Regulæ Juris

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Regulæ Iuris, also spelled Regulae - and - Juris (Latin for Rules of Law) is a generic term for general rules or principles of the interpretation of canon laws of the Catholic Church. While they no longer have binding force of law since the 1917 Code of Canon Law abrogated them, they remain good principles of law used in interpreting canon law.

Regarding the canon law of the Catholic Church, canonists provide and obey rules for the interpretation and acceptation of words, in order that legislation is correctly understood and the extent of its obligation is determined.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law, also referred to as the Pio-Benedictine Code, was the first official comprehensive codification of Latin canon law. It was promulgated on 27 May 1917 and took legal effect on 19 May 1918. It was in force until the 1983 Code of Canon Law took legal effect and abrogated it on 27 November 1983. It has been described as "the greatest revolution in canon law since the time of Gratian".

Canonical use

In a specific sense, however, regulae iuris are certain fundamental laws in the form of legal maxims memorialized in the Corpus Iuris Canonici , comprising 11 that Pope Gregory IX placed at the end of the fifth Book of Decretals and 88 that Pope Boniface VIII placed in the final title of Liber Sextus Decretalium.

A legal maxim is an established principle or proposition of law in Western civilization, and a species of aphorism and general maxim. The word is apparently a variant of the Latin maxima, but this latter word is not found in extant texts of Roman law with any denotation exactly analogous to that of a legal maxim in the Medieval or modern definition, but the treatises of many of the Roman jurists on regular definitiones and sententiae iuris are to some degree collections of maxims. Most of the Latin maxims originate from the Medieval era in European states that used Latin as their legal language.

Pope Gregory IX 178th Pope

Pope Gregory IX was Pope from 19 March 1227 to his death in 1241. He is known for issuing the Decretales and instituting the Papal Inquisition in response to the failures of the episcopal inquisitions established during the time of Pope Lucius III through his papal bull Ad abolendam issued in 1184.

Pope Boniface VIII 193rd Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Boniface VIII was pope from 24 December 1294 to his death in 1303. Caetani was of baronial origin with family connections to the papacy. He spent his early career abroad in diplomatic roles.

These rules are deductions, rather than repetitions of legal principles in constitutions or judgments, of several laws on the same subject, and consequently were reserved to the final titles of the two books aforementioned, in imitation of the order of the Justinian Code, specifically the Digest , Liber l, Titulus 17.

Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion.

While regulae iuris are greatly important, few general principles are without some exception. Some regulae iuris are applicable in all matters and others only to judicial trials, benefices, et cetera; the following examples of those of limited applicability are from the Liber Sextus Decretalium:

The 88 of Pope Boniface VIII

The following 88 legal dicta, axioms, or principles comprise the De Regulis Iuris promulgated in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII.

