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SOME USEFUL LATIN TERMS AND LEGAL MAXIMS:

Locus Criminis scene of the crime or crime scene.


Verba legis non est decendendum from the words of the law
there can be no departure.
Dura lex sed lex the law may be harsh but it is the law.
Ignorantia legis neminem excusat ignorance of the law
excuses no one.
Ignorantia facti excusat mistake of fact excuses.
Praeter intentionem different from that which was intended.
Error in personae mistake in identity.
Abberatio Ictus mistake in the blow
Nulum crimen, nulla poena sine lege there is no crime when
there is no law punishing the same.
Actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea the act cannot be
criminal where the mind is not criminal.
Actus mi invictu reus, nisi mens facit reum an act done by
me against my will is not my act.
Mens rea guilty mind.
Actus reus guilty act.
Res ipsa loquitor the thing speaks for itself.
Causa Proxima proximate cause which produced the
immediate
effect.
Prima facie at first glance.

Pro Reo principle in Criminal Law which states that where the
statute admits of several interpretations, the one most favorable to
the accused shall be adopted.
Res Gestae the thing itself.
Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus false in one part of the
statement would render the entire statement false (note: this
maxim is not recognized in our jurisdiction).
Admissible evidence - Evidence that is both relevant and
competent.
Admissions - Any statement of fact made by a party against his
interest or unfavorable to the conclusion for which he contends
or is inconsistent with the facts alleged by him.
Best Evidence Rule - When the subject of inquiry is the contents
of a document, no evidence shall be admissible other than the
original document itself.
Burden of Proof - Duty of a party to present evidence on the
facts in issue necessary to establish his claim/defense by the
amount required by law.
Child Witness - Any person who at the time of giving testimony
is less than 18 years old.
Circumstantial Evidence - Proof of fact/s from which, taken
singly/collectively, the existence of the particular fact in
dispute may be inferred as a necessary/probable consequence.
It is evidence of relevant collateral facts.
Collateral Matters - Matters other than the fact in issue and
which
are offered as a basis for inference as to the existence or

non-existence of the facts in issue.


Competence - Evidence is not excluded by law or Rules of Court.
Conclusive Evidence - That class of evidence which the law does
not allow to be contradicted.
Confession - A categorical acknowledgment of guilt made by an
accused in a criminal case without any exculpatory statement
or explanation.
Corroborative Evidence - Additional evidence of a different
character to the same point.
Cumulative Evidence - Evidence of the same kind and to the
same state of facts.
Direct Evidence - Proves the fact in dispute without aid of any
inference or presumption.
Documentary Evidence : Writings or any material containing
letters, words, numbers, figures, symbols or other modes of
written expression offered as proof of their content.
Electronic Data Message - Information generated, sent,
received
or stored by electronic, optical or similar means
Electronic Document - Information or the representation of
information/data/figures/symbols or other modes of written
expression described or however represented, by which a right
is established or an obligation extinguished, or by which a fact
may be proved and affirmed, which is received/recorded/
transmitted/stored/processed/retrieved/produced electronically.
It includes digitally signed documents and any print out or output,
readable by sight or other means, which accurately reflects the
electronic data message or electronic document.

Electronic Signature - Any distinctive mark, characteristic


and/or
sound in electronic form, representing the identity of a person
and attached to or logically associated with the electronic data
message or electronic document or any methodology/
procedure employed/adopted by a person and executed/adopted
by such person with the intention of authenticating, signing or
approving an electronic data message or electronic document.
Ephemeral Electronic Communication - Refers to telephone
conversations, text messages, chatroom sessions, streaming
audio, streaming video and other electronic forms of
communication the evidence of which is not recorded/retained.
Extra Judicial Admission - Any admission other than judicial.
Factum probandum ultimate fact or the fact sought to be
established.
Factum probans evidentiary fact or the fact by which the
factum probandum is
to be established.
Judicial Admissions - Admissions, verbal or written, made by
the party in the course of the proceedings in the same case.
It requires no proof.
Negative Evidence - When witness states that he did not see or
know of the occurrence of a fact (total disclaimer of personal
knowledge).
Object Evidence - Directly addressed to the senses of the court.
Also called real evidence.
Parol Evidence Rule - Any evidence aliunde, whether oral or
written, which is intended or tends to vary or contradict a
complete and enforceable agreement embodied in a
document.

Pedigree - Relationship, family genealogy, birth, marriage,


death, the dates when and the places where these fast
occurred, and the names of the relatives. It also embraces facts
of family history intimately connected with pedigree.

or subsequent thereto, with respect to the


circumstances thereof.
2) Statements accompanying an equivocal act
material to the issue, and giving it a legal
significance.

Positive Evidence - When a witness affirms that a fact did or did


not occur (there is personal knowledge).

Res Inter Alios Acta - The rights of a party cannot be prejudiced


by an act/declaration/omission of another.

Preponderance of Evidence - The evidence adduced by one


side is, as a whole, superior to or has greater weight than that
of the other. Where the evidence presented by one side is
insufficient to ascertain the claim, there is no
preponderance of evidence.

Secondary Evidence - (Substitutionary) - That which is inferior


to
the primary evidence and is permitted by law only when the best
evidence is not available.

Prima Facie Evidence - That which, standing alone, is sufficient


to maintain the proposition affirmed.
Primary Evidence - (Best Evidence) - That which the law
regards
as affording greatest certainty of the fact in question.
Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt - That degree of proof
which
produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind. It does not mean
such a degree of proof as, excluding the possibility of error,
produces absolute certainty. Only moral certainty is required
that degree of proof which produces conviction in an
unprejudiced mind.
Relevance - Evidence has such a relation to the fact in issue as
to induce belief of its existence or non-existence.
Res Gestae - It literally means Things done.
1) Statements made by a person while a
starting
occurrence is taking place or immediately
prior

Substantial Evidence - The amount of relevant evidence which


a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.
Testimonial Evidence - Submitted to the court through the
testimony or deposition of a witness.