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("Rules of Law")

General rules or principles serving chiefly for the interpretation of laws. In a specific sense, however, regulæ juris are certain fundamental laws in the form of axioms found in the "Corpus Juris", eleven inserted by Gregory IX at the end of the fifth Book of Decretals, eighty-eight by Boniface VIII in the last title of Liber Sextus Decretalium. These rules are an exposition of several laws on the same subject, conclusions or deductions, rather than principles of law drawn from constitutions or decisions, and consequently reserved to the last title of the two books mentioned, in imitation of Justinian in the "Digest" (L, l, tit. 17). While these rules are of great importance, it must be stated that few general statements are without exception. Some of the axioms are applicable in all matters, others are confined to judicial trials, benefices, etc. As examples the following are taken from the Liber Sextus: No one can be held to the impossible (6); Time does not heal what was invalid from the beginning (18); What is not allowed to the defendant, is denied to the plaintiff (32); What one is not permitted to do in his own name, he may not do through another (47).


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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

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Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

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Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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