbial phrase qualifying the verb ‘shall apply’ and meaning “those changes being made which must be made”.
All Swat Paper Chips and pops owners association District Swat through President V Bakht Afsar Ex-Deo District Shangla Amir Jumat Islami PK-87 Shangla and 5 others 2019 PCrLJ 225
Muhammad Sharif V The State PLD 1999 SC 1063

Legal Maxims with N

Necessitas non habet legem: 

Necessity may force to violate the law. 
Necessity could justify actions that would otherwise be considered criminal.

Necessitas publica major est quam privata:

Public necessity outweighs private needs, and the essential requirements for the common good hold more weight than individual necessities or rights.
Shafiqur Rehman V Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), Peshawar 2015 CLC 814

Neminem opertet legibus esse sapientiorem: 

One should not try to be more knowledgeable or prudent than the laws..
A reference is drawn to two related maxims: Non sunt judicandae leges (“The laws are not to be judged”) and Stulta sapientia, quae vult lege sapientior esse [ Foolish wisdom, which seeks to be more prudent than the law ].

Nemo contra factumsuum venire potest:

No one can go against his own act.
Arbab Muhammad Kabir Khan V Arbab Abdul Rehman 2020 YLR 2645

Nemo dat qui non habit:

No one can transfer a better title in property than he himself possessed
Furthermore, the respondent-plaintiff requested possession of the suit “Ihata.” It is admitted that the suit “Ihata” is owned by the Federal Government, and any rights in the “Ihata” after allocation, if any, to the allottee were not granted by the Federal Government. According to the respondent-plaintiff’s pleadings, some portion was purchased by the petitioners-defendants.

The respondent-plaintiff seeks a declaration of the rights he claims in the “Ihata.” The issue at hand is whether a declaration could be granted in such circumstances. It is a well-established legal principle that no declaration of title can be issued without involving the actual owners and that no one can confer a better title in property than what they themselves possess.
Muhammad Jameel V Abdul Ghafoor 2022 SCMR 348

Nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem causa:

No one should be tried and punished for the same offence or cause.
A person cannot be tried a second time for an offense for which they were previously charged. This principle is fundamentally enshrined in Section 403 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), Section 26 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, and Article 13(a) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973.
Dr Hazrat Khan V The State 2023 MLD 312
Sherin Bacha and others V Namoos Iqbal and 3 others PLD 1993 SC 247

Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa or Nemo judex in causa sua or Nemo judex in sua:

No one should be made a judge in his own cause.
This maxim based on doctrine of bias which is a fundamental rule of natural justice. It is the requirement of law that the person having any kind of interest in the lit should not be appointed as a judge to decide the same.
ShaherYar Gul V The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through principal secretary to Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar 2022 PLC(CS) 985

Nemo debet bis puniri pro uno delicto:

No one should be prosecuted and punished twice for one offence/fault.
However, for implementation of this rule, In addition to a literal interpretation of Section 403, the Honorable Supreme Court has established that for the rule of “autrefois acquit” & “auttefois convict” to apply, certain essential conditions must be met.
These include: (1) there must have been a trial of the accused for the charged offense, (2) the trial must have been conducted by a Court of competent jurisdiction, (3) there must have been a judgment or order of acquittal, (4) the parties in both trials must be the same, and (5) the fact in issue in the earlier trial must be identical to what is being contested in the subsequent trial. This principle is also referred in another maxim ” Nemo bis punitur aut vexatur pro eodem delicto ” 
Ubedullah Pahore V The Chairman, National Accountability Bureau PLD 2020 Karachi 739
Shafi Muhammad V Muhammad Gul 2020 MLD 1651

Nemo firut repente turpissimus:

No one becomes dishonest all of a sudden.
Dishonesty does not typically occur suddenly in individuals. No report of dishonesty or issue of integrity is tendered by respondents auhtority from their record. Court held the petitioner employee entitled to promotion in service with consequential benefits
Muhammad Zubair V National Command Authority 2018 PLC (CS) 519

Nemo in communione potest Invitus detineri: 

No one can be forced to be in co proprietorship against his consent
Noor Muhammad V Allah Ditta PLD 2009 SC 198

Nemo lis vexavi:

Dual litigation for one cause is prohibited.
The civil procedure code does not define the cause of action. But the provisions is provided in Order II rule 2 which is based on this maxim that no one should be vexed twice for the same cause of action. 
Chiragh V Abdul PLD 1999 Lahore 340

Nemo in auditus condemnari debet contumax. 