1Beneficium ecclesiasticum non potest licite sine institutione canonica obtineri.An ecclesiastical benefice cannot be obtained licitly without canonical institution.
2Possessor malae fidei ullo tempore non praescribit.No prescription for a possessor of bad faith.
3Sine possessione praescriptio non procedit.No prescription without possession.
4Peccatum non dimittitur nisi restituatur ablatum.No forgiveness of sin unless there is restitution.
5Peccati venia non datur nisi correcto.There is no forgiveness, unless the sinner has mended his ways.
6Nemo potest ad impossibile obligari.No one is bound to do the impossible.
7Privilegium personale personam sequitur et extinguitur cum persona.A personal privilege follows the person; it comes to an end when the person dies.
8Semel malum semper praesumitur esse malum.Who does wrong once is presumed to be a wrongdoer always. (Who does wrong out of malice once, is presumed to be a malicious person.)
9Ratum quis habere non potest quod eius nomine non est gestum.No one can ratify what was not done in his name and through his mandate. (No one can ratify what he did not mandate to do.)
10Ratihabitionem retrotrahi et mandato non est dubium comparari.Ratification can be retroactive; it can be equivalent to a mandate.
11Cum sunt partium iura obscura reo fovendum est potius quam actori.When the rights of the parties are obscure the accused should be favored over the accuser.
12In iudicii non est acceptio personarum habenda.In judicial procedure no special favor is given to any person. (All are equal before a court.)
13 Ignorantia facti non iurii excusat.Ignorance of a fact constitutes an excuse; ignorance of law does not.
14Cum quis in ius alterius succedit iustam ignorantiae causam habere censetur.When someone succeeds into the rights of another, he is assumed to have a good reason to plead ignorance.
15Odia restringi et favores convenit ampliari.Whatever is odious ought to be restricted; whatever is favorable ought to be extended.
16Decet beneficium concessum a Principe esse mansurum.It is fitting that a benefice given by a prince should stay. (A favor once granted by the superior should have stability.)
17Indultum a iure beneficium non est alicui auferendum.When the law grants a benefice, no one should take it away. (A favor granted by a law should not be taken away by anyone.)
18Non firmatur tractu temporis quoad ab initio non subsistit.The passage of time will not remedy a situation that had no legal foundation. (What was illegal in the beginning will not become legal with the passage of time.)
19Non est sine culpa qui rei quae ad se non pertinet se immiscet.If someone interferes in a business that is not his own, he is not without fault. (To interfere with the business of a third party is to accept liability.)
20Nullus pluribus uti defensionibus prohibetur.No one is forbidden to use several defenses.
21Quod semel placuit amplius displicere non potest.What was approved once cannot be disapproved later.
22Non debet aliquis alterius odio praegravari.No one must be judged unfavorably because someone hates him. (In judicial procedure emotional prejudice must be excluded.)
23Sine culpa, nisi subsit causa non est aliquis puniendus.Who is not culpable, should not be punished; but disadvantages may be imposed on him if there is a permanent cause.
24Quod quis mandato facit iudicis, dolo facere non videtur, cum habeat parere necesse.When someone does something by the order of a judge; he cannot act out of malice since he must obey the judge.
25Mora sua cuilibet nociva est.Who delays harms himself.
26Ea quae fiunt a iudice si ad eius non spectant officium non subsistunt.Whatever a judge does outside the scope of his office has no legal force.
27Scienti et consentienti non fit iniuria neque dolus.Who knows and agrees has no cause to complain of injury or malice.
28Quae a iure communi exorbitant nequaquam ad consequentiam sunt tradenda.Whatever is beyond the scope of common law must not be further extended.
29Quod omnes tangit debet ab omnibus probari.What concerns all must be approved by all.
30In obscuris minimum est sequendum.When the meaning is obscure, the obligation is reduced to the minimum significance.
31Eum qui certus est certiorari ulterius non oportet.If someone knows with certainty, there is no need to inform him further.
32Non licet actori quod reo licitum non exsistit.The accuser is not permitted to do what is not permitted to the accused.
33Mutare quis consilium non potest in alterius detrimentum.No one can change his mind (intention) at the expense of another.
34Generi per speciem derogatur.The particular takes precedence over the general. (The diocesan laws, unless it is contrary, take precedence over universal laws.)
35Plus semper in se continet quod est minus.The more includes the less. (If one can do a greater thing, the lesser can certainly be done.)
36Pro possessore habetur qui dolo desiit possidere.If someone abandoned possessions maliciously, he is held as the possessor. (No one can free himself from the duties or liabilities of the possessor by abandoning maliciously the state of possession.)
37Utile per inutile non debet vitiari.The useful must not be vitiated by the useless.
38Ex eo non debet quis fructum consequi quod nisus extitit impugnare.No one should profit from something (law, document, fact), that he himself contested previously.
39Cum quid prohibetur, prohibentur omnia quae sequuntur ex illo.When something is forbidden, everything is forbidden that follows from it.
40Pluralis locutio duorum numero est contenta.Any speech in plural refers to two (at least).
41Imputari ei non debet per quem non stat si non fiat quod per eum fuerat faciendum.No one should be blamed for not having done what he had to do, when the possibility of doing it did not depend on him.
42Accessorium naturam sequi congruit principalis.The accessory follows the nature of the principal.
43Qui tacit consentire videtur.Who keeps silent seems to (is deemed to) consent.
44Is qui tacit non fatetur, sed nec utique negare videtur.Who keeps silent does not confess anything, but he does not deny anything either.
45Inspicimus in obscuris quod est verisimilius, vel quod plerumque fieri consuevit.In obscure things we should hold to what is more likely or what is more customary.
46Is qui in ius succedit alterius, eo iure quo ille uti debebit.When someone succeeds into the rights of another, he has the same rights as the other one did.
47Praesumitur ignorantia ubi scientia non probatur.Ignorance is presumed when knowledge is not proved.
