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Statutory Construction Latin Maxims

with Digested Cases

The attachment is a compilation of case from Ateneo Law 2011.
Here are the list of LATIN MAXIMS used in the cases
Latin Ma!ims
1. Legis interpretation legis vim obtinet.
"udicial construction and interpretation of a statute ac#uires the force of law.
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2. Contemporanea exposition est optima et fortissimo in lege.
$ontemporar+ construction is stron,est in law.
Optima est legum interpres consuetudo.
$ustom is the -est interpreter of a statute.
Regula pro lege, si deficit lex.
In default of the law. the ma!im rules.
3. Optimus interpres rerum usus.
The -est interpreter of the law is usa,e.
Communis error facit jus.
$ommon error sometimes passes as current law.
Quod ab initio non valet in tractu temporis non convalescit.
That which was ori,inall+ /oid. does not -+ lapse of time -ecome /alid.
. Rati!abitio mandato ae"uiparatur.
Le,islati/e ratification is e#ui/alent to a mandate.
#. $tare decisis et non "uieta movere.
0ollow past precedents and do not distur- what has -een settled.
%nterest republicae ut sit finis litium.
The interest of the state demands that there -e an end to liti,ation.
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&. %ndex animi sermo est.
Speech is the inde! of intention.
'nimus !ominis est anima scripti.
The intention of the part+ is the soul.
(erba legis non est recedendum.
0rom the words of the statute there should -e no departure.
)aledicta et exposition "uae corrumpit textum.
It is -ad construction which corrupts the te!t.
Littera scripta manet.
The written word endures.
Clausula rebus sic stantibus.
Thin,s thus standin,.
*. 'bsoluta sentential expositore non indigent.
1hen the lan,ua,e of the law is clear. no e!planation is re#uired.
+ura lex sed lex.
The law ma+ -e harsh -ut it is the law.
,oc "uidem per"uam durum est, sed ita lex scripta est.
It is e!ceedin,l+ hard. -ut so the law is written.
-. 'e"uitas nun"uam contravenit legis.
&#uit+ ne/er acts in contra/ention of the law.
'e"uum et bonum est lex legume.
1hat is ,ood and e#ual is the law of laws.
.us ars boni et ae"ui.
Law is the art of e#uit+.
/. Ratio legis est anima legis.
The reason of the law is the soul of the law.
Littera necat spiritus vivificate.
The letter 2ills -ut the spirit ,i/es life.
(erba intentioni, non e contra, debent inservice.
1ords ou,ht to -e more su-ser/ient to the intent. and not the intent to the words.
0enignus leges interpretandae sunt, "uod voluntas eraum conservetur.
Laws are to -e construed li-erall+. so that their spirit and reason -e preser/ed.
Qui !aret in littera !aret in cortice.
He who considers merel+ the letter of an instrument ,oes -ut s2in deep into its
Quando verba statute sunt speciali, ratio autem generalia, statum
generaliter est intelligendum.
1hen the words used in a statute are special. -ut the purpose of the law is ,eneral. it
should -e read as the ,eneral e!pression.
11. Cessante rationi legis, cessat et ipsa lex.
1hen the reason of the law ceases. the law itself ceases.
11. %nterpretatio talis in ambiguis simper fienda est ut evitetur
inconveniens et absurdum.
1here there is am-i,uit+. the interpretation of such that will a/oid incon/eniences
and a-surdit+ is to -e adopted.
Legis construction non facit injuriam.
The construction of the law will not -e such as to wor2 in3ur+ or in3ustice.
'rgumentum ab inconvenient plurimum valet in lege.
An ar,ument drawn from incon/enience is forci-le in law.
(erba ni!il operari melius est "uam absurde.
It is -etter that words should ha/e no operation at all than that the+ should operate
Lex simper intendit "uod convenit rationi.
The law alwa+s intends that which is in accordance with reason.
2bi eadem ratio ibi idem jus.
Li2e reason doth ma2e li2e law.
'rgumentum a simili valet in lege.
An ar,ument drawn from a similar case. or analo,+. pre/ails in law.
+e similibus idem est judicium.
$oncernin, similars. the 3ud,ment is the same.
2bi eadem est ratio, ibi est eadem legis disposition.
1here there is the same reason. there is the same law
12. 3a est accipienda interpretation "uae vitio caret.
That interpretation is to -e adopted which is free from e/il or in3ustice.
Lex injusta non est lex.
An un3ust law is not a law.
13. 4iat justitia, ruat coelum .
Let ri,ht -e done. thou,h the hea/ens fall.
5emo est supra legis.
No-od+ is a-o/e the law.
5ulla potential supra legis esse debet.
No power must -e a-o/e the law.
1. .urae naturae ae"uum est neminem cum alterius detrimento et injuria
fieri locupletiorem.
It is certainl+ not a,reea-le to natural 3ustice that a stran,er should reap the pecuniar+
produce of another man4s wor2.
1#. $urplusagium non nocet.
Surplusa,e does not /itiate a statute.
2tile per inutile non vitiatur.