No person should be condemned without being heard, he has contumacious behaviour.

Nemo moriturus praesumitur mentire:

A person is not presumed to tell a lie at the verge of his death.
This maxim refers about the term ” dying declaration “is called as Leterm Mortem i.e. words said before the death. It is an important principle of law of evidence that a dying person doesn’t tell a lie.

Nemo plus juris in alium transferre potest quam ipse habet:

No one can transfer to other a better right than he has himself
Saifullah Khan Bangash V Jaseem Khan and 6 others 2017 CLC 84

Nemo Potest esse tenens et dominus:

One cannot be a tenant and the landlord at the same time.

Nemo tenetur accusare se ipsum nisi coram Deo:

A person is not bound to plead guilty himself except before the God.
The criminal law give liberty to the accused person to plead not guilty. A witness is not required to answer questions or provide evidence that would incriminate themselves. This principle is also known as nemo tenetur se ipsum accusare (“no one is bound to accuse oneself”).

Nemo prohibetur pluribus defensionibus uti:

A person is not bound to take only one defence at one time. He is allowed to take several defence.

Nihil facit error nominis cum de corpore constat: 

An error regarding the name is inconsequential if there is no confusion about the identity of the person intended.

Nolli prosequi:

A note or statement showing the intention of person to no further prosecute , or pursue a cause anymore. It is meant a formal notice which is filed with the court to dismiss or drop action or charges against a defendant.

Non sequitur:

An inappropriate, illogical or unexpected turn in conversation that has no reference to the context.

Non obstante verdicto:

Judgement notwithstanding a verdict

Non est factum:

Means it is not my deed
Mst. Waris Jan V Liaqat Ali PLD 2019 Lahore 333

Nova Consitutio Futuris Imponere Debet:

A new law should focus on regulating future actions, rather than dwelling on past events.

Maxim ‘ Nova Consitutio Futuris formam Imponere Debet non praeteritis’ states that A new law ought to regulate what is to follow, not the past.
Sara Enterprises Government Contractors V Secretary Finance , Government of Balochistan, Quetta PLD 2024 Quetta 13

Noscitur a sociis:

Interpretation of a word in association of context.

It is a doctrine or rule of construction. A word or phrase in a law or contract must always be interpreted in the context of the surrounding text, and their meaning and significance must be understood from their context.

Shakeel Shah V State 2022 SCMR 1

Nullus Commodum Capere Potest De Injuria Sua Propria:

No benefit may be derived from one’s own wrongdoing.
No man shall take advantage of his own wrong. It is against the administration of justice to give benefit of wrong to the wrong doer.
Allah Ditta V Muhammad Anwar 2022 YLR 336

Nullum crimen sine lege & Nulla poena sine lege:

There is no crime without law and there is no punishment without law.
The principle of “Nullum crimen sine lege” (“no crime without law”) is a fundamental principle of criminal law. It includes the following rules: (i) the prohibition against retroactive criminalization; (ii) the requirement that criminal statutes be interpreted narrowly; (iii) the prohibition against judicial creation of common law offenses; and (iv) the invalidation of vague criminal statutes. This principle is also known as the principle of legality and is synonymous with “nulla poena sine lege,” which means “no punishment without law.” It ensures fundamental freedoms and rights and upholds the rule of law.
Falak Sher V Government of Punjab and others 2022 MLD 1900

Nune pro tunc:

Means “now for then,” this term refers to retroactively changing the date of an order, judgment, or filing of a document to an earlier date.
Fazal Din V the state and 2 others 1982 PCrLJ 277

Legal Maxims with O

Obiter dicta:

An opinion or expression of the judge which is not binding on decision.
A distinction must be drawn between the ratio decidendi, which is the legal reasoning essential to the decision, and obiter dicta, which are incidental remarks. The ratio decidendi is binding as it is necessary for the decision, while obiter dicta, being unnecessary or gratuitous, are not binding.
Ayesha Sajid V Federation of Pakistan finance Secretary and 3 others. 2022 CLC 1188

Onus probandi:

Who asserts is under obligation to prove.
According to Article 117 of the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984, if a person wants a court to determine a legal right or liability based on facts they claim, they must prove the existence of those facts, bearing the burden of proof. The phrase “burden of proof” refers to the responsibility of substantiating a case. The principle of “onus probandi” states that if the party with the burden of proof fails to present evidence, the issue must be decided against them. In cases involving deceitful transactions, the burden of proof typically falls on the party challenging the transaction.
Nasir Ali V Muhammad Asghar 2022 SCMR 1054

Omnia pracsnmuntur legitime facta donec probetur in contrarium: 

Everything is assumed to have been done lawfully until proven otherwise.

Omnia praesumuntur rite et solenniter esse acta: 

All acts are presumed to have been done rightly and regularly.
This principle provides about drawing a presumption of correctness of the acts done. It is embodied in the provision of Article 129 (e) of the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984.
Rohail Rizwan Qureshi V Globel Cosmetics Company 2021 PLC 30

Omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem:

Every presumption is made against a wrong doer
F.M.C United (PVT.) LTD. V P.O.P 2009 PCrLJ 1319

Optima est lex quae minimum relinquit arbitrio judicis: optimus judex qui minimum sibi:

That system of law is best which confides as little as possible to the discretion of a judge; that judge is the best who trusts as little as possible to himself.

Once a tenant is always a tenant:

Sikandar Hayat Gondal V Bashir Ahmad Qureshi 2023 MLD 797

Optima legum interpres est consuetudo:

Custom is the best interpreter of the law 
The meaning of a vague law can be clarified by examining the interpretation it has received over an extended period. Two other maxims also exists on this rule. [ Consuetudo est altera lex] [ Consuetudo est optimus interpres legum ]
Razak V Usman PLD 1975 Karachi 944

Omne majus continent in se minus:

The principle of “the greater contains the less” applies here. Since the learned trial judge had the authority to decree the suit, he could also issue an order directing the petitioners to provide security.
Agrofoster (PVT) LTD. V Judge Banking Court No. 5 PLD 1999 Karachi 398

Legal Maxims with P

Pacta sund servanda:

Agreements are made to be followed.
Rights and obligations of the parties are subservient and dependent to the settled terms of agreement.
Shafiq-ul-hassan V Federation of Pakistan through Secretary, ministry of energy ( Power division), Islamabad 2020 PLC CS 1593

Pari delicto potior est conditio defendentis:

When both parties are at fault, the defendant’s position is more favorable.
An alternative phrase is ” In pari causa possessor potior haberi debet”. In cases where an immoral contract is made and both parties share equal blame, the contract will not be invalidated according to the applicable maxim.  
Mirza V Patel 2016 SCMR 1637

Pari delicto potior/melior est conditio possidentis:

In case if both sides are equally at fault, the position if the possessor is better than other. The law favours the one who is in possession.
Ghuassudin V Executive Engineer, WAPDA Ghulam Akbar Khan Sher Jan 1989 CLC 1789

Pari passu:

Together, with equal force, on equal footing.
Bankers equity limited V Galadari cement (gulf) limited. 2023 CLD 253.

