Latin Legal Terms

Consuetudo

Consuetudo – this Latin noun means custom, usage, familiar acquaintance. This word is used in the phrase “Consuetudo pro lege servatur”, which details that if legislation could not apply to certain suit, then the customs of the time and the place will have legal application. It is similar to the maxim “consuetude est alter lex”, which provises that custom, applicable locally, could apply instead of the laws and legislation, with the same valid and obligatory legal force. The reason is that in ancient times people used to regulate their relations, following the provisions of the custom.
The word participates also in the legal maxim “ratio est formalis cause consuetudinis”, which provides that reason is the base of custom or usage.

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