Voluntas reputatur pro facto

Voluntas reputatur pro facto

Literal Meaning

The will is taken for the deed.

Explanation & Origin

The Latin maxim voluntas reputatur pro facto means the will is to be taken for the deed.

It means that desire or intention is considered to be same as act. In law, intention is reckoned as deed. Basic elements constituting a criminal offence is act and the intention. In certain acts intention itself amounts to the act constituting crime.

A maxim which can be applied with only the greatest care in English and American law , the nearest approach to any application of it having been under the cognate maxim scribere est agere in the case of an alleged treason. But , in law , a man is always deemed to have intended that which is the natural consequences of his act ; and the intention may even be inferred from the overt act , and that is probably the true meaning of this maxim.

Certainly , the maxim does not mean (nor does the law hold) that the mere intention to do a criminal act , not being accompanied with any accomplishment thereof , or step towards i.e. overt act of , accomplishment , is punishable at all.


Although mere words spoken by an individual not relating to any treasonable set or design then in agitation do not amount to treason , since nothing can be more equivocal and ambiguous than words , yet words of advice and persuasion and all consultation for the furtherance of tratorious plans are certainly overt acts of treason.

Case Reference

The Harlot’s case [(1560) crompton 24]

A harlot woman was delivered of a child. She laid it away , alive , in an orchard and covered it with leaves. A kite struck at it with his claws. In consequence of being thus stricken , the child died very soon afterwards. She was arrainged of murder and was executed for she had intented to child’s death and voluntas reputatur pro facto.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Team @Law Times Journal
Hello. We are team members of Law Times Journal. Editorial members at Law Times Journal is a team of writers led by Vedanta Yadav. Want to become a writer at Law Times Journal? Send your current work/resume with title "Resume-Editor" at vedantayadav@lawtimesjournal.in