List of Important Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024: Books, Expert’s Tips to Prepare

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 11th, 2023

Legal Maxims for CLAT are an integral part of the legal aptitude section of CLAT. In this section, questions are asked to test candidates’ legal knowledge. Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024 are categorized under the legal knowledge part. The candidates can expect 4-5 questions from this section.

The candidates who are preparing for the upcoming exam must have a clear understanding of Important Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024. In this article, BYJU’S Exam Prep experts have explained Legal Maxims for CLAT, including its definition, important phases, questions, and how to answer.

What are Legal Maxims for CLAT?

CLAT Legal Maxims is a well-established idea related to legal approach, proposal, doctrine, etc. Legal Maxims for CLAT are usually expressed in Latin, as most of these terms originated from the Medieval period in the European states and employed Latin as the official language. However, the principles of Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024 guide the courts and the country’s law fairly so that the courts can decide the legal issues perfectly and unbiasedly. Also, Check CLAT Exam.

Such principles of CLAT Legal Maxims do not have legal authority but when the courts apply it in deciding issues of the legislature, including such maxims while framing laws, they take the form of law and form the basis of sound judgments. Read this article below to get a detailed analysis of the Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024 questions so that you can prepare for these questions in a better way.

Legal Maxims for CLAT Questions

We have shared some important questions for Legal Maxims for CLAT below, which are commonly asked in the CLAT. Make sure that you also go through their solution properly to understand these terms.

  1. Actionable Per se
  1. For the case or end at hand
  2. The meeting of minds
  3. In good faith
  4. The very act is punishable; no proof of damage is required

Answer: (d) actions that do not require the allegation or proof of additional facts to constitute a cause of action. Such a tort is actionable simply because it happened

  1. Assentio Mentium
  1. The meeting of minds
  2. In good faith
  3. An argument directed at the person
  4. Injury without damage

Answer: (a) Latin definition for a meeting of minds regarding the terms and conditions of the contract.

  1. Pacta sunt servanda
  1. Treaties are legally binding
  2. Treaties are legally binding only to the contracting parties
  3. Goods without an owner
  4. With the intention of making a will

Answer: (a) A Latin word for agreements is binding. It is a basic principle of civil, international, and canon law. The principle refers to private contracts, stressing that contained clauses are to be termed as the law between the parties.

  1. Bona Vacantia
  1. Goods without an owner
  2. Let the seller beware
  3. To the extreme contrary
  4. The law does not note trifling matters

Answer: (a) Bona Vacatia is a legal concept associated with a property that has no owner. It exists in various jurisdictions but with origins mostly in English law.

  1. Persona non-grata
  1. By the fact itself
  2. Person non-wanted
  3. State recognition of law
  4. Principle of equity

Answer: (b) It refers to a foreign person whose entry or remaining in a country is prohibited by that country’s government.

  1. Alibi
  1. A friend of the court
  2. From elsewhere
  3. Equity follows the law
  4. At another place

Answer: (d) A claim or a piece of evidence when an act, typically a criminal, is alleged to have occurred. In a criminal action, defense is that the defendant was somewhere other than the scene of the crime when the crime was committed.

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  1. Ipso facto
  1. By the very fact itself
  2. Legitimate
  3. From the very beginning
  4. In good faith

Answer: (a) Ipso Facto is a Latin Phrase that means that a specific phenomenon is a direct consequence of the action in question instead of any previous action. It is used to say that it is reasonable to state or believe something based on already-known facts.

  1. Actio personalis moritur cum persona
  1. An action is not given to one who is not injured
  2. A personal right of action dies with the person
  3. The burden of proof lies with the plaintiff
  4. The act of law does no wrong

Answer: (b) A maxim is stating that tort or contract actions are destroyed by the death of the injured or injured party.

  1. Actus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea
  1. The laws are adapted to those cases which occur more frequently
  2. For a perpetual memorial for the matter
  3. The act does not make one guilty unless there is a guilty intent
  4. Alienation is preferred by law rather than accumulation

Answer: (c) An act does not make one guilty without a guilty mind. This Latin phrase is often given as the pinnacle of the English common law criminal justice system and is usually in the context of men’s rea. It states that for any act to be illegal in nature it must be done with a guilty mind.

