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Glossary of Latin Legal Terminology

For customer reference only:

Ad Hoc
FOR THIS PURPOSE Ad Hoc decisions are made as and when a situation demands: - Ad
Ad Infinitum
WITHOUT LIMIT
Describes an event apparently continuing without end
Ante
BEFORE
An indication within text to refer to an earlier passage

B ⇑ To Top

Bona Fide
IN GOOD FAITH
A Bona Fide Agreement is one entered into genuinely without attempt to fraud
Bona Vacantia
Denotes the absence of any known person entitled to the estate of a deceased person

C ⇑ To Top

Caveat
BEWARE/TAKE CARE
An entry in the court records that effectively prevents action by another party without first notifying the party entering the Caveat
Compos Mentis
OF SOUND MIND
Legally fit to conduct/defend proceedings

D ⇑ To Top

De Bonis Non Administatis
OF GOODS NOT ADMINISTERED
A person appointed to administer an estate following the death of the original administrator
De Facto
IN FACT
“As a matter of fact”
De Jure
BY RIGHT

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Erratum
AN ERROR
Exempli Gratia (e.g.)
FOR EXAMPLE –
Used when qualifying a statement by explaining through a relevant example
Ex Gratia
AS A MATTER OF FAVOUR
Ex Officio
BY VIRTUE OF HIS OFFICE
A magistrate sitting with a judge at the Crown Court would appear ex officio in a case where no judicial function is to be exercised by the magistrate e.g. case committed to Crown Court for sentence only
Ex Parte
BY A PARTY
An ex parte application is made to the Court during proceedings by one party in the absence of another or without notifying the other party

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Id Est (i.e.)
THAT IS TO SAY
Used as a description to explain a statement
Ipso Facto
BY THE FACT
The reliance upon facts that together prove a point

M ⇑ To Top

Mens Rea
GUILTY MIND
The intention to commit an offence whilst knowing it to be wrong
Mutatis Mutandis
THE NECESSARY CHANGES BEING MADE
Denotes that instructions should not be followed verbatim but by amending where necessary

N ⇑ To Top

Non Compos Mentis
NOT SOUND IN MIND
A person classed as unfit to conduct/defend legal proceedings
Nota Bene (nb)
NOTE WELL
An abbreviation denoting that the reader of an article should make a particular note of the article mentioned.

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Per Capita
BY HEADS
e.g. the cost is £50 per capita - £50 per person
Prime Facie
FIRST SIGHT
Prima Facie evidence would be considered sufficient to prove a case unless disproved – if no Prima Facie evidence can be offered there is no case to answer
Pro Forma
A MATTER OF FORM
Pro Forma procedure is performed subject to and following an agreed manner
Per Pro (pp)
THROUGH ANOTHER
A person delegated to act for another
Per Se
BY ITSELF
Denoting that the topic should be taken alone
Post
AFTER
An indication to refer to something to be found further on
Pro Rata
IN PROPORTION
Dividends distributed on a Pro Rata basis would be according to the amount of investment
Pro Tempore (Pro Tem)
FOR THE TIME BEING –
Temporarily

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Quasi
AS IF
Any person exercising powers similar to those of a judge would be sitting in a Quasi-Judicial capacity

R ⇑ To Top

Res Ipsa Loquitur
THE THING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
An event that has occurred which, if the subject of litigation, would not require an onus of proof by the plaintiff because of the obvious negligence of the defendant

U ⇑ To Top

Ultra Vires (See Intra Vires)
BEYOND THE POWER
An act that falls outside or beyond the jurisdiction of the court

V ⇑ To Top

Videlicet (Viz)
NAMELY
Used in text to indicate examples
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