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Crimen injuria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crimen injuria is a crime under South African common law, defined to be the act of "unlawfully,
intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another."
Although difficult to precisely define, the
crime is used in the prosecution of certain instances of road rage,
racially offensive
emotional or psychological abuse
and sexual offences against children.
The Truth and
Reconciliation Commission heard numerous cases of crimen injuria, usually coupled with assault, committed
by intelligence services on both sides of the struggle against apartheid.
The phrase "crimen injuria" seems to be a misunderstanding of the Latin phrase crimen iniuriae, which
should mean 'accusation of abusive behaviour'; the word crimen never means crime per se.
Furthermore, in Roman legal parlance, iniuria almost never refers to physical attack or abuse, although it is
often associated with it: Rather, iniuria translates better as "[specific instance of or action constituting]
injustice," i.e., "violation of rights" or "action to the prejudice of [another's] rights" (in, "not" or "against," +
ius/iuris, "[legal or natural-legal] right"), such that many iniuriae involve physical harm and many actions
inflicting physical harm constitute iniuria but neither set is a subset of the other. For example, physical harm
inflicted upon an aggressor by an innocent party acting in self-defense does not constitute iniuria unless the
legal system in question regards it as disproportionate (e.g., when a person uses lethal force in defense of
property alone), and assertions deemed defamatory by that system may constitute iniuria actionable in civil
or even criminal court even though they inflict no physical harm upon the person against whom they are

Clark, DM (2003). South African Law
Reform Commission Issue Paper 22 Project 130:
Stalking. [1] (
/22/): South African Law Commission.
ISBN 0-621-34410-9.
^ "Topic:Road Rage" (
/comm_pol/sector_policing/road_rage.htm). Sector
Policing. South African Police Service. Retrieved
^ Hanti, Otto (2006-08-09). "Man fined after racial
slur to top judge" (
art_id=vn20060808233813336C803510). IOL.
Retrieved 2007-07-10.
^ Paralegal Advice Website, Chapter 7: Family
Law and Violence against Women. [2]
/09.html): Paralegal Advice. 2006.
^ van Niekerk, Joan (2003). South African Law
Reform Commission Issue Paper 10 Project 108:
Sexual Offences Against Children. [3]
( South
African Law Commission. ISBN 0-621-27352-X.
Retrieved from ""
Categories: South African criminal law Crimes South African law stubs
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Crimen injuria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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