Monday, March 30, 2009

Warning! Stereotypes Ahead! - RT

res ipsa loquitar
res judicata
pro bono
ex parte
audi alteram partum

How many of these latin phrases do you understand? These are widely used in the practice of law and legal documents. I'm having a hard time pronuncing and memorising them.
*wails at long list*

Meanings of the phrases :
res ipsa loquitar - the thing speaks for itself

res judicata - the matter already judged

pro bono - for the public good

ex parte - from one party

audi alteram partum - hear the other side.
It is most often used to refer to the principle that no person should be condemned without a fair hearing in which the accused is given the opportunity to respond to the accusations against him.

Gavel, buzzer and bell

The gavel and bell are no longer used in a court proceeding.

Do judges and lawyers still wear white wigs in the court room?

Judges in Singapore do not wear wigs during court proceedings or on any ceremonial occasions. In 1995, the cumbersome ceremonial robes for Supreme Court Judges were replaced by lightweight robes which are more practical for our tropical climate.

The above are a few common myths and misconceptions that people often have about the courts and the law.

First Commenter - JL


  1. OMG! Haha!!!! xD

    WRT latin in the judiciary, I've learned a lot when I was taking the Malaysia A-levels (STPM), like mala fide, bona fide, sine die, locus standi, habeas corpus, etc. Eeee why so susah one? Except for the Vatican no other country should be sticking to Latin lah. :p

  2. And I learned something new again!
    Pro bono is the only word I know coz I have heard it many time on TV.

  3. Thanks for this interesting post. Pro bono is the only word that's familiar to me.

  4. JL,
    Congrats again for being FC!

    I don't understand why they don't use simple English. *frustrations*

    We are in the new millennium!!

    Have to memorise so many of these latin phrases as I read legal documents. ish.

  5. Mommawannabe,
    I know pro bono through the TV programmes too. hehe....

    I have a long list of others.... :(

  6. Heart of rachel,
    Gosh... why do I have to do this!?

    My tongue is also tying in knots. haha....

  7. Why can't lawyers in Malaysia go to courts dressed like those in Ally McBeal? LOL

  8. i think if judges still wear wigs this time, it'll be like those japanese hairstyles. colored and punky. LOL.

  9. Judges still ear the powdered wigs and robes in many countries. And in some of them the lawyers do as well. Never understood it myself, but hey... I'm a computer programmer. Logic is my business!

  10. Gosh....I wish I know Latin in the first place. The only phrase that I know would be "pro bono".

  11. I'm finding it difficult to pronounce the phrases :-D

  12. If not mistaken
    Only in UK they still wear it
    US had done away with it totally
    Canada still have it, right?

  13. Their new lightweight robes look like those worn by graduates during their graduating ceremonies. ;)

  14. Lina,
    You want them to put up a show everyday? haha....

  15. the donG,
    haha.... I would love to see that happening!

    Afterall our younger politicians danced hip-hop!

  16. Mojo,
    They should be keeping up with the times. The younger citizens are way too modernised to understand nor appreciate it.

  17. oceanskies,
    I didn't even know such words exist until I saw them. Out of curiousity, I went to get myself all the Latin phrases. :P

  18. Monica,
    You're not alone. I have difficulty too. :)

  19. yenjai,
    I'm not very sure.
    I have to ask readers from UK, US and Canada.

  20. Dora,
    oh yes.... the lawyers in light weight robes look like they have just come from a graduating ceremony.

    It's practical to wear light weight robes in our tropical heat.

  21. I like the words in Latin. That's where most English words are derived.

  22. It's definitely more practical in dressing in light weight robes in our crazy climate!
    Wouldn't be a nice majestical sight with ripples of perspiration on the judge's face if A/C screws up for sure!

  23. That's a lot of Red and a lot of legalese1 I actually understand that Latin because I just finished my B.S. in Criminal Justice (lol. Your RT has interest and is unusual, it makes a great post!

