Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem

Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem

Literal Meaning

It is the part of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction, i.e. remedial authority.


This maxim states that it is the duty of the judge to enlarge its jurisdiction. This maxim is to amplify the remedies and to apply its rules to the advancement of substantial justice.  It denotes that a good judge’s duty is to develop the remedies of the law.




If a party to the case drew support of the maxim Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem, a judge has the power to develop the remedies and to provide remedial justice.

If we set aside this illustration, in general court has the power to develop or to amplify the remedies, even without the plea filed by the parties. 

Case References

Russel v. Smyth, 9 M. & W., 818

In this case the maxim, “Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem,” was interpreted by Lord Abinger. And he states that “the maxim of the English law is, to amplify its remedies, and, without usurping jurisdiction, apply its rules to the advancement of substantial justice.”

Brij Mohan Lal v. Union of India, (2012) 6 SCC 502

Keeping in view its constitutional duty, the constitutional rights of the citizens of the country at large and with reference to the facts of a instant case, this court may be duty bound to amplify and extend the arm of justice in accordance with the principle Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem. The arguments that matters of policy are, as a rule, beyond the power of judicial review has to be dispelled in light of consistent view of the instant court.

Birendra Singh v. State of Uttarakhand and others, 2015 SCC OnLine Utt 1809

In this case the learned Government pleader drew support from a maxim Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem. And the court in the judgement mentioned that ‘It is the duty of a judge to extend this jurisdiction. This maxim, as above-worded and literally rendered, is erroneous. Lord Mansfield suggested that for the word jurisdictionem, justitiam should be substituted; and Sir R. Atkyns had previously remarked: “it is indeed commonly said Boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem ; but I take that to be better advice which was given by Lord Chancellor Bacon to Mr. Justice Hutton upon the swearing him one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas,-that he should take care to contain the jurisdiction of the Court within the ancient mere-stones without removing the mark”. The true maxim of our law is “to amplify its remedies, and, without usurping jurisdiction, to apply its rules, to the advancement of substantial justice” the principle upon which our Courts act is, to enforce the performance of contracts not injurious to society, and to administer justice to a party who can make his claim to redress appear, by enlarging the legal remedy, if necessary, in order to do justice; for the common law is the birthright of the subject and bonus judex secundum aequum et bonum judicat, et aequitatem stricto juri praefert. “I commend the judge,” observed Lord Hobart, “that seems fine and ingenious, so it tend to right and equity;…and I condemn them that either out of pleasure to show a subtle wit will destroy, or out of incuriousness or negligence will not labour to support, the act of the party by the art or act of the law.”

Edited by Sree Ramya

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Shivani Rani
I am Shivani Rani from Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University,Aligarh pursuing BALLB(Hons.). Criminal law and personal laws of country attracts me the most. I like to read books mostly based on fictin and also like to watch suspense & thriller movies as well as crime thriller web series, in free time. I love to take part in moot court competitions as well as research study work. I am enthusiastic about exploring new places and listening music. I am kind of ambivert person i.e., not so introvert and not so extrovert.