Maxims connected to a fair Justice system

March 1, 2024

Audi Alterum Partem is a legal principle. Sir. Mathew Hale, the chief justice of King’s Bench during the tenure1671-1676, has brought out this principle in conducting fair justice in every trial. He was an influential English barrister, judge and jurist most noted for his treatise Historia Placitorum Coronæ, or The History of the Pleas of the Crown.

This Latin phrase means ‘hear the other side’

The principle of natural justice functions when it represents fairness, equality, and reasonability when in judgements. There are some essential elements which constitute this maxim.   The legal notice issued to be served the opposite party to let them know the facts of the case add a legal initiative is actioned. If any order is passes without the issuance of notice, then the order will be void ab initio. The second ingredient is the right to just and fair hearing. The concept of fair hearing and adjudging both the sides is an essential element which contribute that is mandatory that all the ‘contents should be recorded with proof and evidence without ‘undue haste’. The collection of ‘ex - parte’ evidence violates the principle of fair trial. The third element is the right to cross examine. As there is a fair trial there is a right to object to the evidence presented by the other party. The fourth one is the requirement of legal representation.

The exception of this maxim is in the case of emergency. Confidentiality of Documents, Relaxation in cases of Interim Preventive action, Impracticability. The rights enshrined in Art 6and 13 of the European Convention in Human Rights and Art 47 and 48 of the Charter of fundamental Rights of the European Union guarantees the right to fair trial though with limited restrictions.

  • Actus Incumbit Onus Probandi is the Legal maxim in Latin that means the ‘burden of proof’ is on the plaintiff. The principle signifies that the burden of proof on evidence to win a lawsuit and to take a legal action lies on the plaintiff. A mere filing of the case can never support his claim unless and until it has been proved with strong allegations and evidence. In criminal proceedings, the burden of proof lies in the prosecution. Another maxim similar to this maxim is ‘ semper necessities probandi incumbit ei quiagit’ meaning the ‘necessity of proof always , lives with the person who lays charges, in civil cases.
  • Locus Standi is a latin maxim  which means the right to bring anaction.  It means the right of the person to approach court when his interest has suffered an injury and his legal stand to approach the court. This maxim is one of the fundamental principles of the adversarial litigation system.
  • Nemo Debet Esse Judex in Propria Sua Causa is a Latin phrase that literally means ‘no one is a judge on his cause’ which signifies the rule against biasness or interest of prejudice. It is also one of the principles of natural justice. 
  • Nemo bis Punitur pro Eodem delicto is a Latin phrase which means that no person can be punished twice for the same offense he/she has committed. If the person is put on trial or punished for the same reason twice it is called double jeopardy.
  • Nemo punitur pro alieno delicto is a Latin maxim which means no one shall be punished for another man’s crime.
  • Novo constitution Futuric Forman Impovere debet non praeteritis which means “A legislative enactment ought to be prospective in its operation, and not retro-active”.

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