  1. Jus Cogens
  1. The peremptory norm of general international law
  2. The recognition of certain practices like law
  3. Implied jurisdiction of the ICJ
  4. The treaties are legally binding

Answer: (a) It is a fundamental principle of international law that is accepted by the international community of states as a norm from which no derogation is permitted.

  1. Pari Passu
  1. An amount
  2. In proportion
  3. In the opinion of the court
  4. On an equal footing

Answer: (d) Is a Latin phrase that describes situations where two or more assets, securities, creditors or obligations are equally managed without situations.

  1. Non- sequitur
  1. An inconsistent statement
  2. Guilty state of mind
  3. No one can be a judge in his own cause
  4. In the matter of

Answer: (a) a conclusion or a statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement.

  1. Ubberime Fide
  1. Reason for deciding the judgment
  2. In utmost good faith
  3. As much as deserved
  4. The principle that courts abide by

Answer: (b) utmost good faith- This means that all parties to an insurance contract must deal in good faith, fully declaring all material facts in the insurance proposal.

  1. Vox Populi
  1. Voice of the people
  2. The previous position
  3. To take into custody of a law
  4. The things speak for itself

Answer: (a) this phrase is used in English to mean the voice of the people.

  1. Corpus Delicti
  1. Show me the body
  2. Where is the body
  3. The body of crime
  4. The guilty person in a crime

Answer: (c) material substance (such as the body of the victim of a murder) upon which a crime has been committed.

  • Corpus delicti literally means ody of the crime.
  • In its original sense, the body in question refers not to a corpse but to the body of essential facts that, taken together, prove that a crime has been committed.
  1. De Minimis Lex non Curat
  1. Incapable of a crime
  2. A crime committed by a minor
  3. The law does not notice trifling matters
  4. By reason of a subsequent act

Answer: (c) a common law principle whereby the judges will not sit in the judgment of extremely minor transgressions of the law. The principle is that the law is not concerned with insignificant or minor matters.

  1. Ex Post Facto
  1. By reason of a subsequent act
  2. Of the same kind
  3. Amongst other things
  4. By that very fact

Answer: It is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequence of actions that were committed or relationships that existed before the enactment of the law.

  1. Volenti Non Fit injuria
  1. To a willing person, injury is not done
  2. One must be compensated for the injury caused to him
  3. During litigation, nothing should be changed
  4. Let the principle answer

Answer: (a) This Is a common law doctrine that states that if someone willingly places themselves in a position in which harm might result, knowing that some degree of harm might result, they are not able to bring a claim against the other party in tort or delict..

  1. Ubi Jus Ibi remedium
  1. Where there is a right, there is a remedy
  2. The meeting of minds
  3. Subsequent laws repeal prior conflicting one
  4. A judge cannot be a witness in his own cause

Answer: (a) for every wrong, there is a remedy. Further, when one’s right is denied, the law affords a remedy of an action for its enforcement.

  1. Qui Facit per Alium Facit per se
  1. He who acts through another acts by himself
  2. Something for something
  3. At the outset, on the threshold
  4. Against the whole world

Answer: (a) It is a fundamental legal maxim of the law of agency. It is a maxim often stated in discussing an employer’s liability for the act of the employee.

  1. Jus Naturale
  1. Living law
  2. Natural law
  3. Positive law
  4. Natural justice

Answer: (b) natural law is a philosophy that ascertains that certain rights are inherent by human nature, traditionally by god, and something that can be understood universally through human reason. It is a law system based on fundamental right and wrong ideas.

  1. Mala In se
  1. We command
  2. Where is the body
  3. Guilty state of mind
  4. Bad in themselves

Answer: is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil. The phrase is used to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct.

  1. Per Curium
  1. In the opinion of the court
  2. An inconsistent statement
  3. to persuade someone to do the act
  4. A judge in his own cause

Answer: (a) denoting the appellate court’s decision in a unanimous agreement written anonymously. A Per Curiam decision is a ruling issued by an appellate court of multiple judges in which the decision rendered is made by the court acting collectively.

  1. Obiter Dicta
  1. As much as it deserved
  2. Under judicial consideration
  3. Reason for being a part of the judgment
  4. Things said in the passing of a judgment

Answer: (c) a judge’s expression of opinion uttered in court or in a written judgment, but not essential to the decision and therefore not legally binding as a precedent.

