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This glossary includes selected legal terms, which judges come across in
their readings or which they may need to use in his writings.

a contrario sensu abusos deshones

from the contrary sense abuse of chastity

a converso access device

conversely any card, plate, code, account
number, electronic serial number,
a fortiori personal identification number, or
with stronger reason other telecommunication service,
equipment, or instrumental
a gratis argumentis identification, or other means of
for the sake of argument account access that can be used
to obtain money, goods, services,
a mensa et thoro or other thing of value or other
from bed and board than a transfer originated solely
by paper instrument (Sec. 3(a),
a quo RA 8484, Access Devices
from which or whom Regulation Act of 1998)

a priori accessio cepit principa

from cause to effect; an accessory follows the principal
accion interdictal
ab inconveniente the summary action for forcible
from hardship; from what entry where the defendant’s
is inconvenient possession of property is illegal
ab initio or the summary action
ab initio for unlawful detainer where the
from the beginning; from defendant’s possession was
first to last originally lawful but ceased to be
so by the expiration of his right to
aberratio ictus possess
wandering or stray blow; a
blow received by a person accion publiciana
which is intended for a plenary action for recovery of
another the right to possess where the
dispossession has lasted for
more than one year

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accion reinvindicatoria alleged in the information or

seeks to recover complaint must be proven during
ownership and includes trial; otherwise, the allegation
jus utendi and jus fruendi cannot be used against the
accused. (People v. Bautista, 28
acto nulo SCRA 184)
a void act
amicus curiae
ad damnum a friend of the court, one who
the statement of damages appears in a legal action to give
in a pleading his views on the legal issues
raised in the case. Note the
adhesion contract spelling of “curiae”
a contract drafted by the
stronger party, then amparo
presented for acceptance literally means “protection” and
to the weaker party, who originated in Mexico
has no power to modify its
terms animo lucrandi
signifies intent to profit or gain
ad litem from a certain activity
just for a particular action
ad nauseam a rare cultural law or property
to the point of disgust or which is at least 100 years old
satiety (Sec. 3, RA 4846 – Cultural
Properties Preservation and
ad rem Protection Act)
to the purpose; to the point
ad seriatim for the sake of argument
in succession or “one by
one” in an enumeration articulo mortis
at the point of death
party’s acknowledgment of assumpsit
a fact which is against his a common law term to recover
interest damages for the non-
performance of a contract
aedificium solo cedit
the building yields to the asymmetric or public cryptosystem
land system capable of generating a
secure key pair consisting of a
allegata et probata private key for creating a digital
a doctrine in criminal law signature and a public key for
which states that what is verifying the digital signature

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barratry biological sample

any willful misconduct by any organic material originating
the master or crew of a from a person’s body even if
vessel in pursuance of found in inanimate objects, that is
some unlawful or susceptible to DNA testing;
fraudulent purpose without includes blood, saliva, and other
the consent of the owner body fluids, tissues, hair, and
and to the prejudice of the bones
owner’s interest. (Roque
v. Intermediate Appellate biologicals
Court, 139 SCRA 596) vaccines, cultures and other
preparations made from living
battered woman syndrome organisms and their products,
a defined pattern of intended for use in diagnosing,
psychological and immunizing, or treating humans
behavioral symptoms or animals, or in related research
found in women living in
battering relationships as a business records
result of cumulative abuse. include records of any business,
Those found by the courts institution, association,
to be suffering from this profession, occupation, and
syndrome do not incur any calling of every kind, whether or
criminal liability or civil not conducted for profit or for
liability, notwithstanding legitimate or illegitimate purposes
the absence of any of the
elements to justify self- case at bar
defense under the Revised the case being tried by a trial
Penal Code (RA 9262, court in the exercise of its original
sec. 3D(c) and sec. 26) jurisdiction

best interest of the child case at bench

totality of the the case being heard before an
circumstances and appellate court
conditions which are most
congenial to the survival, causa sine qua non
protection and feelings of the determining cause, without
security of the child and which something could not have
most encouraging to the occurred
child’s physical,
psychological and caveat emptor
emotional development; buyer beware
the least detrimental
available alternative for caveat venditor
safeguarding the growth sellers beware
and development of the

