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Hello Readers with a lot of social awareness, law has become an integral part of our life. In the news and at work while dealing with any workplace harassment issues, we come across various legal terminologies in English and Latin (literally),  which often seems to be difficult for the layperson. In the current blog; we have tried to simplify commonly used legal terms. By the end of this two part series, you will understand and relate with the complicated terms of law. Do reach out to info@kelphr.com and share us your feedback or visit our website www.kelphr.com to read our other blogs.


1) Statute:

Statute is a legal framework which is passed by the legislature in India. It is a written law. It does not include any moral principles or customary usages by the society.

For e.g.: Company Law, 2013; Indian contract Act, 1872.

2) Criminal offence:

Crime in law understood as any act or failure to do any act which is made punishable by law currently in practise. Such punishments are given under Indian Penal Code (IPC). IPC defines what could be crime in the eyes of law and what would be the punishment of the same.

IPC defines in section 354/509, what actions would lead to outraging the modesty of a woman. This includes use of criminal force( sec 354) ; words or actions which would insult her or intrude her privacy by any sound or action (Sec 509). It also defines the punishment under the act.

3) Civil law:

Law are those frameworks according to which society should behave in order to have smooth running of the country. Civil laws are those laws which protects the private interests of individual deriving out of a contractual relationship or through any other law. This also includes subject matters like divorce, marriage, succession. Such interests are only limited to the people involved. It does not affect by and large the society as a whole.

4) Jurisprudence:

This word is actually made from two different words namely juris and prudence. Juris means law whereas prudence means knowledge. These are basically theories and philosophies of various jurists as to why law is made in such a manner. It makes the understanding of the current laws better. It makes you understand the what is right and wrong for the society as a whole. For e.g.:  Objective of Indian Contract Act, 1872.

5) Natural Justice:

This terminology has been understood with the development of society. It means that justice should be granted in an equitable and just manner. The concepts like honesty, universal right for the people; plays an important role in understanding this. These principles of “Natural justice” protects the inherent human rights. All the fundamental rights in our Indian Constitution are a result of this principle (for e.g. the principle of equality amongst all the human beings).

The various principle which has emerged with this has been:

a) Audi alteram parterm [Latin, Listen to the other side.]: the judge as the deciding authority should hear the problems from both the sides (the person who complains and also the person against whom a complaint has been made).

b) Nemo propria causa judex [Latin, no-one should be a judge in his own cause.]: this says that a judge should be such that he should not be biased while delivering the judgment. Because of this reason, no man should judge his own case. His case should only be judged by a person who is capable of fair reasoning.

6) Amicus Curiae [Latin, Friend of Court.]:

It is a person who is either invited by the court or voluntarily agrees to help the court with the investigation of the court. He is also considered to be friend of the court who could assist the court without having connection with either of the parties. Such help to the court could be on a legal point, any factual information from any field which could help the court in taking in their decision. For e.g.: Doctors, sociologist, psychologist, historian, and any other such person whose advice would really help the court.

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