Latin Legal Terms

Alter

Alter – this word has three different meanings:
1) It means otherwise. The word participates in forming the legal motto “Qui in jus dominiumve alterius succedit jure ejus uti debet”, used in the area of Inheritance Law. It details the obligation of the heir in relation to the outstanding debts, left by the testator to the limits of any inherited asset in possession of the heir.
2) It means the second, the other one. The word is used in the expression Älter ego”, which means another I. It relates to the medical condition “double identity”. The word participates also in the legal maxim “cijus est division, alterius est electio”. It is used in the Inheritance Law, where states that in situations where one heir divides the pot of assets, then the other heir has the right to choose first what to get. This legal principle ensures that both parties will act in a fair way to divide the assets.
3) It means the one ... the other. The term is used in the expression “Alterum non laedere”, which means “Should not harm/injure another person”.

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