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Important Legal Maxims For CLAT 2023

Author : Palak Khanna

June 20, 2022

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Legal Maxims is one of the important topics in Legal Aptitude subject. Usually, two types of questions are asked under legal aptitude in CLAT:

  • Legal reasoning
  • Legal Knowledge

The legal maxims questions are categorized under Legal Knowledge. In the CLAT exam, you can expect 3-4 questions on this topic. 

This post provides the list of critical legal maxims for CLAT 2023 and the importance of legal maxims in law. To improve your exam preparation, try to practice these questions regularly. 

What is Legal Maxim?

A legal maxim is a well-established legal idea, proposal, or doctrine, usually expressed in Latin. Most of these Latin maxims originated from the Medieval era in European states that employed Latin as their official language.

  • These principles aid courts worldwide in implementing current laws in a fair and just manner, allowing them to resolve disputes before them.
  • Such principles do not have legal authority, but when courts use them in deciding legal matters, or the legislature adopts them in enacting legislation, they take on the form of law and serve as the foundation for sound judgments.

In the CLAT Entrance Exam, legal maxims are an integral part of the legal aptitude section. 

To help you ace this section, this post provides a few important legal maxims that are commonly asked in the Common Law Admission Test. 

Sample Legal Maxims Questions for CLAT 2023

Here is the list of Legal Maxims questions picked from previous year's CLAT Sample Papers designed by Legal Edge.

By solving these questions you can know the difficulty level of the exam and which type of exams can be asked in the exam.

Q. What is meant by Consensus ad idem?

  1. Disagreement of Minds
  2. No contract between parties
  3. Void agreement
  4. The meeting of minds.

Download Self Designed Question Papers for CLAT Exam by Legal Edge

Q. What is Meant by Ubberrima fides?

  1. Malafide Action
  2. Wrongful confinement
  3. Vicious injury
  4. Utmost good faith

Q. What do you mean by Nudum Pactum?

  1. Illegal object
  2. Contract formed on alien barren land
  3. A gratuitous or bare promise, devoid of any consideration
  4. Malafide Practice 

CLAT Scholarship Test 2023 by LegalEdge - Get up to 100% Off

Q. What is meant by Quid pro quo?

  1. Nothing for nothing
  2. Cheap bargain
  3. Ilegal agreement
  4. Something for something/ consideration.

Q. What is meant by doctrine of restitution?

  1. Law doctrine gains based on recovery
  2. Law doctrine which bars recovery
  3. Law doctrine which allows mercy petitions
  4. Law doctrine based on death penalty

You might want to check CLAT Legal Aptitude Preparation Tips 2023

Q. What is meant by the Doctrine of Implied term?

  1. The practice of setting down default rules for contracts.
  2. The practice of setting down new rules for contracts.
  3. The practice of setting down void rules of the contract.
  4. The practice of setting down rules for foreign nationals. 

Q. What is Doctrine of Subrogation?

  1. Substitution of one person or group by another group.
  2. Hereditary rights of a party.
  3. Malevolence claims of the party.
  4. Claims of Pension rights of the party. 

Q. What is meant by Pari delicto?

  1. Equal loss
  2. Equal gain
  3. Equal fault
  4. Equal respect 

Check out Short tricks to crack the CLAT exam on the first attempt

Q. What is meant by Doctrine of supervening impossibility?

  1. The doctrine applies when Contract is impossible to perform from the start.
  2. The doctrine of Illegal contracts.
  3. The doctrine of Void Contracts.
  4. Doctrine when Contract becomes Impossible to perform.

clat mock test

clat mock test

Q. What is meant by doctrine of Quantum meruit?

  1. Compensation for work is inadequate.
  2. Reasonable some of money in a contract where the price was not fixed.
  3. Unreasonable compensation.
  4. No compensation for work.

Q. What is meant by "doli incapax"?

  1. Incapable of crime
  2. A new judgment
  3. New bye-law
  4. A good decision 

Q. What is meant by per incuriam?

  1. To bind all other courts
  2. To stand by what has gone before
  3. A case settled with a lack of care so the decision is wrong
  4. A case decided on facts alone as no law exists in the area 

Check out the top important legal maxims pdf

Q. The doctrine of "stare decisis" underpins the common law system. What is "stare decisis"?

  1. Courts must adhere to statutes in all of their decisions.
  2. The reasoning behind the decision.
  3. To stand by what has gone before.
  4. Parliament can overturn decided cases 

Q. What does the "sine qua non" rule, in terms of causation, mean?

  1. Causation does not apply to some crimes.
  2. Necessary Legal causation.
  3. The "but for" rule, or factual causation.
  4. Effect of the act. 

