a contrario

“A contrario” is a Latin term that translates to “from the opposite” in English. It is a legal maxim used in legal reasoning and arguments to denote an inference or conclusion drawn from known, established, or admitted facts which are contrary or opposite to the case at hand. Essentially, it is used to argue that if a rule or principle applies in one situation, then it should not apply in an opposite or different situation.

For instance, a lawyer might use “a contrario” when arguing about a law that states that only people over the age of 18 can vote. If a case arises where a 17-year-old is suing for the right to vote, the lawyer might argue “a contrario” that since the law explicitly states that only individuals over 18 can vote, it implies that those under 18 are not allowed to vote.

In another example, if a law states that landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice before eviction, and a landlord gives a tenant only 15 days’ notice, a lawyer could argue “a contrario” that the landlord’s action is unlawful because it directly contradicts the specified rule.

So, the “a contrario” argument is used to show that if the law has specifically stated one condition, the opposite condition does not apply unless explicitly stated in the law.

a fortiori

“A fortiori” is a Latin term used in legal parlance, which translates to “with stronger reason” or “even more so”. It is typically used in legal reasoning to denote that if one fact is certain then one can infer that a second fact is even more certain.

Lawyers use this method of reasoning to argue that if something applies in one situation, then it should apply even more so in another situation. It’s often used to make a point about the strength of a claim or argument.

For example, a lawyer might use an a fortiori argument in a case where a defendant is charged with both assault and jaywalking. If the evidence is sufficient to prove that the defendant committed assault (a more serious crime), then, a fortiori, it should be more than sufficient to prove that he was jaywalking (a less serious crime).

a capite ad calcem

“A capite ad calcem” is a Latin phrase that translates to “from head to heel” in English. In a legal context, this phrase is used to signify completeness or entirety. It suggests that everything within a particular scope or domain is included or covered.

Lawyers use this term when they want to emphasize the comprehensive nature of a certain legal document, procedure, or investigation. It can be used in a variety of legal contexts, such as contracts, property rights, criminal investigations, etc.

For example, consider a situation where a lawyer is drafting a contract for the sale of a piece of property. The lawyer might use the term “a capite ad calcem” to indicate that the contract covers all aspects of the property, from the physical structure to the land it sits on, and everything in between. This ensures that there are no ambiguities about what is being sold and protects both parties from future disputes.

a caelo usque ad centrum

The Latin phrase “a caelo usque ad centrum” translates to “from the heavens to the center [of the Earth]” in English. This term is commonly used in property law to describe the extent of ownership rights that a property holder may have over a parcel of land. It signifies that the owner possesses not just the surface of the land, but also the air above it up to a reasonable height and the ground beneath it to the center of the Earth, subject to various regulations and limitations imposed by law.

Examples of Use in Legal Context

  1. Mineral Rights: Lawyers may use the phrase to discuss the extraction rights of minerals found beneath the land’s surface. In jurisdictions that follow this principle, landowners typically have a right to any minerals found below the surface. However, such rights may often be subject to statutory limitations or may be separately sold or leased.
  2. Airspace Rights: When discussing construction projects or planning permissions, this phrase may be invoked to describe the extent to which a landowner can build vertically. For example, if a property owner wants to construct a tall building or a skyscraper, understanding their rights “from the heavens” is critical. However, modern aviation law and local zoning ordinances often limit the practical extent of these theoretical rights.
  3. Eminent Domain: When governments acquire private land for public use, attorneys may reference “a caelo usque ad centrum” to assess the compensation owed to the landowner. The principle could influence the valuation of the land by including the worth of any natural resources present below the surface.
  4. Water Rights: This principle can be invoked when discussing the rights to any water bodies that cross or form part of the land. Ownership rights to rivers, lakes, or ponds may extend to the land beneath those bodies of water, again subject to local and federal regulations.
  5. Subsurface Rights: Lawyers use this term to clarify the rights of a landowner when the government or other entities seek to run utilities like pipelines, cables, or tunnels beneath the surface of the land.
  6. Jurisprudential Context: Judges may use this term to settle disputes over property rights, zoning issues, or resource extraction rights. For example, in Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon, 260 U.S. 393 (1922), the U.S. Supreme Court discussed the concept of property rights extending below the surface, although not using this specific Latin term.
  7. Environmental Law: The phrase can also appear in cases related to environmental pollution like fracking, where a landowner may raise questions about the extent to which their ownership and corresponding rights are affected by activities that occur beneath the surface of their property.
  8. Case Law Citations: In legal briefs, opinions, or academic papers, lawyers and judges might invoke the phrase to provide a historical or foundational perspective on property rights, citing it as a fundamental principle that has evolved over time to adapt to modern needs and limitations.
  9. Contracts and Legal Documents: Lease agreements, particularly those concerning mineral or airspace rights, may also employ the phrase to delineate the scope of what is being leased or sold.