Particeps criminis:

Accompanion in crime
Bribe given under compulsion is not a particeos criminis 
Noor Muhammad V The state. PLD 1963 SC 38

Pendente lite, nihil innovetur:

Nothing new can be introduced pending litigation.
Section 52 of Transfer of Property Act provides for a statutory provision which is based on this rule that when a litigation is pending about controversy of a thing, it is prohibited to alienate the same. Like res-judicata, this principle also works to end the litigation.
Allah Ditta V Muhammad Anwar 2022 YLR 336
Mst. Naseem Sajjad V Additional District Judge 2021 CLC 1319

Per SE:

By itself , at its own

Persona non grata:

An un popular or unacceptable person
Having average rating it meeting atleast minimum criteria standard in the confidential reports does not make a civil servant persona non grata.
Masud Ali Khan V Government of Pakistan 1992 PLC CS 592

Per incuriam./ Per curiam 

Without due regard to law and fact.
The term “per incuriam” means “carelessness,” as stated by this court. It is also a well-established legal principle that once a court determines that a judgment was delivered per incuriam, that judgment itself lacks jurisdiction.
Sindh Court High Court Bar Association V Federation of Pakistan PLD 2009 Supreme Court 879
Ayesha Sajid V Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Finance ministry and 3 others 2022 CLC 1188

Prior tempore potior iure / lex posterior.

He who is first in time is preferred/ superior in right
In legal matters, precedence is given to those who establish their rights sooner rather than later. This principle is frequently invoked in private law to uphold the rights of creditors who claimed their rights earlier over those who claimed later.

Prima facie:

To accept as correct untill otherwise proved.
The term “prima facie case” is not explicitly defined in the Code of Civil Procedure. However, it is generally agreed that to establish a prima facie case, the pleadings must include facts demonstrating the existence of the plaintiff’s right and its infringement by the opposing party.
Atif Ahmad and another V SECP through chairman and 5 others 2023 CLD 313

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely:

Any power without any chek and balance results in damaging the system. 
2005 PTD 745


Palimony is an informal term describing a court’s grant of financial support or assets to one partner in a non-marital relationship after a separation. It combines “pal” (meaning friend) with “alimony.”


The person from whom descendants can be traced ( specially in terms of inheritance)

Praesumunturrite esse acta:

This maxim indicates the presumption of good faith in human transactions, akin to the presumption of innocence in criminal cases. The burden of proving that a specific transaction involves bad faith, fraud, collusion, misrepresentation, coercion, or undue influence primarily rests on the party making these allegations.
Central Bank of India V Muhammad Abdul Jalil Shah 1999 CLC 671

Purmututio vicina est empitioni:

According to the 2nd edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England Vol. XXIX P. 6, the law regarding contracts of exchange or barter is not fully developed. Courts appear to lean towards following the maxim of the civil law, peruntatio vicina est emptioni, treating such contracts as similar to contracts of sale.
Pakistan V Ismail Jee & sons ltd 1980 CLC 1522

Legal Maxims with Q

Quantum meruit:

If it is determined that section 70 applies and there is no contractual provision specifying the compensation for the work done or services rendered, then the court can award compensation “quantum meruit.” Quantum meruit is a Latin term meaning “as much as he deserves” and is a way to compensate for services when there is no fixed contract. It cannot be granted if the contract specifies the consideration payable, but a reasonable amount can be awarded in the absence of such a provision.
Manhattan Pakistan PVT LTD V Government of Pakistan and another PLD 2000 Karachi 22

Quando aliquid prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per obliquum:

What cannot be achieved directly should not be attempted indirectly either.

Quando aliquid mandatur, mandatur et omue per quod pervenitur ad iilud: 

When anything is commanded, everything by which it can be accomplished is also commanded.

