Meaning: Where there is a right there is a remedy.
The principle of this maxim has been at all times recognised in this country. Probably, in former times, it was more looked to as a guide than at present, inasmuch as the remedies provided by the law- were not then so numerous, nor so well understood or applied in redressing grievances, and first principles had to be more regarded in the recognition of an evil, and the finding a suitable remedy.
At the present day, however, remedies seem to be in advance of rights, and the Legislature seems to anticipate defects by its numerous and comprehensive enactments ; but still the maxim exists, and is ready, when necessary, to supply every defect and lend its aid to redress every wrong.
Though the remedy here alluded to may be said to apply to all possible abuse of right by wrong, by whomsoever and from whatever cause arising, it may, however, be more particularly said to apply to all those cases where the common or statute law gives a right, or prohibits a wrong ; and generally, whether or not any actual damage has arisen from violation of the right.
It must be borne in mind, that the right alluded to is one in contemplation of law, and not what any one chooses to think or to call a right, and therefore, if A. have a house, built within twenty years, and B., in digging out the foundation for an adjoining house, cause injury to the house of A., A. has no remedy for the injury so done to his house ; for, by law he had not acquired a right as against the owner of the adjoining land to prevent him so digging out such foundation ; though probably A. might, in such case, think it hard' that his house should be injured by no act of his own, and that therefore his right had been invaded, and that there ought to be some remedy for him in such a case. As this maxim shows that there is no right without a remedy, so there are others which show that where there is such right, the law will provide the remedy ; as, “ Lex semper dabit remedium ;” and also, that where the law gives anything it gives the means also of obtaining it : L'ou le ley done chose, la ceo done remedie a vener a ceo“. It has been said that redress for injuries is the right of every Englishman. The words of Magna Carta, spoken in the person of the King ; who, in judgment of law, says Sir Ed. Coke, is always present in all his courts repeating them, are these, ” Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus, aut differimus rectum vel justitiam“ and therefore, every subject for injury done to him in bonis, in terris, vel persona, by any other subject without exception, may take his remedy by course of law, and have justice and right for the injury done to him, freely without sale, fully without denial, and speedily without delay.
It is also said, that by possibility there might be a wrong decision in the House of Lords, which would be a wrong without a remedy, for from that tribunal there is no appeal. Our criminal law, in those cases which are without appeal, may also be considered as affording another instance of the apparent in application of the maxim. And so our County Courts in those cases in which there is no appeal from the decision of the judge, and in like cases in all other courts, as well superior as inferior. And so it is with all authorities and powers exercising an arbitrary or strict legal authority without reference to the particular circumstances of each case ; but as the instances just given are not wrongs in contemplation of law, they probably cannot be said to contravene the maxim.