The useful is not /itiated -+ the non5useful.
1&. 4alsa demostratio non nocet, cum de corpore constat.
0alse description does not preclude construction nor /itiate the meanin, of the statute.
5il facit error nominis cum de corpora vel persona constat.
&rror in name does not ma2e an instrument inoperati/e when the description is
sufficientl+ clear.
Certum est "uod certum reddi potest.
That is sufficientl+ certain which can -e made certain.
1*. %bi "uid generaliter conceditur, inest !aec exception, si non ali"uid sit
contras jus bas"ue.
1here an+thin, is ,ranted ,enerall+. e!emption from ri,id application of law is
implied6 that nothin, shall -e contrar+ to law and ri,ht.
1-. $ummum jus, summa injuria.
The ri,or of the law would -e the hi,hest in3ustice.
.us summum saepe, summa est militia.
&!treme law is often e!treme wron,.
1/. 5emo tenetur ad impossibilia.
The law o-li,es no one to perform an impossi-ilit+.
%mpossibilum nulla obigatio est.
There is no o-li,ation to do an impossi-le thin,.
Lex non cogit ad impossibilia.
The law does not re#uire an impossi-ilit+.
Lex non intendit ali"uid impossible.
The law does not intend the impossi-le.
21. 3x necessitate legis.
7+ the necessar+ implication of law.
%n eo "uod plus sit, simper inest et minus.
The ,reater includes the lesser.
Cui jurisdiction data est, ea "uo"ue concessa esse videntur sine "uibus
jurisdiction explicari non potuit.
1hen 3urisdiction is ,i/en. all powers and means essential to its e!ercise are also
21. 2bi jus, ibi remedium.
1here there is a ri,ht. there is a remed+ for /iolation thereof.
2bi jus incertum, ibi jus nullum.
1here the law is uncertain. there is no ri,ht.
22. 3x dolo malo non oritur action.
An action does not arise from fraud.
5ullius commodum capere potest de injuria sua propria.
No one ma+ deri/e ad/anta,e from his own unlawful act.
%n pari delicto potior est condition defendentis.
1here the parties are e#uall+ at fault. the position of the defendin, part+ is the -etter
23. Quando ali"uid pro!ibetur ex directo, pro!ibetur et per obli"uum.
1hat cannot. -+ law. -e done directl+ cannot -e done indirectl+.
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28. 9eneralia /er-a sunt ,eneraliter intelli,enda.
9eneral words should -e understood in their ,eneral sense.
9eneris dictum ,eneraliter est interpretandum.
A ,eneral statement is understood in its ,eneral sense.
2:. ;er-a accipienda sunt secundum su-3ectam materiam.
A word is to -e understood in the conte!t in which it is used.
;er-a mere ae#ui/oca. si per communem usum lo#uendi in intellectu certo
sumuntur. talis intellectus preferendus est.
&#ui/ocal words or those with dou-le meanin, are to -e understood
accordin, to their common and ordinar+ sense.
;er-a artis e! arte.
1ords of art should -e e!plained from their usa,e in the art to which the+ -elon,.
;er-a ,eneralia restrin,untur ad ha-ilitatem rei /el personam.
9eneral words should -e confined accordin, to the su-3ect5matter or persons to which
the+ relate.
2<. *-i le! non distin,uit necnon distin,uere de-emus.
1here the law does not distin,uish. the courts should not distin,uish.
2=. >issimilum dissimilis est ratio.
%f thin,s dissimilar. the rule is dissimilar.
2-. 5oscitur a sociis.
A thin, is 2nown -+ its associates.
2/. 3jesdem generis.
%f the same 2ind or species.
31. 3xpressio unius est exclusion alterius.
The e!press mention of one person. thin, or conse#uence implies the e!clusion of all
3xpressum facit cessare tacitum.
1hat is e!pressed puts an end to that which is implied.
31. 'rgumentum a contrario.
Ne,ati/e5%pposite >octrine what is e!pressed puts an end to that which is implied.
32. Cassus omissus pro omisso !abendus est.
A person. o-3ect or thin, omitted from an enumeration must -e held to ha/e -een
omitted intentionall+.
33. 'd proximum antecedens fiat relatio nisi impediatur sentential.
A #ualif+in, word or phrase should -e understood as referrin, to the nearest
3. Reddendo singular singulis.
(eferrin, each to each. or referrin, each phrase or e!pression to its appropriate
o-3ect. or let each -e put in its proper place.
3#. 3xceptio firmat regulam in casibus non exceptis.
A thin, not -ein, e!pected must -e re,arded as comin, within the pur/iew of the
,eneral rule.
3&. Optima statute interpretatrix est ipsum statutum.
The -est interpreter of the statute is the statute itself.
3x tota materia emergat resolution.
The e!position of a statute should -e made from all its parts put to,ether.
%njustum est, nisi tota lege inspecta, de una ali"ua ejus particula proposita
indicare vel respondere.
It is un3ust to decide or to respond as to an+ particular part of a law without e!aminin,
the whole of the law.