  1. Ratio Decidendi
  1. Without which nothing
  2. Indefinitely
  3. Under judicial consideration
  4. None of the above

Answer: (d) The reason or the rule of law on which a judicial decision is made. The ratio decidendi is he point in a case that determines the judgment or he principle that the case establishes.

  1. Res Judicata
  1. Under judicial consideration
  2. By this very fact
  3. A case that has already been decided
  4. Things that are said in the passing of a judgment

Answer: (c) a matter that has been adjudicated by a competent court and, therefore, may not be pursued further by the same parties.

  1. Quantum Merit
  1. As much as it deserved
  2. The things speak for itself
  3. An act done in return for something else
  4. An act done for merit

Answer: (a) a reasonable sum of money to be paid for the services rendered or work done when the amount is due as not stipulated in a legally enforceable contract.

  1. Actori Incumbit Onus Probandi
  1. The burden of proof lies on the plaintiff
  2. The burden of proof lies on the defendant
  3. Equity follows justice
  4. With the intention of making a will

Answer: (a) It is a Latin phrase derived which means that the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff.

  1. In Limine
  1. In the meanwhile
  2. On the threshold
  3. By the very fact
  4. None of the above

Answer: (b) A motion in limine is a motion that is tabled by one of the parties at the very beginning of the legal procedures and seeks to pull the rug out from under the feet of the other party, usually to ask the judge to exclude certain evidence. The judge decides this motion in both civil and criminal proceedings.

  1. Inter Vivos
  1. Bring me the body
  2. by reason of a subsequent act
  3. between living persons
  4. between two minors

Answer: (c) Is a legal term referring to a transfer or a gift made during one’s lifetime under the subject of trust.

  1. Respondeat Superior
  1. Let the principle answer
  2. Let the doer be responsible
  3. Let the doer beware
  4. The bailee is responsible for the property

Answer: (a) is a doctrine of law that states that a party is responsible for the vicarious acts of its agents. This common law doctrine was established in the seventeenth century.

  1. Quo Warranto
  1. By whose authority
  2. On the face of it
  3. Bring me the body
  4. Command the authority

Answer: (a) It is a writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right, power, or franchise they claim to hold.

  1. Injuria Sine Damnum
  1. Damage without injury
  2. Injury without damage
  3. Let the buyer beware
  4. One is responsible for their actions

Answer: (b) It means that injury caused to a party without actually suffering any physical harm or damage. The injury pertains to the infringement of rights pertaining to a person. The meaning of the above maxim is the infringement of an absolute private right without any actual loss or damage. This was first established in the Gloucester grammar school case.

  1. Caveat Emptor
  1. Let the buyer beware
  2. Let the seller beware
  3. Let the respondent beware
  4. Let the principal beware

Answer: (a) it is the principle that states that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and the sustainability of the goods before a purchase is made. In the law of commercial transactions, the principle is that the buyer purchases at his own risk in the absence of an express warranty in the contract.

  1. Ignorantia Juris non Excusat
  1. Ignorance of fact is not an excuse
  2. Ignorance of a law is not an excuse
  3. A personal right of action is not available to the person
  4. By whose authority

Answer: (b) It is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape the liability for violating it merely because one was unaware of its content.

CLAT Legal Maxims Questions PDF

We also have provided a PDF link of the Legal Maxims of CLAT below. Click on the link below and download Important Legal Maxims for CLAT Questions and start preparing for this section in a scheduled way

Download CLAT Legal Maxims Questions PDF

Important Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024: Phrases to Know

Below we have provided a list of the top 50 Important Legal Maxims for CLAT. Follow expert-recommended tips to crack CLAT Legal Reasoning to get a high score.