The application of “a caelo usque ad centrum” is subject to various limitations based on jurisdictional law, statutory enactments, and court decisions. As a legal practitioner, one must be mindful of these nuances when applying this principle.

Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit – James Madison

Justice, as propounded by James Madison, the fourth President of the United States and one of the founding fathers, is not merely an element of government or society; it is its ultimate purpose. As he famously declared, “Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.”

The words of Madison clearly underscore the vital importance of justice in establishing and maintaining a world of fairness, equality, and respect for all. But what does this powerful statement truly mean, and how does it resonate in today’s society?

The core of Madison’s philosophy lies in acknowledging justice as not merely a part of the social structure’s workings but the very goal that these structures should strive to achieve. This contrasts with the common perception of justice being a byproduct or outcome of good governance.

Madison’s statement attributes an agentic role to justice. He sees it as an active force that must be pursued relentlessly, defining the very existence and purpose of government and society. This is a profound departure from understanding justice as a passive element in the societal constitution.

To comprehend Madison’s sentiment fully, it is crucial to decipher his interpretation of “justice.” Madison subscribes to a broad definition of justice that encapsulates fairness, equity, and respect for individual rights and freedoms. It surpasses retributive justice to include distributive justice, advocating for equitable distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society.

According to Madison, justice isn’t limited to penalizing wrongdoers but extends to establishing a just socio-economic order that empowers all individuals equally. In this paradigm, the purpose of government becomes promoting and safeguarding justice in all its forms.

The phrase “until liberty be lost in pursuit” highlights another crucial aspect of Madison’s philosophy. It emphasizes that the quest for justice should never come at the expense of liberty. The two are closely intertwined, and the loss of one directly impacts the possibility of achieving the other.

Madison warns that if the pursuit of justice becomes all-consuming to the point of eroding individual autonomy, it undermines its original purpose. This assertion serves as a reminder for modern democracies grappling with the delicate balance of maintaining public security while preserving individual liberties.

In conclusion, Madison’s declaration presents a radical vision that redefines the role of justice in government and civil society. It underscores the need for a relentless pursuit of justice, not merely as a passive outcome of good governance but as an active agent shaping societal structure. However, he emphasizes that this pursuit must not compromise personal liberty. His philosophy still resonates today, challenging modern societies to understand and implement justice in its comprehensive sense, striving for fairness, equity, and respect for all individuals’ rights and freedoms.

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Title: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Ideals: Justice for All, Not Just for One

The principle of justice holds paramount importance in the sustenance of any society. It is the basis of equality and a crucial factor that determines societal progress or decline. This universal truth was eloquently articulated by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.”

To fully appreciate this quotation’s profound meaning, we must first understand the speaker’s distinctive perspective. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was not only a First Lady but also a strong advocate of civil rights, women’s rights, social change, and humanitarian causes. Her philosophies and ideas on justice were a direct reflection of her extraordinary life and experiences.

In her quote “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both,” Eleanor Roosevelt emphasizes the essential characteristic of justice – impartiality. Justice must not favor one party over another; instead, it should uphold fairness and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, socio-economic status, or political inclination. It is the cornerstone of a democracy where all individuals are entitled to equal attention and protection under the law.

The notion that justice cannot be for one side alone entails the rejection of bias and prejudice. Injustice often emerges from stereotypes and unwarranted categorizations based on race, religion, gender, or socio-economic background. When justice is skewed in favor of a particular group, it creates an imbalance that fuels social issues like discrimination, exploitation, and abuse of power.

