delict

/di likt"/, n.
1. Law. a misdemeanor; offense.
2. Roman and Civil Law. a civil wrong permitting compensation.
[1515-25; < L delictum a fault, n. use of neut. of delictus (ptp. of delinquere to do wrong; see DELINQUENCY), equiv. to delic- fail + -tus ptp. suffix]

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      in Roman law, an obligation to pay a penalty because a wrong had been committed. Not until the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD were public crimes separated from private crimes and removed to criminal courts; from that time, civil action remained the remedy for private abuses. In modern usage in countries that derive their law from the Roman, delict signifies a wrong in its civil aspects, corresponding to tort in Anglo-American law.

      The Roman civil law of delict was essentially punitive, although fines were understood as compensation, often at double and triple damages, and were paid to the injured person rather than to the state. There were four major types of delict: furtum (theft), rapina (robbery), injuria (injury), and damnum injuria datum (loss caused by damage to property).

      In the treatment of injuria the Twelve Tables, the earliest codification of Roman law (451–450 BC), showed the law in a state of transition from a system of private vengeance to one in which the state insisted that the person wronged must accept compensation instead of taking vengeance and fixed its amount. If a man broke another's limb, talion, by which the person wronged could inflict the same injury, was still permitted, but only if no settlement was agreed upon. It is doubtful if retaliation was ever used. In early times damages for each offense were set by law, but changes in the value of money made these obsolete. Later, some leeway was allowed in the determination of damages in each case. Further, injuria no longer included just physical assault but also defamation and insulting behaviour.

      The provisions of the Twelve Tables concerning damnum injuria datum (property loss) are not known, but in any case they were superseded by the Lex Aquila in the early 3rd century BC. This law covered slaves and animals as well as buildings. If a slave or a grazing animal was unlawfully killed, the damages were equal to the highest value of the slave or animal in the preceding year; the burning, breaking, or destruction of other kinds of property brought compensation amounting to the highest value in the last 30 days. In either case, the damage must have been caused by a wrong or negligent act.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • delict — DELÍCT, delicte, s.n. Fapt nepermis de legea penală; infracţiune de mai mică gravitate, care se sancţionează cu amendă penală sau cu închisoare corecţională. – Din lat. delictum. cf. fr. d é l i t. Trimis de RACAI, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98 … …   Dicționar Român

  • delict — de·lict /di likt/ n [Latin delictum misdeed, offense, from neuter past participle of delinquere to commit (an offense), err] 1 in the civil law of Louisiana: offense (2); esp: an offense other than breach of contract that creates an obligation… …   Law dictionary

  • delict — Delict, Delictum. Attaint et convaincu d un delict, Manifestus delicti, Tacit. Punir les delicts, Coercere delicta suppliciis. Horat. Le delict commun, Crimen translatitium, Crimen simpliciter dictum, Criminatio translatitia. B …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Delict — De*lict , n. [L. delictum fault.] (Law) An offense or transgression against law; (Scots Law) an offense of a lesser degree; a misdemeanor. [1913 Webster] Every regulation of the civil code necessarily implies a delict in the event of its… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • delict — 1520s, from L. delictum fault, offense, crime, neut. sing. of pp. of delinquere (see DELINQUENT (Cf. delinquent)). Phrase in flagrant delict translates L. in flagrante delicto …   Etymology dictionary

  • Delict — Delict, Vergehen, das zu Schadenersatz und in bestimmten Fällen auch zur Privatstrafe verpflichtet. Im weitern Sinn auch Verbrechen …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • delict — [di likt′] n. [L delictum, a fault < pp. of delinquere: see DELINQUENCY] Law an offense; wrong or injury …   English World dictionary

  • Delict — In civil law, a delict is an intentional or negligent act which gives rise to a legal obligation between parties even though there has been no contract between them. Due to the large number of civil law systems in the world, it is hard to state… …   Wikipedia

  • delict — Criminal offense; tort; a wrong. In Roman law this word, taken in its most general sense, is wider in both directions than our English term tort. On the one hand, it includes those wrongful acts which, while directly affecting some individual or… …   Black's law dictionary

  • delict — noun Etymology: Latin delictum fault, from neuter of delictus, past participle of delinquere Date: 1523 an offense against the law …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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