Quando lex aliquid alicui concedit concedere videtur et illud sine quo res ipse ease not potest: 

All those things which are though not expressly authorised by law shall be considered as authorised which are necessary for the existence of a thing which is actually authorised by law.
Asma Hafeez V City Police Officer Gujranwala 2012 PLC(CS) 1025
State V Fazeelat Bibi PLD 2010 Lahore 498

Qui facit per alium facit per se: 

A person is empowered to do anything through agent what he can do himself.
Whatever a person has power to do himself, he my do so by means of an agent.
Pakistan V Messrs H. pir Muhammad Shamsuddin PLD 1962 Kar. 810

Qui approbate non reprobat:

No one shall be allowed to partially accept and partially reject one thing simultaneously.
One who approbates cannot reprobates.
Asrar Ahmad V Chairman Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Board, KAMRA 2023 SCMR 1427

Qui peccat ebrius luat sobrius:

One who commits a wrongdoing while intoxicated should be held accountable once they are sober.
This statement emphasizes the principle of accountability, suggesting that intoxication is not an excuse for wrongful actions. It implies that regardless of one’s state of mind when the offense was committed, they should face the consequences once they are no longer under the influence. This idea aligns with the legal concept that individuals are responsible for their actions, even if those actions were influenced by alcohol or other substances.

Quid pro quo:

Something or some favor which is given in return of something
Attock Petroleum Limited (APL) V National Highway Authority 2022 PTD 222

Qui sentit commodum, sentire debet et onus:

The one who reaps the benefits should also bear the responsibilities; those who enjoy a right should also accept its obligations. Essentially, a privilege comes with conditions that must be met.

Quiequid in medificature solo, solo cedit:

The things attached to the land belongs to the land(landowner)
According to this maxim, the building which is constructed stranger on plot belongs to the landowner of plot. Also known as ” Quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit “
Qadeeruddin Ahmad and Dorab Patel, Ji Kalimuddin Ansart V Director Excuse and Taxation, Karachi PLD 1970 Karachi 1

Qui prior est tempore potior est jure:

Who approached first in time retains a better title.
Saudi Pak Commercial Bank Limited A H.International (PVT) LTD 2007 CLD 175

Quod fieri non debit factum:

An action that should not have been undertaken becomes legitimate once it has been carried out.
The conclusion drawn is that although the prior approval of the President was required for the introduction of the amending Bill, this requirement becomes a mere technicality or formality once the President has approved the Bill. Even if Article 75(3) of the Constitution had not explicitly stated this, the maxim “Quod fieri non debuit factum valet,” or more commonly known as “factum valet,” would uphold the enactment as a valid piece of legislation. The President could not have been unaware that by giving his assent to the legislation, even though it was not introduced with his prior approval, he would be considered to have overlooked the initial requirement.
Muhammad Aslam Khan and 9 others V Federal Land Commission through its chairman central secretariat Islamabad PLD 1976 Peshawar 66

Quo warranto:

It is the writ of the high court to to require a person to show the warrant to hold a public office.
This court firmly believes that a writ of “quo warranto” should only be issued in exceptional cases, and relief should not be granted casually, especially when a candidate’s qualifications were thoroughly examined during their appointment, a fact never challenged by the petitioner. The court will not discuss the merits of this case further, as the petition is liable to be dismissed due to the petitioner’s lack of good faith, extraneous motives, and the frivolous nature of the petition.
Reference is made to “Abrar Hassan v. Government of Pakistan and Respondents” (PLD 1976 Supreme Court 315), where it was candidly observed that quo warranto has never been a writ of right. The court may, at its discretion, refuse it if the application is not made in good faith or is for a collateral purpose. Similarly, in “Asif Hassan and others v. Sabir Hussain and others” (2019 SCMR 1720), it was held that a writ in the form of quo warranto is an extraordinary discretionary jurisdiction, and the court is not obliged to exercise such jurisdiction in every case, especially where the matter has lost its significance due to delay.
Rizwan Ali Sayal V Federation of Pakistan and others PLD 2024 Lahore 54

Latin terms with R

Res judicata pro veritate Occipitur:

A judicial decision must be accepted as correct.  
The finality of judgments marks the end of the judicial process, preventing further appeals or challenges to the decision, in accordance with the well-known doctrine of Res judicata, which is explained in Section 11 of the Civil Procedure Code (C.P.C.).
Muhammad Raqeeb V Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Chief Secretary, Peshawar. 2023 SCMR 992