5emo enim ali"uam partem recte intelligere possit ante"uam totum
interum at"ue interim perlegit.
The sense and meanin, of the law is collected -+ /iewin, all the parts to,ether as one
whole and not of one part onl+ -+ itself.
3x antecendentibus et conse"uentibus fit optima interpretation.
A passa,e will -e -est interpreted -+ reference to that which precedes and follows it.
(erba posterima propter certitudinem addita ad priora "uae certitudine
indigent sunt referenda.
(eference should -e made to a su-se#uent section in order to e!plain a pre/ious
clause of which the meanin, is dou-tful.
3*. %nterpretatio fienda est ut res magis valeat "uam pereat.
A law should -e interpreted with a /iew of upholdin, rather than destro+in, it.
3-. 6ari materia.
%f the same matter.
%nterpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus.
&/er+ statute m+st -e so construed and harmoni?ed with other statutes as to form a
uniform s+stem of law.
3/. +istingue tempora et concordabis jura.
>istin,uish times and +ou will harmoni?e law.
5 Tempora mutantur et le,es mutantur in illis.
5 Times ha/e chan,ed and laws ha/e chan,ed with them.
)utatis mutandis.
1ith the necessar+ chan,es.
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1. $alus populi est suprema lex.
The /oice of the people is the supreme law.
$tatuta pro publico commodo late interpretantur.
Statutes enacted for the pu-lc ,ood are to -e construed li-erall+.
6rivatum incommodum publico bono pensatur.
The pri/ate interests of the indi/idual must ,i/e wa+ to the accommodation of the
1. 'ctus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea.
The act does not ma2e a person ,uilt+ unless the mind is also ,uilt+.
'ctus me invito facturs non est meus actus.
An act done -+ me a,ainst m+ will is not m+ act.
2. 6rivilegia recipiunt largam interpretationem voluntate consonem
'ri/ile,es are to -e interpreted in accordance with the will of him who ,rants them.
Renunciatio non praesumitur.
(enunciation cannot -e presumed.
3. $trictissimi juris.
0ollow the law strictl+.
. 5ullum tempus occurit regi.
There can -e no le,al ri,ht as a,ainst the authorit+ that ma2es the law on which the
ri,ht depends.
#. (igilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt.
The law aids the /i,ilant. not those who slum-er on their ri,hts.
6otior est in tempore, potior est in jure.
He who is first in time is preferred in ri,ht.
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&. Lex prospicit, non respicit.
The law loo2s forward. not -ac2ward.
Lex de futuro, judex de praeterito.
The law pro/ides for the future. the 3ud,e for the past.
5 No/a constitutio futuris formam imponere de-et non praeteritis.
5 A new statute should affect the future. not the past.
Leges "uae retrospciunt, et magna cum cautione sunt ad!ibendae ne"ue
enim janus locatur in legibus.
Laws which are retrospecti/e are rarel+ and cautiousl+ recei/ed. for "anus has reall+
no place in the laws.
Leges et constitutiones futuris certum est dare formam negotiis, non ad
facta praeterita revocari, nisi nominatim et de praeterito tempore et
ad!uc pendentibus negotiis cautum sit.
Laws should -e construed as prospecti/e. not retrospecti/e. unless the+ are e!pressl+
made applica-le to past transactions and to such as are still pendin,.
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*. 5ullum crimen sine poena, nulla poena sine lege.
There is no crime without a penalt+. there is no penalt+ without a law.
-. 4avorabilia sunt amplianda, odiosa restringenda.
'enal laws which are fa/ora-le to the accused are ,i/en retroacti/e effect.
Chapter + M!NDM!NT( R!&ISION(
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/. Leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant.
Later statutes repeal prior ones which are repu,nant thereto.
#1. 7eneralia specialibus non derogant.
A ,eneral law does not nullif+ a specific or special law.
'. %gnorantia legis neminem excusat.
I,norance of the law e!cuses no one.
0. %n obscuris inspici solere "uod versimilius est, aut "uod plerum"ue
fieri solet.
1hen matters are o-scure. it is customar+ to ta2e what appears to -e more li2el+ or
what usuall+ often happens.
'mbiguitas verborum patens nulla verificatione excluditur.
A patent am-i,uit+ cannot -e cleared up -+ e!trinsic e/idence.
C. 'd ea "uae fre"uentibus accidunt jura adaptatur.
Laws are understood to -e adapted to those cases which most fre#uentl+ occur.
.us constitui oportet in !is "uae ut plurimum accidunt non "uae ex
Laws ou,ht to -e made with a /iew to those cases which happen most fre#uentl+. and
not to those which are of rare or accidental occurrence.
Quod semel aut bis existit praetereunt legislatores.
Le,islators pass o/er what happens onl+ once or twice.
+e minimis non curat lex.
The law does not concern itself with triflin, matters.
+. 5igrum 5un"uam 3xcedere +ebet Rubrum.
The -lac2 @-od+ of the act printed in -lac2A should ne/er ,o -e+ond the red @title or
ru-ric of the statute printed in redA