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cestui que trust children in especially difficult

a beneficiary of a trust; circumstances
pronounced set-a-ku-trust children who are abandoned,
neglected, abused and exploited,
chattels disabled, victims of prostitution
a common law term for and pedophiles, runaways,
movable things, as in delinquents, youth offenders and
Chattel Mortgage Law drug dependents, street children,
working children, children in
child abuse situation of armed conflict,
physical, psychological, or children in cultural communities,
sexual abuse, and criminal and children victims of natural
neglect, as defined in disasters
Republic Act No. 7610 and
other related laws chose in action
the instrument evidencing is right;
child at risk right to sue for money or
a child who is vulnerable property; e.g. promissory note
to and at the risk of
committing criminal clausula rebus sic stantibus
offenses because of stipulations of the parties should
personal, family and social be made to stand out
circumstances, e.g. being
exploited sexually or “clean hands” doctrine
economically, being a legal principle grounded on equity
gang member, being out- which says that a complainant
of-school, etc. (Section seeking relief in the courts must
4(d), RA 9344) not himself be guilty in the matter
subject of his claim
child witness
any person who, at the color
time of giving testimony, is mere semblance of a legal right
below the age of eighteen (color of title)
(18) years; in child abuse
cases, a child includes conveyance
over eighteen (18) years every instrument by which any
but is found by the court estate or interest in real estate is
as unable to fully take care created, alienated, mortgaged or
of himself of protect assigned (Monge v. Angeles, 101
himself from abuse, Phil. 565 [1957])
neglect, cruelty,
exploitation, or corpus delicti
discrimination because of the body of the crime
a physical or mental
disability or condition

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court-annexed mediation DNA evidence

any mediation conducted constitutes the totality of the DNA
under the auspices of the profiles, results, and other
court after such court has genetic information directly
acquired jurisdiction of the generated from DNA testing of
dispute biological samples

damnum absque injuria datum DNA profile

damage without legal Genetic information derived from
injury DNA testing of a biological
sample obtained from a person,
de jure which biological sample is clearly
from the law; by right identifiable as originating from
that person
de mesne
possession of real DNA testing
property in one’s own Verified and credible scientific
name; pronounced “de- methods which include the
men” extraction of DNA from biological
samples, the generation of DNA
developmental level profiles and comparison of the
specific growth phase in information obtained from the
which most individuals are DNA testing of biological samples
expected to behave and for the purpose of determining
function in relation to the with reasonable certainty,
advancement of their whether or not the DNA obtained
physical, socio-emotional, from two or more distinct
cognitive, and moral biological samples originates
abilities from the same person (direct
identification) or if the biological
dictum samples originate from related
something said in passing, persons (kinship analysis)
not essential to the
decision (see holding) dumping
act of importing into the
DNA Philippines any product,
deoxyribonucleic acid commodity, or article of
which is the chain of commerce at an export price that
molecules found in every is less than its normal value in
nucleated cell of the body; the ordinary course of trade for a
totality of an individual’s like product, commodity, or article
DNA is unique for the in the exporting country that
individual, except identical tends to cause material injury to a
twins domestic industry

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ejusdem generis equity

of the same kind justice outside law, being ethical,
rather than jural and belonging to
electronic signature the sphere of morals than of law;
any distinctive mark, grounded on the precepts of
characteristic and/or conscience and not on any
sound in electronic form, sanction of positive law
representing the identity of
a person and attached to ex cathedra
or logically associated with from the chair; with high authority
the electronic data
message or electronic Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
document or any an area beyond and adjacent to
methodology or the territorial sea, which shall not
procedures employed or extend beyond 200 nautical miles
adopted by a person and from the baseline as defined by
executed or adopted by existing laws (Sec. 4(18), RA
such person with the 8550)
intention of authenticating
or approving an electronic ex parte
data message or at the instance of one party only,
electronic document (Sec. without representation of the
5(e), RA 8792) other side

en banc ex propio vigore

that is, when all the judges by its own force
in a division or collegiate
court are seated ex rel.
abbreviation for ex relatione,
environmental protection order which means upon relation or
(EPO) refers to an order information
issued by the court
directing or enjoining any facilitator
person or government person appointed by the court to
agency to perform or pose questions to a child
desist from performing an
act in order to protect, fee simple
preserve or rehabilitate the shortened form of “estate in fee
environment simple,” referring to an absolute
form of ownership
equitable estoppel
a situation where one or feme sole
two innocent persons must a single woman
suffer a loss, he who by
his conduct made the loss
possible must be the one
to bear it