On the other hand, stating that justice must be for both sides underlines the need for fairness in treatment. No matter the crime or disagreement, there should be fair investigations and trials that give accused persons opportunities to defend themselves. This aspect of justice forms the bedrock of legal principles like ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and ‘right to a fair trial.’

Roosevelt’s assertion holds sobering implications for the justice system regarding its role and responsibilities. Justice institutions are called upon to uphold the law objectively and impartially. This includes providing equal opportunities for parties involved in legal proceedings, ensuring fair representation, and making decisions based on evidence and not bias or prejudice.

Moreover, Roosevelt’s statement also calls for collective action in society. It urges us to challenge our implicit biases, reject discriminatory behavior, and strive for fairness in our actions. Only then can justice truly be served on both sides.

In essence, Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote is a profound reminder of the unbiased nature of justice. It serves as a moral compass that guides us towards an equitable society where everyone receives a fair treatment and discrimination is non-existent. By acknowledging that justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both, we can foster a world that respects human rights, cherishes diversity, and upholds the dignity of all individuals.

In an era where divisions and disparities are starkly evident, these timeless words by Eleanor Roosevelt continue to resonate deeply. They serve as a vital touchstone for societies seeking to promote fairness, equality, and above all, justice for all. In conclusion, as we strive to enact this ideal of justice into our systems and communities, it is this crucial understanding that will ultimately pave the way towards a more compassionate and equitable world.

As per the constitution, everyone is entitled to their rights and freedom without any discrimination.

Title: Constitutional Entitlement to Rights and Freedom: A Non-Discriminatory Approach


One of the fundamental principles of constitutional law is the concept that everyone is entitled to enjoy their rights and freedoms without any form of discrimination. This principle is enshrined in the constitutions of many countries across the globe. In essence, it implies that irrespective of one’s race, sex, religion, nationality, or any other characteristic, they should be treated equally under the law and be granted equal protection of the same. This article examines the tenet of non-discrimination in constitutional law and mentions a few relevant case laws for reference.

Non-Discrimination in Constitutional Law

The right to non-discrimination is a basic element of human rights law, often appearing in numerous international and regional agreements such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, among others. Similarly, it is entrenched in various national constitutions. This ensures that all individuals have equal access to their rights and freedoms irrespective of their social statuses or personal characteristics.

The Non-Discrimination Principle in USA

The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from discrimination: “No State shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. Examples of such laws include Brown vs. Board of Education (1954), where racial segregation in public schools was held unconstitutional, and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which guaranteed the right for same-sex couples to marry.

Non-Discrimination in UK Constitution

While the UK lacks a codified constitution, the principle of non-discrimination is represented in various statutory instruments like the Equality Act 2010. This Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals based on protected characteristics. A landmark case demonstrating this principle is Ghaidan v. Godin-Mendoza (2004), where the House of Lords extended certain rights under the Rent Act to same-sex partners, thereby ensuring non-discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Principle of Non-Discrimination in India

Under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, all persons enjoy equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. The landmark case of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India (2018) exemplifies this principle, wherein the Supreme Court decriminalized consensual homosexual acts between adults, arguing that discrimination based on sexual orientation infringes on fundamental rights.


The constitutional guarantee of non-discrimination forms a significant part of legal systems worldwide, acting as a shield to ensure that everyone enjoys their rights and freedoms equally. This principle has been reinforced time and again through various landmark judgements, whether it’s Brown vs. Board of Education in the USA, Ghaidan v. Godin-Mendoza in the UK, or Navtej Singh Johar in India.

Although there is still significant progress to be made to combat systemic discrimination globally, these constitutional protections provide a crucial starting point. These provisions aim at creating a world where everyone can live openly, authentically, and without fear, irrespective of who they are or who they love. It is both a celebration of diversity and a resounding affirmation of everyone’s inherent dignity and worth.

Law, like love, should be blind and equal for all.

Title: The Principle of Blind Justice: Law and Love


In the realm of justice, the belief that “Law, like love, should be blind and equal for all” epitomizes the vital principle of impartiality and fairness. This statement conveys a profound truth underlying the administration of justice: all individuals, regardless of their ethnic origin, sexual orientation, financial status, or social standing, must be equally subjected to the rules of law. In the same vein, love, regardless of the circumstances, should inherently be blind and equal. Various case laws emphasize this principle, highlighting its significance in our society.

