Legal Maxims

May 15, 2019 | Author: Charlotte Gallego | Category: Mens Rea, Justice, Crime & Justice, Government Information, Social Institutions
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Charlotte F. Gallego Legal Writing February 7, 2013 1. Qui facit per alium facit se - is a Latin legal term meaning, "He who acts through another does the act himself." It is a fundamental maxim of the law of agency. This is a maxim often stated in discussing the liability of employer for the act of  employee.

The authority of the agent to act emanates from the powers granted to him by his principal; his act is the act of the principal if done within the scope of the authority. Qui facit per alium facit se. (SPOUSES FERNANDO and LOURDES VILORIA v. CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, INC., G.R. No. 188288)

2.  Absoluta sententia expositore non indigent - It means ‘an absolute judgment needs no expositor.’ A sentence that is plain and absolute does not need an expositor.

Petitioner is reminded that to the plain words of a legal provision we should make no further explanation. Absoluta sententia expositore non indiget. Indeed, the interpretation which petitioner attempts to foist upon us would only lead to absurdity, its acceptance negating the plain meaning of the provision subject of  the petition. (Gan v. Reyes G.R. No. 145527)

3.  Actio personalis moritur cum persona - [Latin: a personal action dies with the person concerned]  A maxim stating stating that that actions actions of tort or or contract contract are destroyed destroyed by by the death death of  either the injured or the injuring party.

It is true that a public office is personal to the public officer and is not a property transmissible to his heirs upon death.[9] Thus, applying the doctrine of actio personalis moritur cum persona, upon the death of the incumbent, no heir of his may be allowed to continue holding his office in his place. (De Castro v. COMELEC, G.R. No. 125249)

4.  Actori incumbit onus probandi-  It means ‘the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Every plaintiff at law or complainant at equity, must show a good title or claim before he can prevail in his suit

The presence of any of these circumstances is sufficient for a contract to be deemed an equitable mortgage. Both the trial and appellate courts, however, found none of the circumstances enumerated in Article 1602 of the Civil Code. Neither do we find any cogent reason to reverse their findings. Actori incumbit onus probandi. (ELIODORO ALELIGAY, substituted by CEFERINO ALELIGAY v. LASERNA G.R. No. 165943)

5.  Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea - translates “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty,” expresses a fundamental principle in many legal systems, especially those in the Anglo-American common law tradition. This delineates the two-fold requirement for every substantive crime; namely for every crime there is an actus reus, or the physical act that constitutes the crime, and the mens rea, or the mental element of varying standards that is held by the perpetrator.

The long-standing Latin maxim “actus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea” supplies an important characteristic of a crime, that “ordinarily, evil intent must unite with an unlawful act for there to be a crime,” and accordingly, there can be no crime when the criminal mind is wanting. (People v. Natividad, G. R. No. 160188)

6. Contra non valentem agere nulla currit praescriptio-  means “a prescription does not run against one who is unable to act.” This rule says that limitations or  prescriptive period does not begin to run against a plaintiff.

Lastly, petitioner insists that even assuming that the “discovery rule” does not apply, nevertheless, on account of the principle of “equitable tolling,” prescription has not yet set in for the offenses with which respondents in OMB-0-97-1138 were charged. This principle is based on the doctrine “contra non valentem agere nulla currit praescription. (PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS, represented by ATTY. ORLANDO SALVADOR, v. ULPIANO TABASONDRA G.R. No. 133756)

7. Nemo bis punitur pro eodem delicto - It is a latin phrase which means “No one can be twice punished for the same offense.”

In criminal law, the principle is expressed in the Latin maxim: “Nemo bis punitur  pro eodem delicto,” or, as Coke says, “Nemo debet bis puniri pro uno delicto” (No one can be twice punished for the same crime or misdemeanor). The United States Supreme Court declared that at the heart of this policy is the concern that permitting the sovereign freely to subject the citizen to a second judgment for the

same offense would arm the government with a potent instrument of oppression. (People v. Sandiganbayan, Belac, et. Al G.R. Nos. 168188-89)

8. Semper pro matriomonio praesumitur  –The presumption is always in favor of  the validity of a marriage

Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are presumed, in the absence of any counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in fact married. Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio — Always presume marriage. (Balogbog v. CA, G.R. No. 83598)

9. Leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant - Where the provisions of a later document are contrary to those of an earlier, the earliest must be considered as repealed.

First, leges posteriores priores contrarias abrogant. In case of an irreconcilable conflict between two laws of different vintages, the later enactment prevails.[61] The rationale is simple: a later law repeals an earlier one because it is the later  legislative will. (G.R. No. 188456)

10. Ex dolo malo actio non oritur - ‘no right of action can have its origin in fraud’. No court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action upon an immoral or an illegal act.

For the Court to allow the respondents to benefit from their own wrong would run counter to the maxim: Ex Dolo Malo Non Oritur Actio (No man can be allowed to found a claim upon his own wrongdoing) (Serrano v. CA G.R. No. 133883)

11. Interpretare et concordare leges legibus est optimus interpretandi modus It is a latin phrase which means "To interpret and harmonize laws is the best method of interpretation."

When statutes are in pari materia[28] or when they relate to the same person or  thing, or to the same class of persons or things, or cover the same specific or  particular subject matter,[29] or have the same purpose or object,[30] the rule dictates that they should be construed together – interpretare et concordare leges legibus, est optimus interpretandi modus. (People v. Bustinera, 148233)

12. Interpretatio fienda est ut res magis valeat quam pereat-  relates to the rule of  interpretation. The maxim states such an interpretation is to be adopted that the measure may take effect rather fail.

The fundamental principle of constitutional construction is to give effect to the intent of the framers of the organic law and of the people adopting it. The intention to which force is to be given is that which is embodied and expressed in the constitutional provisions themselves. Interpretatio fienda est ut res magis valeat quam pereat. (People v. Baldimo, G.R. No. 117818)

13. Qui prior est tempore potior est jure – he who is earlier in time is stronger in law. Accordingly, where there are two competing equitable interests, the general rule of equity is that the person whose equity attached to the property first will be entitled to priority over the other.

 As a rule, the second case filed should be abated under the maxim qui prior est tempore, potior est jure. However, this rule is not a hard and fast one. The "priority-in-time rule" may give way to the criterion of "more appropriate action." More recently, the criterion used was the "interest of justice rule." (National Power Corp. v. CA, G.R. No. 112702)

14. Qui tacet consentire videtur - He who keeps silent is assumed to consent; silence gives consent.

In the case of respondent, after the numerous opportunities given her to comment on the charges, no comment came. What we have instead is her  defiant and contumacious silence for a period of more than three (3) years. Consequently, we are left with no choice but to deduce he implicit admission of  the charges levelled against her. Qui tacet consentire videtur. Silence gives consent . (Gefaldeo v. Lacson, A.M. No. MTJ-93-881)

15. Verba intentioni, non e contra, debent inservire-  Words ought to be made subservient to the intent, not contrary to it.

Verba intentioni, non e contra debent inservire. Words ought to be more subservient to the intent than intent to the words. Ang mga salita ng batas ay dapat higit na sumunod sa layunin kaysa ang layunin ang sumunod sa mga salita nito. (G.R. No. 178056)

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