Res ipsa loquitur:

Facts speak for themselves. 
It is established that in a case where an accident or incident resulting in the death of a person is not disputed by the defendants, the burden of proof that the person did not die due to the negligence or wrongful act of the defendants rests on the defendants themselves, rather than on the plaintiffs, in order to succeed in a claim for damages. If the defense argues that the death of the deceased was caused by their own negligence, then the defendants must present evidence that the machine was in perfect order and that there was no defect in it, but it was the negligence of the deceased that resulted in their death. In essence, the burden of disproving the causation of death rests on the defendants.
Mazhar Ali V Park Avenue owners/occupants welfare association 2020 MLD 257
M/s Telematics Master (Pvt.) LTD through Chief Operating Officer V M/s Pak Welcome Trader (Pvt.) LTD. Through Chief Executive. 2022 MLD 1961

Restitutio in integrum:

Entire / complete Restitution 
Chairman Indus motors co. V Muhammad Arshad and others PLD 2012 Lahore 264

Ratio decidendi:

Reasoning behind verdict
The comment made in paragraph 112 of Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed’s opinion in the District Bar Association case, regarding a matter beyond the scope of the legal dispute before the Court, was deemed unnecessary to the decision of that case. Therefore, it did not form the essential part of his opinion (ratio decidendi) but rather was a passing remark (obiter dictum).
Chaudhry Parvez Elahi V Deputy Speaker Provincial Assembly of Punjab, Lahore PLD 2023 SC 539

Res judicata:

An issue that has been resolved by a competent court and, as a result, cannot be reopen and pursued further by the same parties.
Muhammad Raqeeb V Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Chief Secretary Peshawar 2023 SCMR 992

Res subjudic:

This principle mainly addresses the “stay of suits” involving the same cause of action and issues that are already before the same court or different courts. The doctrine of Res Sub-judice refers to the “stay of suit.”
Imam Shah V Banat Shah 2022 CLC 873

Rex non protest peccare:

It is a doctrine of sovereign / government immunity which in literal meaning of maxim is that ” the king can do no wrong”

Res inter alias judicata Nullum inter alias perjudicium facts:

A matter that has been adjudicated upon involving one set of persons cannot in any way prejudice any other set of persons.
Chief Administrator of Auqaf Punjab V Muhammad Anwar 1984 CLC 3419

Legal Maxima with S

Salus populi suprema lex esto or Suprema lex salus popul:

The welfare of public at large should be the supreme law.
Anything to be done or any enactment or any amendment to be made should not be against the interest of public at large.
Iftakhar V Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through Chief Secretary, Peshawar 2022 PLC (CS) 855

Semper proesumitur pro negante:

Presumption always exists in the favor of the person who is denying.
Federation of Pakistan through Secretary, Cabinet Division, Islamabad V Main Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif  PLD 2009 SC 237

Secondum allegata et probata: 

Decision in confirmity with the pleading being proved through evidence.
A party is precluded from proving what has not been alleged or pleaded. 
Muhammad Ghaffar (deceased) V Arif Muhammad 2023 SCMR 344 
The burdon of proof lies on the person who alleged or asserted a fact.Mst Rabiyaz Bibi V Matiur Rehman 2022 CLC 686 

Sensus Verborum ex causa decendi accipiendus est, et sermones semper accipiendi sunt secundum subjectam materiam:

The context must always be looked to in interpretation.
The meaning of words is derived from the context in which they are spoken, and interpretations of discourses should always align with the subject matter being discussed.
Telenor Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited V Pakistan Telecommunication Authority 2024 CLC 37

Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas:

Use your property in a way that does not harm the property of others.
Using one’s own property in any manner is permitted by law, however, there are some limitations. There are situations when use of private property becomes harmful to the others living in the same vicinity which is also known as public nuisance which is not permissible as guided by this maxim.
Muhammad Rafique V Tehsildar Municipal Administration Chakwal and others 2020 MLD 1360