Impartiality of Law

The concept of blind justice, which dates back to ancient Greek philosophy, is symbolized by the goddess Justitia, depicted wearing a blindfold to represent impartiality. The core premise is that justice does not see the identity or status of individuals but rather their actions and evidence presented. This sentiment echoes the sentiments in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, where he expressed a desire for a society where individuals would be assessed on their character rather than their color.

A prominent case law that exemplifies this principle is Brown v. Board of Education. In 1954, this landmark case ruled that segregated public schools were inherently unequal, marking an essential turning point in the fight for racial equality in the United States. The decision underscored the importance of a blind and equal application of law, emphasizing that segregation and discrimination have no place within a truly just society.

Equality before Law

The second aspect of this maxim underscores that everyone should be treated equally before the law, a principle articulated in Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This notion ensures no privileges for the powerful and no discrimination against the weak. An individual’s wealth, status, or influence should not affect their legal rights or responsibilities.

The case of O.J. Simpson, a former American football player accused of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in 1994, serves as an infamous example of perceived inequality in the justice system. Despite strong circumstantial evidence, Simpson was acquitted in 1995, leading many to believe that his wealth and celebrity status influenced the trial’s outcome.

Love, Law, and Equality

Intertwining the concepts of love and law might seem unusual since love is often considered an emotional and personal matter, while law is understood as a formal system of rules. However, both are foundational pillars of social relationships and order. We could understand this comparison by seeing love as a fundamental right, governed by principles of fairness and equality, just like law.

In recent years, the LGBTQ+ community has made significant strides in achieving equal rights under the law, particularly in terms of marriage rights. The landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 affirmed that laws prohibiting same-sex marriages were unconstitutional, thereby ensuring the right to marriage for all individuals irrespective of their sexual orientation.


The principle that “Law, like love, should be blind and equal for all” serves as an essential reminder of the firm ideals of justice: impartiality and equality. Though they may not always be perfectly realized due to human imperfection or societal bias, striving towards these ideals remains a crucial commitment in democratic societies. Case laws like Brown v. Board of Education and Obergefell v. Hodges offer historical testaments to these ongoing efforts. As love transcends cultures, borders, and statuses, so should law rise above all forms of bias, treating every individual with equal consideration and respect.

Justice is the firm and continuous desire to render to everyone that which is his due. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Title: Justice: The Firm and Continuous Desire to Render to Everyone That Which is His Due – Insights from Marcus Tullius Cicero


The concept of justice remains at the very core of democratic societies and is widely recognised as a fundamental human right. Among the many astute observations made over centuries by various philosophers, statesmen, and legal minds, the definition of justice posited by Marcus Tullius Cicero stands out for its simplicity and depth. Cicero, a Roman statesman and jurist of the 1st Century BC, held that “justice is the firm and continuous desire to render to everyone that which is his due.”

Understanding Cicero’s Concept of Justice

In essence, Cicero’s perspective asserts that justice is an unwavering commitment to ensure every individual receives what he or she rightfully deserves. This respect for individual rights, in turn, underpins social harmony and equitable societies. It prompts the law to uphold societal standards of fairness and rightfully delineate between right and wrong. This is a foundational concept within most modern legal systems that strive to ensure each person’s rights are respected and obligations are enforced.

Case Laws Reflecting Cicero’s Concept of Justice

Reflecting on Cicero’s definition of justice through the lens of modern jurisprudence allows us to appreciate the breadth of its application. Consider, for instance, Brown v. Board of Education (1954), a landmark case in American history. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, thereby ensuring every child—regardless of their race—had an equal right to education.

Another example is the Mabo v. Queensland (No 2) (1992) case in Australia where the High Court overturned the legal doctrine of “terra nullius,” acknowledging Indigenous Australians’ ancient land rights. This landmark case effectively recognised that Indigenous Australians had a pre-existing system of law, which the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty should not have extinguished. This decision reflects Cicero’s principle of justice by ensuring those who were historically deprived are given their due.

Furthermore, India’s Mathura rape case (Tukaram v. State of Maharashtra) (1979) led to amendments in India’s criminal laws to better protect women from sexual violence. This judicial decision demonstrated a strong commitment to ensuring justice for victims of sexual assault, embodying the continuous desire to render to each individual their due rights, as envisaged by Cicero.

