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Related to maxims: Proverbs


n. a collection of legal truisms which are used as "rules of thumb" by both judges and lawyers. They are listed in the codified statutes of most states, and include:

"When the reason of a rule ceases, so should the rule itself"

"He who consents to an act is not wronged by it"

"No one can take advantage of his own wrong"

"No one should suffer by the act of another"

"He who takes the benefit must bear the burden"

"For every wrong there is a remedy"

"Between rights otherwise equal, the earliest is preferred"

"No man is responsible for that which no man can control"

"The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights"

"The law respects form less than substance"

"The law never requires impossibilities"

"The law neither does nor requires idle acts"

"The law disregards trifles"

"Particular expressions qualify those which are general"

"That is certain which can be made certain"

"Time does not confirm a void act"

"An interpretation which gives effect is preferred to one which makes void"

"Interpretation must be reasonable"

"Things happen according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life"

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in classic literature ?
My second maxim was to be as firm and resolute in my actions as I was able, and not to adhere less steadfastly to the most doubtful opinions, when once adopted, than if they had been highly certain; imitating in this the example of travelers who, when they have lost their way in a forest, ought not to wander from side to side, far less remain in one place, but proceed constantly towards the same side in as straight a line as possible, without changing their direction for slight reasons, although perhaps it might be chance alone which at first determined the selection; for in this way, if they do not exactly reach the point they desire, they will come at least in the end to some place that will probably be preferable to the middle of a forest.
That we may be sure, then, not to mistake his meaning in this case, let us recur to the source from which the maxim was drawn.
The reasons on which Montesquieu grounds his maxim are a further demonstration of his meaning.
Maryland has adopted the maxim in the most unqualified terms; declaring that the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government ought to be forever separate and distinct from each other.
What I have wished to evince is, that the charge brought against the proposed Constitution, of violating the sacred maxim of free government, is warranted neither by the real meaning annexed to that maxim by its author, nor by the sense in which it has hitherto been understood in America.
The transcendental maxim that "Life per se is precious" is the ruling maxim here.
D'Artagnan, who as a Gascon, was inclined to sobriety, seemed not so sure as his friend of the truth of Athos's maxim, but he did his best to keep up with his host.
This picture of maxims as accessible to consciousness is particularly tempting when considering the role of maxims in deliberation.
Actions are assessed through maxims that express in principle form what the agent wills.
(1) While Todd tried very hard to reproduce the exact spellings of the maxims, she unaccountably--without any hint to the reader--decided to normalize the numbering of Behn's series of maxims.
Legal Maxims in Islamic Criminal Law: Theory and Applications

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