48Locupletari non debet aliquis cum alterius iniuria vel iactura.No one should profit from the injury or failure of another one.
49In poenis benignior est interpretatio facienda.In matters of penalty a more benign interpretation is the right one.
50Actus legitimi conditionem non recipiunt neque diem.Certain legal acts cannot be restricted by the imposition of a condition or of a time limit.
51Semel Deo dicatum non est ad usus humanos ulterius transferendum.Once given to God it should not be transferred to the use of man.
52Non praestat impedimentum quod de iure non sortitur effectum.An act when null and void in the beginning cannot be a legal obstacle later.
53Cui licet quod est plus licet utique quod est minus.Who can do more, can do less.
54Qui prior est tempore potior est iure.The one first in time has a stronger right.
55Qui sentit onus sentire debet commodum et contra.Who feels the burden should feel the comfort as well. (Burden and relief, advantages and disadvantages originating in the same law or legal situation must go together.)
56In re communi potior est conditio prohibentis.When rights are held in common, the negative vote outweighs all others. (When more than one person has a right in common with the other(s), a decision requires unanimity.)
57Contra eum qui legem dicere potuit apertius est interpretatio facienda.In case of doubt all interpretation should go against the one who should have spoken clearly.
58Non est obligatorium contra bonos mores praestitum iuramentum.An oath against good morals does not bind.
59Dolo facit qui petit quod restituere oportet eumdem.To ask immediately for what must be restituted is to reveal malicious intention.
60Non est in mora qui potest exceptione legitima se tueri.Someone who can defend himself with a legitimate exception should not be faulted for delay. (I. e., because he would be excused anyway.)
61Quod ob gratiam alicuius conceditur non est in eius dispendium retorquendum.Whatever is given to the benefit of another should not be turned to his disadvantage.
62Nullus est consilio, dummodo fraudolentum non fuerit obligatur.No liability arises from advice given provided it was not fraudulent.
63Exceptionem obiiciens non videtur de intentione adversarii confiteri.To move an exception is not the admission of the accusation. (The accused may use even contradictory exceptions.)
64Quae contra ius fiunt, debent utique pro infectis haberi.Whatever is done against the law should be held null and void (i. e., as not done, vitiated).
65In pari delicto et causa potior est conditio possidentis.All things being equal, the possessor has the stronger right.
66Cum non stat per eum ad quem pertinet quominus conditio impleatur, haberi debet perinde ac si impleta fuisset.When a person is bound to fulfill a condition, but the possibility of doing so does not depend on him, the condition should be deemed fulfilled.
67Quod alicui suo non licet nomine nec alieno licebit.When someone is forbidden to do something, he cannot escape the prohibition by doing it for someone else.
68Potest quis per alium quod potest facere per seipsum.Whatever someone can do by himself, he can do it by another (unless the power to act cannot be delegated).
69In malis promissis fides non expedit observari.A promise to do wrong does not generate a duty to be faithful.
70In alternativis debitoris est electio et sufficit alterum adimpleri.In case of alternative duties the debtor is entitled to choose one of them; by doing one he can satisfy all obligations.
71Qui ad agendum admittitur est ad excipiendum multo magis admittendus.Whoever is entitled to sue is even more entitled to raise an exception.
72Qui facit per alium est perinde ac si faciat per seipsum.When someone acts through another (a representative, a deputy, an agent) he is as much responsible as if he did it himself.
73Factum legitimum retrotrahi non debet, licet casus postea eveniat a quo non potuit inchoari.A valid legal transaction cannot be annulled because of an invalidating factor that came into being afterwards.
74Quod alicui gratiose conceditur trahi non debet ab aliis in exemplum.A gracious concession to someone should not be quoted by another as a precedent.
75Frustra sibi fidem quis postulat ab eo servari, cui fidem a se praestitam servare recusat.No one should ask for faithful compliance by another when he is not faithful in his duty towards the other. (He who breaches faith toward his partner, is not entitled to ask him to be faithful.)
76Delictum personae non debet in detrimentum Ecclesiae redundare.The crime of a person should not be harm (cause damage) to the Church. (The Church should not suffer because of personal wrongdoing.)
77Rationi congruit ut succedat in onere qui substituitur in honore.It is fair that when someone succeeds another one in an honorable position, he should take the burden that goes with.
78In argumentum trahi nequeunt quae propter necessitatem aliquando sunt concessa.When a concession is made out of necessity it cannot serve as a legitimate precedent.
79Nemo potest plus iuris transferre in alium quam sibi ipsi competere diagnoscatur.No one gives more right to another than what he has.
80In toto partem non est dubium contineri.No doubt, the part is contained in the whole.
81In generali concessione veniunt ea quae quis esset verisimiliter in specie concessurus.A general grant does not contain those particular concessions that the superior was never likely to give.
82Qui contra ius mercatur bonam fidem praesumitur non habere.Those who bargain against the law are presumed to lack good faith.
83Bona fides non patitur ut semel exactum iterum exigatur.To try to exact the same duty twice is against good faith.
84Cum quid una vita proibetur alicui ad id alia non debet admitti.Once forbidden, it is forbidden in every way.
85Contractus ex conventione legem accipere diagnoscuntur.Contracts make law for themselves.
86Damnum quod quis sua culpa sentit sibi debet non aliis imputare.If someone does wrong, he should blame himself for the harm that he suffers.
87Infamibus portae non pateant dignitatum.Dignities are closed to persons of bad reputation.
88Certum est quod is committit in lege, qui legis verbum complectens, contra legis nititur voluntatem.Those who comply with the letter of the law but against the intention of the law, are really against the law.

Given in Rome at St. Peter's on the Fifth Day of the Nones of March in the Fourth year of our Pontificate—Boniface VIII

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    <i>Catholic Encyclopedia</i> English-language encyclopedia

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