  24. Wow... You know Latin? "Widely open eyes"

    You are Super!
    And, you definitely worth more than this:

  25. i've always wanted to strike a gavel, just to see how it feels.:D

  26. Mei Teng,
    The Latin is starting to grow on me.

    A friend said I sound exotic speaking it. So I went to buy a CD of songs and am learning to sing in Latin. It's so much easier to sing than speak it! haha....

  27. napaboaniya,
    Actually the judges don't wear the robes in public and our courts are fully air-con.

    This is Singapore, so there will be a backup generator if the air-con breaks down. :)

  28. Amanda,
    A B.S. in Criminal Justice! Wow! I wonder if it can be applied to Singapore laws. I need coaching. :P

    This Latin phrases are making me sweat a lot! :D

  29. Everyday Healy,
    Hey, long time no see, girl!

    I'm only starting to pick it up. I will not be able to converse with it. :P

    Thanks for the award.

  30. luna,
    I not only had a chance to strike the gavel, I rang the bell and even pushed the buzzer! hehe....

  31. skywind,
    Just one FC per post.
    Could get yourself a link and more visits. :)

  32. res judicata (matter judged), pro bono (for public good), ex parte (like a representative) --- wweeehh how I understand them hihi...

    Now I read ur description and was close enough...:D The wig looke phenomenal!

  33. i don't recognize even one of those phrases! n neither do i know judges don't wear wig around here. it must the movies' fault. :p

  34. hahaha,,, cool one... I am finally back now... hope you can visit mine too... Happy WW!

  35. kitchenMaus,
    Whoa! You don't have to memorise!? :P

    The wig looks cool! I tried it on. :)

  36. Levian,
    Now you learnt a few Latin phrases, can go impress your friends. haha...

    Movies can be some drama. :D

  37. I had to study latin at school. I remember absolutely none of it now! Happy WW

  38. Justice is black here but with a lot of latin terms too.

  39. It will take sometime for me to pronounce these Latin words or to remember their meaning.I wonder why are some judges are still wearing those ugly wigs elsewhere in this modern ages.

  40. Great photos and a little learning experience on the side. Thanks.
    Have a great RT.

  41. Red, to enhance the ban of the law ? That's an interesting subject for Ruby Tuesday.

  42. Happy Ruby Tuesday...a very interesting post. I am relieved the heavy cloth for the robes has been lightened for the climate...I never understood how it was practical to have people cooking in their official robes. :)

    Sleek, glossy, lipstick red

  43. we should all go Google style in work attire esp in this unforgiving humidity!

  44. Great post Eastcoast! I've learned those phrases before, but I always forget what they mean - probably because I'm not involved in law (except for being a law abiding citizen!) Enjoy the day!

  45. Hey there ECL! Claim your Lemonade Award on MartyBLOGs today. A nice tall glass could cool off any judge wearing that old fashioned cloak and wig.

    Have a good one.

  46. Aw, why did they go and do away with the gavel? There's something more satisfying about pounding the gavel!

    Tink *~*~*
    Yet More Disney Characters Who Wear RED

  47. Hi ECL,

    heheh are you going to start a career in law now too?? heheheh Cute though, the only latin words I know are those that I use in my wiccan rites heheheh :) Hope all is well and that you had a restful week :) lots of hugs from the philippines for yah :)

  48. it seem it is so hard to learn that language.... Latin word make dizzy even just reading it.... lol I think start learning foreign language from now on.....

  49. Judges in Israel and the US (my two countries) don't wear white wigs, never have. I'm pretty sure they still use a gavel in the US though, not sure about Israel.

    PS Purple hair? Oh dear...

  50. Very interesting that these things are in to be found in Singapore museum. I thought the English were the only ones with wigs.
    In Norway they still were wide, black robes.
    Gives the juridic procedure more dignity and class.
    law should be about being fare and objective.
    Not trivial everyday looking people.
    Wow, I'm getting more and more conservative.
    Old age, I presume.
    From Felisol

  51. I love those red chairs. Thanks for sharing!

  52. i had a hard time pronouncing the phrases. LOL!