Jus Eminens Law and Legal Definition

Jus Eminens is the supreme power of the state over its members and whatever belongs to them. It is the basis of the right of eminent domain.

To each and every sovereignty, which is the supreme power which governs the body politic or society that constitutes the State, belong certain rights which are deemed essential to its existence. These are called by the civilians jura majestatis, or rights of sovereignty. Among them is the jus eminens or the supreme power of the State over its members and whatever belongs to them. When applied to property alone, it is called the dominium eminens, of the right of eminent domain. That is, the right of the sovereignty to use the property of its members for the public good or public necessity. [Gilmer v. A Certain Tract of Land, 18 Cal. 229 (Cal. 1861)]