Translation of The Latin maxim Salus Populi Suprema Lex is “Welfare of the people is the highest concern.” Salus Populi Suprema Lex, this particular maxim belongs to the law of Land Acquisition. When a government acquires land for development such as property for a dam, canals should be given away for moderate compensation.
The doctrine of Eminent Domain
The doctrine of eminent domain states, that the sovereign can do anything if the act of the sovereign involves public interest. The doctrine empowers the sovereign to acquire private land for public use, provided the public nature of the usage can be demonstrated beyond doubt.
Narmada Bachao Andolan vs Union Of India, 10 S.C.C. 664 , 18 October 2000
-Sardar Sarovar Dam was constructed on the Narmada river that runs in four States ( Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan ). -The forcible displacement of tribals and other marginal farmers from their la and other sources of livelihood for a project which was not in the national or p interest was a violation of their fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India
-The court however decided to allow the project to be completed.
The Goa Foundation And Another vs The Konkan Railway Corporation AIR 1992
– Railway line constructed from Ernakulam to Mumbai – Many people would lose their land on the way. – The railway construction would benefit a lot of people and will do more good than Harm. Hence court allowed the construction of the railway line.
Necessitas Publica Est Major Quam Privata
Requirements for the public good are stronger than those for the private good. Law imposes upon every subject that he or she must prefer urgent service of the country over service of his / her own. When this is applied to criminal law, then, in that case, a man’s necessity to preserve his / her own life will be defeated by the state’s necessity to preserve law and order.
Edutainment Salus Populi Suprema Lex Latin Maxim :
Salus Populi Suprema Lex
English Meaning of Salus Populi Suprema Lex: The welfare of the people must be the supreme law, ie the state must be administrated according to the Law and law must be made according to the welfare of the people at large.
” let the good of the people be supreme “
Famous political philosopher John Locke used this maxim in his book: Treaties on government ( 1689 ). Jokin Locke says: The people of a state have delegated their collective power to the sovereignty thus it is the very duty of the state to protect the people’s health. ( Economic social and political welfare ). Therefore in order to protect people state has to make laws for good administration and that law must not be opposed to public good IN.
” Regard for the public welfare is the supreme law ” Welfare of the people is the supreme law. The welfare of the people must be considered and regarded as the supreme law. Let the good or safety of the people be the supreme law. It relates to the fundamental principle which is the basis of law.
➤ Concept – It finds its origin as early as 100 BC 1AD in the book De Legibus written by Cicero the renowned philosopher, politician, and lawyer.
➤ It was also used by eminent personalities in politico-legal history such as John Locke and Francis Bacon.
➤ The concept serves as the foundation of Philippine law including all the Constitutions we have had and their corresponding amendments.
➤ This principle places the welfare of many above the welfare of the few.
➤ It is based on the implied agreement of every member of the society within the society, that his individual welfare shall, in case of necessity, yield to that of the society’s welfare; and that his property, liberty, and life shall, under certain circumstances be placed in jeopardy or even sacrificed for the public good.
➤ In public welfare, individuals sustain injury or damage to their property, for which laws give no action.
➤ The act of causing damage to the individual or private property for the public good may be justified on the principle of necessity.
➤ Thus principle of ” jus necessitatis ” ( i.e Necessity knows no law ) is based on this maxim.
➤ This principle of ” jus necessitatis ” enunciated in S.81 of the I.P.C states in order to avoid or prevent greater harm to a person or property, smaller harm can be caused. This is necessary for the public good.
➤ An act that is necessary is not wrongful, even though done with full deliberate intention.
CASE LAWS of Salus Populi Suprema Lex
2 ) Regina vs Dudley and Stephens, 14 Q.B.D. 273