Salus civitatis in legibus sita est.
(M. Tullius Cicero, In Verrem 2.1.4, adapted)
The safety of the state is situated in the laws.
pron = SAH-loos kih-wih-TAH-tis in LEG-gih-boos SEE-tah ehst.
Comment: Cicero has in mind the safety of the "state" of Rome, of the
Republic, so we should be careful not to hear him defending individual
rights or civil rights. Those would have been foreign, still, for
him. However, his idea is transferrable. The safety of what a
society values does reside in its laws.
If a society, such as ours, historicaly places great value in things
like due process, the right to face one's accusers, a speedy trial,
and the protection against cruel and unusual punishment, then change
in those laws, according to this proverb, establishes a real threat
against the safety of a society such as ours.
(Used with permission)
Latin Proverb of the Day Archive