ACTION, in Law, is the process by which redress is sought in a court of justice for the violation of a legal right. The word is used by jurists in three different senses. Sometimes it is spoken of as a right - the right, namely, of instituting the legal process; sometimes, and more properly, it means the legal process itself ; and sometimes the particular form which it assumes. The most universally recognised division of actions is the division established by the Roman lawyers into actions in rem and in personam. An action in rent asserts a right to a particular thing as against all the world; an action in personant asserts a right only as against a particular person. For the sake of convenience, the law relating to actions ought to form a separate section by itself in a properly constructed code.
In Roman law the action passed through three historical stages - In the first period, which was brought to an end by the Lex ./Ebutia, about 573 A.U.C., the system of legis actiones prevailed. These were five in number, - the actio sacramenti, per jvdicis postulationem, per condictionem, per =anus injeetionem, per pignoris cap. tionem. The first was the primitive and characteristic action of the Roman law, and the others were little more than modes of applying it to cases not contemplated in the original form, or of carrying the result of it into execution when the action had been decided.