NIHIL NOVIT

NIHIL NOVIT

nihil novit (nI-hil noh-vit). [Law Latin] Scots law. He knew nothing. ? The phrase appeared in reference to a defendant’s oath denying any knowledge of the matter in issue.

¡°[A] defender may swear that he knows nothing of the matter referred, and so obtain absolvitor; but such an answer would not avail any defender in regard to a factum proprium. In regard to such a matter, an answer of nihil novit would, in the general case, be regarded as simply an evasion, and be treated as an admission of the debt.¡± John Trayner, Trayner’s Latin Maxims 387 (4th ed. 1894).


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