Sifting of grain out of chaff:

It idicates the duty of the judge to sperate truth from falshood
Akamal and 2 othyV The state 2015 YLR 2576

Sina die:

The term “sine die” is a Latin word not defined anywhere in the Cr.P.C. It is a fundamental principle of legal interpretation that if a word or expression is not defined in the Act from which the dispute arises, it is permissible to consult its dictionary meanings. 
This principle was endorsed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan in the case reported as Chairman, Pakistan Railway, Government of Pakistan, Islamabad and others v. Shah Jahan Shah (PLD 2016 Supreme Court 534) with the following observation: “When a word has not been defined in the statute, the ordinary dictionary was to be looked at. Therefore, even in the backdrop of the above, it is observed that different dictionaries assign various meanings to the term “sine die.

In the Black’s Law, 10th Edition of the Dictionary, the term “sine die” is defined as “without day – with no day being assigned – to end a deliberative assembly’s or court’s session without setting a time to reconvene. In Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, the term “sine die” is defined as “without fixing a day for future action or meeting.”

PLD 2023 Lahore 334

Sine qua non:

Something that is indispensable prior to accomplishing something else.
Anwar Ali V Abdul Hakeem PLD 2023 Peshawar 181

Spes Succession:

The expectation to inherit the property of another through survival.
A presumptive heir contests a property transaction made by their predecessor during the predecessor’s lifetime. Islamic law does not acknowledge spes successionis, which is the expectation or hope of inheriting another’s property by outliving them. Until the person’s death occurs, the presumptive heir has no rights in the ancestor’s property and therefore cannot dispute the validity of any transaction made by the ancestor from whom they are expected to inherit.
Abrar Ahmad V Irshad Ahmad PLD 2014 SC 331

Stare decisis:

Determination of controversies in accordance with precedents.
The decision of one Division Bench is binding on another Division Bench regarding the same point. If a different view is to be taken, a request for the constitution of a Larger Bench should be made. However, the principle of judicial precedent or stare decisis is not applied to consent orders; it applies only to decisions in which a question of law is decided.
Hakim Ali V Secretary education and literacy Department, Government of Sindh Karachi 2023 PLC CS Karachi 1291

Stare decisis et non quieta movere:

To stand by divisions and not to disturb what is settled.
Raja Muhammad Bashir Khan V Justice of Peace/ District and Sessions Judge Muzaffarabad and 2 others PLD 2023 HC (AJ&K) 108

Stabit praesumptio do nec probetur in contrarium:

 A presumption remains valid until proven otherwise.

Status quo:

The state of thing to be maintained as it is.
The purpose of issuing an interim/interlocutory order is to preserve the status quo, the situation as it exists when a party aggrieved by a certain action approaches the court. It aims to prevent any new developments that could harm the rights of the parties and potentially hinder the case’s merit-based decision.
Civil aviation authority through Director General, Karachi V Muhammad Abdul Aleem 2022 YLR 1348

Subla Fundamento cadit opus:

With the removal or destruction of foundation, the superstructure falls down.

Suggestio falsi & supressio veri:

Distorting reality by proposing falsehoods and concealing the truth. 
Raisuddin Shamsi V Martial Law Administrator, Zone ‘C’ Karachi PLD 1978 Kar. 84

Sui jurisdicti data est, ea quoque concessa-a-esse vindentur, sine qui-bus jurisdicti explicari non potuit:

Whoever is granted jurisdiction is also understood to have been granted those things without which the jurisdiction cannot be exercised. ( Cui Jurisdictio )
Syed Zeeshan Akhtar Zaidi V The state 1988 PCrLJ 843

Summum jus summa Injuria:

Granting a party the fullest extent of its rights could potentially cause significant injustice to that party.

