Latin Legal Terms


Dolus – this Latin noun means fraud, deceit, malice, treachery, a trap. Fraud is an illegal act against the normal order of the society, usually performed with criminal intention to benefit from the mislead victim. “Dolus” origins from the word “doleo”, which literally translates as suffer pain, grieve. The word is used in the term “dolus directo”, which means “direct intention” (to commit a crime). It applies in the Criminal Law. As well “dolus”participates in the intention “dolus verus” – which means the real intention, not the presumed one by the others. The word also relates to the legal maxim “ex dolo malo non oritur actio”, applicable in the area of Civil Law. There it establishes a rule that legal rights cannot rise from frauds; i.e. cannot rise from illegal sources.

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