Dormiunt Leges Aliquando, Nunquam Moriuntur

Dormiunt Leges Aliquando, Nunquam Moriuntur

Literal Meaning

The laws sometimes sleeps, but never dies.

Explanation & Origin

Origin – The maxim dormiuntlegesaliquando, nunquammoriunturisof Latin origin.

Explanation – This maxim is concerned with the laws that are old and outdated but they still exist in the legal books and acts. This maxim of law establishes that even though a law may lie dormant and may not be asserted by the people for substantial period of time, it can always be invoked by anyone willing to assert it. Thus, dormiuntlegesaliquando, nunquammoriunturis means that although the laws sometimes sleep, they never die.In simpler terms, any provision under a law can be claimed in the court of law irrespective of the fact that it hasn’t been used for a long time because the law still exists on paper.

The laws exist until and unless they are repealed from the books of law. .


Adultery had been a criminal offence in India from the time the Indian Penal Code was enacted. The law was dormant for a long period of time until it was repealed recently. Until the law was repealed, it was dormant but wasn’t dead.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

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