Legal terms with T

Terra Nullius:

A land without any owner

Trial de Novo:

To do the fresh trial again from the beginning

Tentum et tale :

This and such

Legal Maxims with U

Ubi jus ibi remedium:

A corresponding remedy is always available to an existing right.
This principle acknowledges the existence of a legal right and can be invoked even when the law appears to lack a remedy for enforcing that right.
Sana Jamali V Mujeeb Qamar  2023 SCMR 316

Ut res magis valet quam pereat:

It’s preferable for something to be effective rather than rendered void.
The Court should strive, whenever possible, to avoid interpretations that attribute unreasonableness to the legislature’s intent. When interpreting any law or provision, the primary objective should be to ensure the law’s survival, with a presumption in favor of its constitutionality. Interpretations that render the statute or its provisions inoperative or unworkable should be avoided. While the Court has the authority to invalidate a law if it is unconstitutional, it should refrain from introducing inaccuracies or absurdities, or unduly restricting provisions through peculiar or anomalous interpretations that render them meaningless or inconsequential under the reading down concept.
Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Ministry of Communications Islamabad V Shujja Sharif 2023 SCMR 129

Legal phrases with V

A verbis legis non est recedendum:

There will be no departure from the words of law.
Inhabitants of Village Leepa V District Judge Jehlum valley / Hattian Bala 2022 CLC 1912

Verba cum effectu accipienda sunt:

Every provision and every words ought to be interpreted or used so as to give them their effect.
No word or provision should be ignored to go beyond it’s true interpretation which causes it to duplicate another provision. Redundancy should not be attributed to legislation, as words are used purposefully and should not be considered meaningless.
Messrs Zakwan Steel and others V Federation of Pakistan through Secretary (Revenue/chairman) and others 2023 PTD 9

Verba relata hoc maxime operantur per refrentiam ut in eis inessee vindentur:

Words referenced in a document have the same effect and operation as if they were explicitly included in the clause that mentions them.

Rana Aamir Raza Ashfaq V Dr. Minhaj Ahmad 2012 SCMR 6


A right to reject a decision made by adjudicating body.

Vigilentibus non dormientius aequitas subvenit:

Law aids the vigilantes and not those who sleep on their rights.
‘Vigilentibus non dormientius jura subveniunt’ is one of the significant legal maxims which pertains to the unreasonable delay in enforcing a legal claim. “Sleeping over his rights” refers to a right that is no longer available because it is barred by laches. Writ jurisdiction is undoubtedly discretionary and extraordinary in nature, which may not be invoked by a party who demonstrates a pattern of negligence and laxity.
Malik Shah Jahan V Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2023 PLC (CS) 236
Settlement Commissioner board of Revenue V Syed Ashfaque Ali PLD 2003 SC 132

Vice versa:

With same items in reverse or conversely 

Vis major:

A greater or irresistible power or force

Vox Populi:

Majority view or opinion of a larger number of persons

Voluntas in delictis non exitus spectatur: 

In crimes, the focus is on intent rather than outcome.

Volenti non fit injuria:

A willing person suffers no harm.
That to which a man consents cannot be considered an injury.
United Exports Company, Karachi V Regional Tax Officer through commissioner, enforcement and collection division, Karachi 2011 PTD 1128 

Legal terms with W


An act of relinquishment of a right or claim

Wherever there was a wrong there was remedy:

It is one of the important legal maxims which ensure the availability of remedy for injury. If neither the Civil Courts nor the learned Companies Judge pass any order regarding a company matter, it could lead to a vacuum and potential injustice. For example, in the current case where winding-up proceedings are pending before the Companies Judge, but no order has been issued regarding the dispute between the petitioners and the respondent, who are all directors of the company. The respondent fears that without a restraining order, the petitioners may withdraw all the company’s funds, misappropriate them, and leave her with nothing. In such circumstances, the Civil Courts would be justified in intervening effectively until the Companies Judge addresses the dispute and issues a decisive order, whether interim or final.
Main Ejaz Siddique and others V Mst. Kaneez Begum and 2 others 1992 CLC 1658