Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges Law & Legal Definition


Inter arma enim silent lex is a Latin phrase meaning "In times of war, the law falls silent." Generally administrators usually try to suspend civilian rights during war time. For instance, President Lincoln requested for an opinion on the suspension of a basic right, to habeas corpus, during the Civil War and the court held that the president cannot suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, nor authorize a military officer to do it. At times, courts have upheld this maxim. Erosion of citizens' rights during World War II were upheld by the Supreme Court by holding that the application of curfews against members of a minority group were constitutional when the nation was at war with the country from which that group originated.