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ferae naturae gender

wild animals socially learned behavior and
expectations associated with the
fishing vessel two sexes; socially differentiated
any boat, ship or other roles and characteristics
watercraft equipped to be attributed by a given culture to
used for taking of fishery women and men
species or aiding or
assisting one or more guardian ad litem
vessels in the performance person appointed by the court
of any activity relating to where the case is pending for a
fishing, including but not child who is a victim of, accused
limited to preservation, of, or a witness to a crime to
supply, storage, protect the best interest of the
refrigeration, child
transportation, and/or
processing habeas data
literally means “you have the
fungible goods data”
goods of a kind in which all
units are identical holding
precise issue or principle decided
functus oficio in a case (see dictum)
automatic termination of
an office or official activity id est
once it has served the that is
legal purpose for which it
was constituted in-depth investigative interview or
disclosure interview
garnishment an inquiry or proceeding
process of notifying a third conducted by duly trained
person, called the members of multidisciplinary
garnishee, to retain and team or representative of law
attach the property he has enforcement or child protective
in his possession or under services for the purpose of
his control belonging to the determining whether child abuse
judgment debtor, to make has been committed
disclosure to the court
concerning the same, and in esse
to dispose of the same as in being; existing; in actuality
the court shall direct to
satisfy the judgment in haec verba
in the very words

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in initio jus ex injuria non oritur

in the beginning a right does not arise out of a
in invitum just compensation
without consent full and fair equivalent of the
property taken from its owner by
in loco parentis the expropriator
in place of a parent
legal capacity to sue
in pare materia a party is not suffering from any
on the same topic disability, such as minority,
insanity, covertures, lack of
in personam juridical capacity, incompetence,
in person, said of an action civil interdiction or does not have
to make someone the character or representation
personally liable which he claims or with respect to
foreign corporation that is doing
in propria persona business in the Philippines with a
in his own behalf, license
representing oneself, not
by an attorney levy
seizure of property, personal
in re and/or real, belonging to the
in regard to judgment debtor for subsequent
execution sale to satisfy
in rem judgment
said of an action to subject
specific property to liability lex loci
law of the place where the court
in situ is
in its original position
lex loci actus
inter alia the law of the place of the act
among other things
lex loci contractus
intestate the law of the place of the
said of someone who dies contract
without having made any
will lex loci rei sitae
the law of the place where the
ipso facto thing is located
by that very fact
lex scripta
ipso jure statute law
by the law itself

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lis pendens mens rea

a pending suit; the criminal intent
jurisdiction acquired by a
court over property modus operandi
involved in a suit pending manner of working
the action
modus vivendi
litis pendencia manner of living
pendency of another
action mora accipiendi
delay of the obligee or creditor to
mala fide accept the delivery of the thing
with bad faith which is the subject of the
malum in se
Latin term for “evil in mora solvendi
itself”; an act which is delay of the obligor or debtor to
inherently wrong and perform his obligation
where the intent governs
motu proprio
malum prohibitum of his own accord
an act made wrong or
prohibited by legislation mutatis mutandis
the same except for a change in
mandamus details
a Latin term meaning “we
command” negative pregnant
a denial in a pleading which, in
market value fact, can be interpreted as an
sum of money which a affirmation or admission of a
person, desirous but not substantial fact that is at the heart
compelled to buy, and an of the issue involved
owner, willing, but not
compelled to sell, would nemo est supra legis
agree on as a price to be no one is above the law
given and received
therefore nil
nothing; zero
a voluntary process in non allegata no probata
which a mediator selected that which is not alleged cannot
by the parties facilitates be proved
communication and
negotiation and assists the
parties in reaching a
voluntary agreement
regarding a dispute

