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“Ab abusu ad usum non valet consequentia” is a Latin legal maxim which translates to “from abuse to use, the consequence is not valid.” This principle suggests that the misuse or abuse of a right or privilege does not invalidate or negate the correct, lawful use of that same right or privilege.
Lawyers often use this maxim to argue that even if a law, rule, or right has been misused or abused in certain instances, it should not be completely discarded or deemed invalid because there are also instances where it is applied correctly and justly. It underscores the need for a nuanced approach in dealing with abuses of law or rights, rather than outright rejection or abolition.
For example, consider a situation where freedom of speech is being used to spread hate speech. A lawyer could argue, using this maxim, that while these individuals are indeed abusing their right to free speech, this does not mean the right to free speech itself is fundamentally flawed and should be eliminated. Instead, measures should be taken to prevent its misuse, while preserving the right for those who use it appropriately.