The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol 265 No 7106p114
July 22, 2000 Onlooker
A great number of solemn statements which we hear in daily living look threadbare if subjected to scrutiny. For conventional legal and administrative minds, for example, there are Latin maxims which have been honoured without much reason for generations, until they are held in much the same light as the sacred mantras of Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. Take, for instance, the expression De minimis non curat lex [The law does not concern itself with trifles], which sounds fine until you come across two rival advocates who insist on minute details to argue their case. Then you cannot regard Lex reprobat moram [The law dislikes delay] with much respect if you have ever had to endure the endless procrastinations in pursuing a case over the years, and calculated how many lawyers have made a rich living while it lasted. Again, Lex prospicit, non respicit [The law looks forward, not backward] is difficult to appreciate when you consider that any legal process involves looking backwards for precedents and never projects judgments further than it can see. And Respice finem [Look to the end] may be very sound advice, but possible outcomes are almost impossible to forecast, and by the time you reach them the whole reasoning may have been turned on its head.
The soundest maxim is that there is no time like the present, and I cannot at the moment recollect any Latin tag that expresses that view.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20002289
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