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non sequitur plurality

it does not follow refers to a case when three or
more persons are involved in an
nota bene election and no one receives
note well more than fifty (50) percent of the
nullum tempus occurit regi
prescription does not run presents
against the State a legal document as in “Know All
Men By These Presents”
nunc pro tunc
now for then, as in pro se
backdating for oneself; representing oneself
without an attorney; the same as
obiter dictum in propria persona
a thing said by the way
pro tanto
onus probandi for so much
burden of proof; rests on
the shoulders of the one probability of parentage
who has to prove the numerical estimate for the
truthfulness of his likelihood of parentage of a
allegations putative parent, compared with
the probability of a random match
pacta sunt servanda of two unrelated individuals in a
stipulations of the parties given population
must be complied with
religiously and in good protected area
faith identified portions of land and
water set aside by the
pari passu government for reason of their
side by side unique physical and biological
significance, and managed and
per curiam protected to enhance biological
by the court acting diversity against destructive
unanimously, hence, there human exploitation
should be no dissent
per stirpes subordinate, associate Judge;
by representation pronounced as py-u-n

persona non grata quantum

an unacceptable person how much; the whole; a totality

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quantum meruit address, school, or any other

as much as deserved personal identifying information
about a child or his family and
quid pro quo that is produced or maintained by
something in return a public agency, private agency,
or individual

quo warranto redendo singula singulis

derived from the Latin take the words distributively and
phrase meaning “by what apply the reference
authority” reductio ad absurdum
reducing to the absurd; a method
quod hoc of proof in which a proposition is
to this extent shown to be true by
demonstrating the absurdity of its
rape/sexual abuse shield rule contradiction
in prosecution for rape,
evidence of complainant’s res inter alios acta
past sexual conduct, a transaction between two parties
opinion thereof or of ought not to operate to the
his/her reputation shall not prejudice of a third person
be admitted unless, and
only to the extent the court res ipsa loquitur
finds, that such evidence the thing speaks for itself
is material and relevant to
the case (Sec. 6, RA res judicata
8505) doctrine which precludes parties
from relitigating issues actually
ratione cessat lex, et cessat lex litigated and determined by a
when the reason for the prior and final judgment
law ceases, the law
ceases res nullius
a thing without an owner
record regarding a child
any photograph, respondeat superior
videotape, audiotape, film, let the principal answer for the
handwriting, typewriting, acts of his agent
printing, electronic
recording, computer data scienter
or printout or other knowingly a party’s guilty
memorialization, including knowledge
any court document,
pleading, or any copy or seriatim
reproduction of any of the [adv] serially in a series; [adj]
foregoing, that contains following, one by one
the name, description,

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sex discrimination strategic lawsuit against public

any distinction, exclusion, participation (SLAPP)
restriction or bias made on an action, whether civil, criminal
the basis of sex, which has or administrative, brought against
the effect or purpose of any person, institution, or
impairing or nullifying the government agency or local
recognition, enjoyment or government unit or its officials
exercise of women of and employees, with the intent to
human rights and harass, vex, exert due pressure
fundamental freedom in or stifle any legal recourse that
the political, economic, such person, institution or
social, cultural, civil or any government agency has taken or
other field may take in the enforcement of
environmental laws, protection of
sic utere tuo ut alienum non the environment or assertion of
laedas environmental rights
so use your own property
as not to injure the rights sub-rosa
of others confidentially

sine die sui generis

without a day being of its own peculiar kind; in a class
appointed by itself

sine qua non sui juris

without which; not having capacity
something indispensable
support person
sponte sua person chosen by the child to
of one’s own accord accompany him to testify to or
attend a judicial proceeding or
stare decisis deposition to provide emotional
stand by what is decided; support for him
judges are bound by the
decisions of their tabula rasa
predecessors a clean slate; used in decisions to
mean “This issue has been
status quo passed upon clearly in other
the existing condition decisions”

status quo ante terminus a quo

as things were before the the starting point
controversy (Beltran v.
Diaz, 77 Phil. 491 [1946])

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timber zoning
should be taken in its the governmental regulation on
common acceptation as the use of land according to
referring to wood used for districts or zones, based on the
suitable building or for nature and extent of their use
carpentry or joining;
includes lumber

ubi jus, ibi remedium

where there is a right,
there is a remedy

violence against women

an act of gender-based
violence that results in, or
is likely to result in,
physical, sexual, or
psychological harm or
suffering to women,
including threats of such
acts, coercion, or arbitrary
deprivation of liberty,
whether occurring in public
or in private life;
encompasses all forms of
violation of women’s
rights, including threats
and reprisals, exploitation,
harassment, and other
forms of control

volenti non fit injuria neque

he who voluntarily
assumes a risk does not
suffer damage thereby

writ of amparo
a remedy available to any
person, whose right to life,
liberty and security, is
violated or threatened with
violation by an unlawful act
or omission of a public
official or employee, or of
a private individual or

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