Q. What is meant by "Ex turpi causa non oritur actio"?

  1. The victim of a crime has a right to sue the perpetrator in tort.
  2. A person cannot pursue a cause of action if it arises out of his own guilty act.
  3. A person cannot be guilty if he has no reason to commit the crime.
  4. Friends who commit crimes together cannot be tried together.

Important Legal Maxims and Phrases for CLAT 2023

Here is the list of the top 50 important legal maxims and phrases for the CLAT examination. Follow expert-curated tips to crack CLAT Legal Aptitude with a high score. Legal terms and maxims for clat are as follows: 

  1. Ab Initio – From the beginning.
  2. Actionable per se – The very act is punishable and no proof of damage is required.
  3. Actio personalis moritur cum persona – A personal right of action dies with the person. In other sense, if he dies the right to sue is gone.
  4. Actori incumbit onus probandi – The burden of proof is on the plaintiff.
  5. Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea – Conviction of a crime requires proof of a criminal act and intent. or an act does not make a defendant guilty without a guilty mind. or an act does not constitute guilt unless done with a guilty intention.
  6. Ad hoc – For the particular end or case at hand.
  7. Alibi – At another place, elsewhere.
  8. Amicus Curiae – A friend of court or member of the Bar who is appointed to assist the Court.
  9. Ante Litem Motam – Before a suit is brought; before controversy is instituted, or spoken before a lawsuit is brought.
  10. Assentio mentium – The meeting of minds, i.e mutual assents.
  11. Audi alteram partem – No man shall be condemned unheard.
  12. Bona fide – In good faith.
  13. Bona vacantia – Goods without an owner.
  14. Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem – It is the part of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction, i.e. remedial authority.
  15. Caveat – A caution registered with the public court to indicate to the officials that they are not to act in the matter mentioned 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 passed by an inferior court is quashed.
  20. Corpus – Body.
  21. Corpus delicti – The facts and circumstances constituting a crime and Concrete evidence of a crime, such as a corpse (dead body). Also, it refers to the principle that a crime must be proved to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime.’ (This definition is mostly used in Western Law.)
  22. Damnum sine injuria – Damage 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 law ignores insignificant details. Or, A common law principle whereby judges will not sit in judgment of extremely minor transgressions (offence, wrongdoings) of the law.
  27. De novo – To make something anew.
  28. Dictum – Statement of law made by judge in the course of the decision but not necessary 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 imminent death and only delivered upon the donor’s death.
  32. Estoppel – Prevented from denying.
  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 impaired or mentally incapable persons cannot validly sign a will, contract or form the frame of mind necessary to commit a crime. or a person with mental illness has no free will.
  42. Habeas corpus – A writ to have the body of a person to be brought in before the judge.
  43. Ignorantia juris non-excusat – ignorance of the law excuses not or Ignorance of the law excuses no one. In other words, A person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of its content.
  44. Injuria sine damno – Injury without damage.
  45. Ipso facto – By the mere fact.
  46. In promptu – In readiness.
  47. In lieu of – Instead of.
  48. In personam – A proceeding in which relief I sought against a specific person.
  49. Innuendo – Spoken words that are defamatory because they have a double meaning.
  50. In status quo – In the present state.

Frequently Asked Questions

In CLAT legal Aptitude Section, around 35-29 questions are asked. 

Some of the general preparation tips to crack Legal Aptitude are:


Read the passage carefully in order to answer the questions correctly.


Pay attention to all the small details and identify all the principles and their roles in the passage clearly. Ensure to refer to the best books for preparation.

Some of the best books for the CLAT Legal Aptitude section are


Legal Aptitude for CLAT and other Law Exams: Workbook by A. P Bhardwaj, Our Judiciary (National Book Trust) by National Book Trust, Legal Aptitude (CLAT) by R. K Gupta and Samiksha Gupta

In Legal Aptitude, aspirants must be well versed with all Legal fundamentals and terms. Some of the important topics to be prepared are:

Research aptitude, Problem-solving ability, Questions based on hypothetical situations, Law of Torts, Indian Contract Act, Indian Constitution, Important court decisions.

With proper preparation methods and following experts tips you can answer any type of question easily. Ensure to study all the topics from the highly recommended books by experts.
  • Home
  • Important Legal Maxi...

