Nemo dat quod non habet means “no one gives what he doesn’t have”

Nemo plus iuris ad alium transferre potest quam ipse habet” rule, which means “one cannot transfer more rights than he has”

Supreme Court of India in The Morvi Mercantile Bank Ltd. And … vs Union Of India, Through The [ 1965 AIR 1954 ]


To the general rule expressed by the Maxim nemo dat quod non habet (no one can convey a better title than what he had), to facilitate mercantile transactions. the Indian Law has grafted some exceptions, in favour of bonafide pledgees by transfer of documents of title from persons. whether owners of goods who do not possess the full bundle of rights of ownership at the time the pledges are made, or their mercantile agents. To confer a right to effect a valid pledge by transfer of document of title relating to goods on persons with defects in their title to the goods. and on mercantile agents, and to deny it to the full owners thereof, is to introduce an incongruity into the Act. On the other hand, the real intention of the legislature will be carried out if the said right is conceded to the Full owner of goods and extended by construction to persons with defects in their title to the goods or to mercantile agents. A pledge being a bailment of goods under s. 172 of the Contract Act, the pledgee, as a bailee. will have the same remedies as the owner of the goods would have against a third person for deprivation of
the said goods or injury to them under s. 180 of the Act.

Indian  Contract  Act (9 of 1872), s.  178, Transfer  of Indian  Contract  Act (9 of 1872), s.  178, Transfer  ofProperty  Act (4 of 1882). ss. 4 and 137 and Indian Sale  of goods  Act (3 of 1930), ss. 30 and 53


Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) USA

Courts of equity[USA]

Sale of Goods Act 1979[UK]


Law Library

  1. Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale – An accessory does not draw, but follows its principal.
  2. Accessorius sequitur – One who is an accessory to the crime cannot be guilty of a more serious crime than the principal offender.
  3. Acta exteriora iudicant interiora secreta – Outward acts indicate the inward intent.
  4. Actio non datur non damnificato – An action is not given to one who is not injured.
  5. Actio non accrevit infra sex annos – The action has not accrued within six years.
  6. Actio personalis moritur cum persona – A personal action dies with the person.
  7. Actori incumbit onus probandi – The burden of proof lies on the plaintiff.
  8. Actus nemini facit injuriam – The act of the law does no one wrong.
  9. Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea – The act does not make one guilty unless there be a criminal intent.
  10. Ad quaestionem facti non respondent judices; ad quaestionem legis non respondent juratores – The judges do not answer to a question of fact; the jury do not answer to a question of Law.
  11. Aedificare in tuo proprio solo non licet quod alteri noceat – It is not lawful to build on one’s own land what may be injurious to another.
  12. Aequitas legem sequitur – Equity follows the law.
  13. Alibi – At another place, elsewhere.
  14. Allegans contraria non est audiendus – One making contradictory statements is not to be heard.
  15. Allegans contraria non est audiendus – One making contradictory statements is not to be heard.
  16. Ambiguitas verborum patens nulla verificatione excluditur – A patent ambiguity is never helped by averment.
  17. Ambiguitas verborum patens nulla verificatione excluditur – A patent ambiguity is never helped by averment.
  18. Argumentum ab auctoritate fortissimum est in lege – An argument drawn from authority is the strongest in law.
  19. Arma in armatos sumere jura sinunt – The laws permit the taking up of arms against the armed.
  20. Assentio mentium – The meeting of minds, i.e. mutual assent.
  21. Audi alteram partem – Hear the other side.
  22. Bona fide – Sincere, in good faith
  23. Causa proxima, non remota spectatur – The immediate, and not the remote cause is to be considered.
  24. Consensus ad idem – Agreement as to the same things.
  25. Corpus delicti – The body, i.e. the gist of crime
  26. Crimen omnia ex se nata vitiat – Crime vitiates every thing, which springs from it.
  27. Crimen trahit personam – The crime carries the person.
  28. Cursus curiae est lex curiae – The practice of the court is the law of the court.
  29. Damnum sine injuria – damage without legal injury.
  30. Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – The burden of the proof lies upon him who affirms, not he who denies.
  31. Ex dolo malo actio non oritur – A right of action cannot arise out of fraud.
  32. Ex praecedentibus et consequentibus optima fit interpretatio – The best interpretation is made from things preceding and following.
  33. Falsa demonstratio non nocet – A false description does not vitiate.
  34. Fatetur facinus qui judicium fugit – He who flees judgment confesses his guilt.
  35. Fraus est celare fraudem – It is a fraud to conceal a fraud.
  36. Frustra probatur quod probatum non relevat – That is proved in vain which when proved is not relevant.
  37. Habemus optimum testem confitentem reum – We have the best witness, a confessing defendant.
  38. Ignorantia facti excusat, ignorantia juris non excusat – Ignorance of fact excuses, ignorance of law does not excuse.
  39. Impotentia excusat legem – Impossibility is an excuse in the law.
  40. In alta proditione nullus potest esse acessorius; sed principalis solum modo – In high treason no one can be an accessory; but a principal only.
  41. In criminalibus probationes debent esse luce clariores – In criminal cases the proofs ought to be cleared than the light.
  42. Intentio inservire debet legibus, non leges intentioni – Intention ought to be subservient to the laws, not the laws to the intention.
  43. Judicis est judicare secundum allegata et probata – It is the duty of a judge to decide according to the allegations and the proofs.
  44. Jus dicere, non jus dare – To declare the law, not to make the law.
  45. Justitia est duplec; severe puniens et vere praeveniens – Justice is two-fold; severely punishing and in reality prohibiting (offences).
  46. Lex non deficere potest in justitia exhibenda – The law cannot fail in dispensing justice.
  47. Sublato fundamento cadit opus –  Foundation being removed structure falls .
  48. Suppressio veri expressio falsi – A suppression of truth is equivalent to an expression of falsehood.
  49. Ut poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes, perveniat – That punishment may come to a few, the fear of it should affect all.
  50. Voluntas in delictis non exitus spectatur – In offences the intent and not the result is looked at.