The several Latin terms in legal jargon: How a lot of do you know?

The provocation this time is an expression which finds frequent use in the media. A borrowing from Latin, it seems to have twin spellings – suo motu and suo moto – employed interchangeably in print and electronic place. The initially, on the other hand, seems to have extra takers. English dictionaries like Collins, Macmillan and also Oxford Reference have gone with suo motu.

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A great deal of the allure that the English language possesses is because of to the ease with which it has acknowledged foreign influences. By borrowing from a large number of tongues, it has turned itself into a delectable potpourri. Among the all its creditors, Latin along with Greek and French has been the most generous.

In point, every single working day we produce and converse some Latin when we use countless words and phrases ending in ‘or’, a Latin suffix which signifies ‘one who…’ Words like editor, actor, auditor, dictator, sculptor, educator, janitor, curator, victor, and so on., have a Latin hyperlink. Even etc. arrives from Latin et cetera which indicates ‘and the rest’.

The listing of these quickly understood phrases is nearly inexhaustible. Having said that, there are much less-understood Latin expressions comprising two or three terms which make the bulk of the legal jargon. Here is an try to decipher a handful of which discover common use in the media.

Suo motu indicates ‘on its own motion’. High courts and the Supreme Court docket in India have the constitutional mandate to act on their very own to protect the basic rights of people today or consider an action to set a improper correct even nevertheless an aggrieved party does not file a petition. This might take place when the court’s notice is drawn to an incident through news reports or any other signifies. For instance, the Gujarat Large Court lately took a suo motu cognizance of the Morbi bridge collapse in Gujarat and bought a case submitted to correct the duty.

Amicus curiae (frequently shortened to amicus) practically suggests ‘friend of the court’. Often the courtroom appoints an advocate as amicus curiae in a scenario to guide it. In fact, in the Morbi circumstance, the Gujarat HC has appointed two young advocates as amici curiae (plural for amicus curiae) to support consider the case to a rational conclusion. An amicus functions with out any expectation of financial payment and becoming appointed one is an acknowledgement of expert competence and integrity.

The use of ad hoc is ubiquitous. It usually means ‘for the existing issue or situation’. An ad hoc committee is one which is established up to dispose of a individual matter and is wound up after the task is in excess of.

If someone is punished ex put up facto it means that the relevant law arrived soon after the crime was dedicated. So, it signifies ‘after the point or event, or retroactive’.

If there is a prima facie circumstance towards someone, it indicates there is adequate evidence ‘at 1st glance’, nevertheless not conclusive, to proceed against the man or woman involved.

Quid professional quo is applied to refer to a thing provided in lieu of a thing acquired, a fair trade. Illustration: The defendant agreed to a prepared apology and, as quid pro quo, the petitioner withdrew her situation.

Status quo is frequently used in conditions wherever courts restore an previously state of affairs exactly where a transform has been carried. Considering that the problem is the past 1 which is to be restored, purists insist that the expression must be standing quo ante (the very last phrase stands for ‘before’). However, position quo is well known with headline writers to show the strategy of preserving with out change.

Sine qua non is a little something which is indispensable, a prerequisite. Instance: An independent judiciary is a sine qua non of a wholesome democracy.

For long, there has been a need to jettison these legal terms which make tiny feeling to the popular guy. Nonetheless, the use of Latin phrases has continued simply because they are vivid, expressing ‘much in less’, that is, multum in parvo.

PS (Postscript comes from Latin postscriptum, meaning ‘written after’): It is good to keep in mind that Latin expressions are not commonly hyphenated even even though they could be modifying a matter.

Wordly Smart is a weekly column by Amitabh Ranjan revealed each individual Saturday in the Stated part. Please tweet your feedback to @ieexplained