Important Legal Maxims For CLAT 2023

Author : Palak Khanna

Updated On : June 20, 2022

SHARE

Legal Maxims is one of the important topics in Legal Aptitude subject. Usually, two types of questions are asked under legal aptitude in CLAT:

  • Legal reasoning
  • Legal Knowledge

The legal maxims questions are categorized under Legal Knowledge. In the CLAT exam, you can expect 3-4 questions on this topic. 

This post provides the list of critical legal maxims for CLAT 2023 and the importance of legal maxims in law. To improve your exam preparation, try to practice these questions regularly. 

What is Legal Maxim?

A legal maxim is a well-established legal idea, proposal, or doctrine, usually expressed in Latin. Most of these Latin maxims originated from the Medieval era in European states that employed Latin as their official language.

  • These principles aid courts worldwide in implementing current laws in a fair and just manner, allowing them to resolve disputes before them.
  • Such principles do not have legal authority, but when courts use them in deciding legal matters, or the legislature adopts them in enacting legislation, they take on the form of law and serve as the foundation for sound judgments.

In the CLAT Entrance Exam, legal maxims are an integral part of the legal aptitude section. 

To help you ace this section, this post provides a few important legal maxims that are commonly asked in the Common Law Admission Test. 

Sample Legal Maxims Questions for CLAT 2023

Here is the list of Legal Maxims questions picked from previous year's CLAT Sample Papers designed by Legal Edge.

By solving these questions you can know the difficulty level of the exam and which type of exams can be asked in the exam.

Q. What is meant by Consensus ad idem?

  1. Disagreement of Minds
  2. No contract between parties
  3. Void agreement
  4. The meeting of minds.

Download Self Designed Question Papers for CLAT Exam by Legal Edge

Q. What is Meant by Ubberrima fides?

  1. Malafide Action
  2. Wrongful confinement
  3. Vicious injury
  4. Utmost good faith

Q. What do you mean by Nudum Pactum?

  1. Illegal object
  2. Contract formed on alien barren land
  3. A gratuitous or bare promise, devoid of any consideration
  4. Malafide Practice 

CLAT Scholarship Test 2023 by LegalEdge - Get up to 100% Off

Q. What is meant by Quid pro quo?

  1. Nothing for nothing
  2. Cheap bargain
  3. Ilegal agreement
  4. Something for something/ consideration.

Q. What is meant by doctrine of restitution?

  1. Law doctrine gains based on recovery
  2. Law doctrine which bars recovery
  3. Law doctrine which allows mercy petitions
  4. Law doctrine based on death penalty

You might want to check CLAT Legal Aptitude Preparation Tips 2023

Q. What is meant by the Doctrine of Implied term?

  1. The practice of setting down default rules for contracts.
  2. The practice of setting down new rules for contracts.
  3. The practice of setting down void rules of the contract.
  4. The practice of setting down rules for foreign nationals. 

Q. What is Doctrine of Subrogation?

  1. Substitution of one person or group by another group.
  2. Hereditary rights of a party.
  3. Malevolence claims of the party.
  4. Claims of Pension rights of the party. 

Q. What is meant by Pari delicto?

  1. Equal loss
  2. Equal gain
  3. Equal fault
  4. Equal respect 

Check out Short tricks to crack the CLAT exam on the first attempt

Q. What is meant by Doctrine of supervening impossibility?

  1. The doctrine applies when Contract is impossible to perform from the start.
  2. The doctrine of Illegal contracts.
  3. The doctrine of Void Contracts.
  4. Doctrine when Contract becomes Impossible to perform.

clat mock test

clat mock test

Q. What is meant by doctrine of Quantum meruit?

  1. Compensation for work is inadequate.
  2. Reasonable some of money in a contract where the price was not fixed.
  3. Unreasonable compensation.
  4. No compensation for work.

Q. What is meant by "doli incapax"?

  1. Incapable of crime
  2. A new judgment
  3. New bye-law
  4. A good decision 

Q. What is meant by per incuriam?

  1. To bind all other courts
  2. To stand by what has gone before
  3. A case settled with a lack of care so the decision is wrong
  4. A case decided on facts alone as no law exists in the area 

Check out the top important legal maxims pdf

Q. The doctrine of "stare decisis" underpins the common law system. What is "stare decisis"?

  1. Courts must adhere to statutes in all of their decisions.
  2. The reasoning behind the decision.
  3. To stand by what has gone before.
  4. Parliament can overturn decided cases 

Q. What does the "sine qua non" rule, in terms of causation, mean?

  1. Causation does not apply to some crimes.
  2. Necessary Legal causation.
  3. The "but for" rule, or factual causation.
  4. Effect of the act. 

