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Latin. A common error makes law. What was at first illegal, being repeated many times, is presumed to have acquired the force of usage, and then it would be wrong to depart from it. The converse of this maxim is communis error no facit jus. A common error does not make law.


Common error (or wrong) gives a law or right. This may be sometimes the case, as what was illegal at first, may in the course of years become an incontrovertible right. Lord Kenyan, in the case of Rex v. The inhabitants of Eriswell, Durnf. & Easts Rep. said, ' I perfectly well recollect Mr. Justice Foster say, that he had heard that communis error facit jus, but I hope I shall never hear that rule insisted on, setting up a misconstruction of the law, a destruction of the law.'

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