Cicero’s Definition and Its Relevance Today

The relevance of Cicero’s definition of justice in the contemporary world is manifold. It lays the foundation for laws and policies targeted at social equity, encompassing economic justice, social justice, and environmental justice. It underpins actions taken to rectify historical injustices, as seen in compensations to indigenous communities or reparations for victims of systemic oppression.

Moreover, it underscores the pursuit of global justice, particularly in addressing issues that cut across national borders such as human trafficking, climate change and even global pandemics. Each of these contexts demands a commitment to ensure each person or community receives what is rightfully theirs—be it fair treatment, reparations, protection of rights, or equitable access to resources.


In an era where social equity and human rights underpin the ethos of democratic societies, Cicero’s age-old definition of justice remains profoundly relevant. It serves as a beacon, guiding not just legal systems but also policy-making and societal attitudes. Despite the socio-political differences between Cicero’s time and ours, his understanding of justice remains a timeless reminder of society’s responsibility towards ensuring fairness and equity for all.

Justice is truth in action. – Benjamin Disraeli

Title: The Principle of Justice: The Manifestation of Truth in Action

“Justice is truth in action” is a profound statement from Benjamin Disraeli, a British statesman and writer. The phrase underscores the fundamental relationship between truth and justice, asserting that when truth is actively pursued and applied, justice invariably follows. Judicial jurisprudence worldwide revolves around this principle. Let’s delve deeper into the profoundness of this philosophy and explore its implications in various case laws.

Justice – A Pursuit of Truth

Justice, as an essential societal construct, mediates equity and fairness. It curtails oppression and puts a check on arbitrary exercise of power. Disraeli’s quotation suggests that truth forms the very foundation of justice. Thus, it becomes incumbent upon legal systems to probe the truth relentlessly, judiciously interpret it, and then weave it into the fabric of the judgment. This approach makes justice an action-oriented concept, grounded on discernible facts and devoid of bias or subjectivity.

The Law: A Tool for Establishing Truth

Concerted efforts to establish truth are essential in every legal proceeding. It is the standard against which the facts of a case are measured to deliver a fair judgment or order. The legal machinery – legislation, judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and regulators strive to uphold truth as it remains an objective tool to differentiate right from wrong. In essence, law defines the methodologies to ascertain truth, which is then translated into action through verdicts signifying justice.

Case Laws Unveiling Disraeli’s Philosophy

Several case laws illuminate Disraeli’s philosophy. For instance, in the controversial Supreme Court case of ‘Brady v. Maryland’ in 1963, this concept was strongly upheld by the judges. Brady was convicted for murder, primarily based on his confession. However, during his trial, the prosecution withheld a statement by Brady’s accomplice admitting he actually did the killing. Since truth was not exhaustively sought and revealed in the trial, the Supreme Court set aside the judgment on grounds of procedural unfairness, establishing that justice could not be served unless the whole truth was brought to light.

Another case, ‘Miranda v. Arizona’, highlights the importance of truth in justice. Arrested on circumstantial evidence, Miranda confessed to a crime but was not informed about his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The Supreme Court overturned his conviction stating that the truth obtained without considering basic constitutional rights lacks the legal sanctity required for justice.

Whether it’s the infamous ‘Watergate Scandal’ that led to President Nixon’s resignation or ‘United States v. Nixon’, the courts have always strived to ensure that truth prevails, thus ensuring justice.

The principle of truth transcends beyond individual cases and has been institutionalized in legal frameworks across the globe. For instance, in India, The Right to Information Act, 2005, underscores the people’s right to truth, thereby bolstering transparency and accountability in the functioning of every public authority, which is a key aspect of justice.


Benjamin Disraeli’s philosophy that justice is truth in action forms the bedrock of legal principles worldwide. A just society thrives on truth; hence, any form of injustice implies a deviation from truth. Case laws worldwide reveal that just outcomes are reliant on the comprehensive uncoverance and fair interpretation of facts. Thus, law practitioners and enforcers must tirelessly endeavor to uphold truth and use it as a tool to render justice. Therefore, truth and justice are inseparable facets of a fair world, and Disraeli’s principle will remain a guiding beacon for progressive jurisprudence worldwide.