Q. What is meant by "Ex turpi causa non oritur actio"?

  1. The victim of a crime has a right to sue the perpetrator in tort.
  2. A person cannot pursue a cause of action if it arises out of his own guilty act.
  3. A person cannot be guilty if he has no reason to commit the crime.
  4. Friends who commit crimes together cannot be tried together.

Important Legal Maxims and Phrases for CLAT 2023

Here is the list of the top 50 important legal maxims and phrases for the CLAT examination. Follow expert-curated tips to crack CLAT Legal Aptitude with a high score. Legal terms and maxims for clat are as follows: 

  1. Ab Initio – From the beginning.
  2. Actionable per se – The very act is punishable and no proof of damage is required.
  3. Actio personalis moritur cum persona – A personal right of action dies with the person. In other sense, if he dies the right to sue is gone.
  4. Actori incumbit onus probandi – The burden of proof is on the plaintiff.
  5. Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea – Conviction of a crime requires proof of a criminal act and intent. or an act does not make a defendant guilty without a guilty mind. or an act does not constitute guilt unless done with a guilty intention.
  6. Ad hoc – For the particular end or case at hand.
  7. Alibi – At another place, elsewhere.
  8. Amicus Curiae – A friend of court or member of the Bar who is appointed to assist the Court.
  9. Ante Litem Motam – Before a suit is brought; before controversy is instituted, or spoken before a lawsuit is brought.
  10. Assentio mentium – The meeting of minds, i.e mutual assents.
  11. Audi alteram partem – No man shall be condemned unheard.
  12. Bona fide – In good faith.
  13. Bona vacantia – Goods without an owner.
  14. Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem – It is the part of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction, i.e. remedial authority.
  15. Caveat – A caution registered with the public court to indicate to the officials that they are not to act in the matter mentioned 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 passed by an inferior court is quashed.
  20. Corpus – Body.
  21. Corpus delicti – The facts and circumstances constituting a crime and Concrete evidence of a crime, such as a corpse (dead body). Also, it refers to the principle that a crime must be proved to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime.’ (This definition is mostly used in Western Law.)
  22. Damnum sine injuria – Damage 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 law ignores insignificant details. Or, A common law principle whereby judges will not sit in judgment of extremely minor transgressions (offence, wrongdoings) of the law.
  27. De novo – To make something anew.
  28. Dictum – Statement of law made by judge in the course of the decision but not necessary 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 imminent death and only delivered upon the donor’s death.
  32. Estoppel – Prevented from denying.
  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 impaired or mentally incapable persons cannot validly sign a will, contract or form the frame of mind necessary to commit a crime. or a person with mental illness has no free will.
  42. Habeas corpus – A writ to have the body of a person to be brought in before the judge.
  43. Ignorantia juris non-excusat – ignorance of the law excuses not or Ignorance of the law excuses no one. In other words, A person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of its content.
  44. Injuria sine damno – Injury without damage.
  45. Ipso facto – By the mere fact.
  46. In promptu – In readiness.
  47. In lieu of – Instead of.
  48. In personam – A proceeding in which relief I sought against a specific person.
  49. Innuendo – Spoken words that are defamatory because they have a double meaning.
  50. In status quo – In the present state.

Frequently Asked Questions

In CLAT legal Aptitude Section, around 35-29 questions are asked. 

Some of the general preparation tips to crack Legal Aptitude are:


Read the passage carefully in order to answer the questions correctly.


Pay attention to all the small details and identify all the principles and their roles in the passage clearly. Ensure to refer to the best books for preparation.

Some of the best books for the CLAT Legal Aptitude section are


Legal Aptitude for CLAT and other Law Exams: Workbook by A. P Bhardwaj, Our Judiciary (National Book Trust) by National Book Trust, Legal Aptitude (CLAT) by R. K Gupta and Samiksha Gupta

In Legal Aptitude, aspirants must be well versed with all Legal fundamentals and terms. Some of the important topics to be prepared are:

Research aptitude, Problem-solving ability, Questions based on hypothetical situations, Law of Torts, Indian Contract Act, Indian Constitution, Important court decisions.

With proper preparation methods and following experts tips you can answer any type of question easily. Ensure to study all the topics from the highly recommended books by experts.

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