  1. Ab Initio – From the onset.
  2. Actionable per se – The act is punishable, and no evidence of damage is needed.
  3. Actio personalis moritur cum persona – A confidential right of action passes with the person. In another sense, the right to sue is gone if he perishes.
  4. Actori incumbit onus probandi – The hurdle of proof is on the complainant.
  5. Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea – Confidence of a crime demands proof of the criminal act and purpose.
  6. Ad hoc – For the special end or case at hand.
  7. Alibi – At other places, elsewhere.
  8. Amicus Curiae – A court companion or partner of the Bar assigned to assist the Court.
  9. Ante Litem Motam – Before a claim is brought, before an argument is initiated, or spoken before a lawsuit is brought.
  10. Assentio mentium – Mutual assents.
  11. Audi alteram partem – No man shall be charged unheard.
  12. Bona fide – In good trust.
  13. Bona vacantia – Goods without an owner.
  14. Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem – Remedial authority.
  15. Caveat – A caution recorded with the public court to demonstrate to the administrators that they are not to act in the matter cited in the caveat without first giving notice to the caveator.
  16. Caveat actor – Let the doer beware.
  17. Caveat emptor – Let the buyer beware.
  18. Caveat venditor – Let the seller beware.
  19. Certiorari – A writ by which orders handed by an imperfect court are subdued.
  20. Corpus – Body.
  21. Corpus delicti – The facts and possibilities comprise a crime and concrete evidence of a crime, such as a corpse (dead body). Also, it directs to the principle that a crime must be proved to have occurred before a person can be condemned of committing that crime.'(This definition is mostly used in Western Law.)
  22. Damnum sine injuria – Deterioration without injury.
  23. De facto – In fact.
  24. De jure – By law.
  25. De minimis – About minimal things.
  26. De Minimis Non Curat Lex – The law does not govern trifles (unimportant things), or the law ignores insignificant details. Or, A common law principle whereby judges will not sit in judgment of extremely minor violations (offence, wrongdoings) of the law.
  27. De novo – To make something anew.
  28. Dictum – Statement of law made by justice in the course of the judgment but not essential to the decision itself.
  29. Doli incapax – Incapable of crime.
  30. Detinue – Tort of wrongfully holding goods that belong to someone else.
  31. Donatio mortis causa – Gift because of death. Or a future gift was given in expectation of the donor’s looming death and only delivered upon the donor’s death.
  32. Estoppel – Prevented from declining.
  33. Ex gratia – As favour.
  34. Ex officio – Because of an office held.
  35. Ex parte – Proceedings in the absence of the other party.
  36. Ex post facto – Out of the aftermath or after the fact.
  37. Fatum – Beyond human foresight.
  38. Factum probans – Relevant fact.
  39. Fraus est celare fraudem – It is a fraud to conceal a fraud.
  40. Functus officio – No longer having power or jurisdiction.
  41. Furiosi nulla voluntas est – Mentally damaged or mentally incapable persons cannot validly sign a will or agreement or form the frame of mind required to achieve a crime. or a person with mental debility has no free will.
  42. Habeas corpus – A writ to have a person’s body to be obtained before the judge.
  43. Ignorantia juris non-excusat – unfamiliarity of the law excuses not or Ignorance of the law justifies no one.
  44. Injuria sine damno – Injury without impairment.
  45. Ipso facto – By the vigilance fact.
  46. In promptu – In enthusiasm.
  47. In lieu of – Instead of.
  48. In personam – A proceeding in which relief I aimed against a distinct person.
  49. Innuendo – Spoken words that are slanderous because they have a dual meaning.
  50. In status quo – In the current state.

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Books to Prepare CLAT Legal Maxims

Here we have provided a list of books to prepare for Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024. Download the CLAT Books PDF file and make section-wise preparation effectively.

Name of the Books


A Selection of Legal Maxims

Herbert Broom

Legal Maxims with Observations and Cases

George Frederick Wharton

Broom’s Legal Maxims

Rupin Pawha

Legal Maxims for CLAT

Kanoon Prakashak Agency

How to Prepare Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024?

Below are some expert tips to prepare for CLAT Legal Maxims.

  • Practice Previous Year Papers: The candidates must CLAT Question Paper to understand what legal maxims questions are asked in CLAT. It will be helpful for you to gain a better understanding of the topics related to Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024.
  • Attempt Mock Tests: The candidates can attempt BYJU’S Exam Prep CLAT Test Series to increase their ability to solve Legal Maxims for CLAT.
  • Online Sources: You can google for Important Legal Maxims for CLAT 2024. It will guide you to the extremely helpful sources to complete CLAT Syllabus related to legal maxims. Do not forget to make notes for all of them.
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