perjury

perjurious /peuhr joor"ee euhs/, adj.perjuriously, adv.perjuriousness, n.
/perr"jeuh ree/, n., pl. perjuries. Law.
the willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry.
[1250-1300; ME perjurie < AF < L perjurium, equiv. to perjur(us) swearing falsely (see PERJURE) + -ium -IUM; r. parjure < OF < L as above]

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In law, act or crime of knowingly making a false statement while under oath.

The statement must be material to the issue of inquiry. Perjuries that have the effect of obstructing the adjudication of a case may be given increased punishment for that reason. A person who makes a false statement and later corrects it is usually not considered to have committed perjury.

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law
      in law, the giving of false testimony under oath on an issue or point of inquiry regarded as material.

      Both traditional and modern legal systems have provisions for taking testimony under oath and mandate penalties for giving false testimony. Islamic law (Sharīʿah), for example, relies heavily on testimony under oath for criminal convictions. The teachings of Muhammad as recorded in the Qurʾān contain clear injunctions against making a false oath and specify penalties when it occurs.

      Perjury originally consisted of the giving of false evidence on oath to a court of law, but in the 19th century its definition was expanded to include the giving of false evidence under affirmation to other tribunals that have the authority of the law. Perjury may be committed by witnesses from either the prosecution or the defense (or by witnesses on either side in civil litigation) and in proceedings before the jury or after the verdict in proceedings leading to sentence.

      To be guilty of perjury, an accused person must exhibit criminal intent—i.e., the person must make a false statement and must either know the statement to be false or not believe it to be true. In addition, the false statement must be material to the matters at issue in the proceedings; a person normally may not be charged with perjury if the prosecutor has elicited the false testimony solely to obtain evidence for the charge of perjury. A person who makes a false statement but later corrects it has not committed perjury. In many jurisdictions the law imposes special requirements for the proof of perjury; one such requirement is that a person cannot be convicted of perjury on the testimony of only one witness.

      The giving of false testimony under oath distinguishes perjury from criminal contempt, which is an obstruction of the administration of justice, usually in violation of an order of the court. Some perjuries that have the effect of obstructing the adjudication of a case may be given increased punishment for that reason. Generally, however, punishment is directed less against the effect of the perjury than against the disregard of the oath itself. Thus, a person who commits perjury numerous times during the adjudication of a case may be convicted of only a single perjury, though the punishment may be increased.

      Crimes associated with perjury include subornation of perjury (persuading other persons to commit perjury or knowing of another's perjury and failing to make that information known to authorities) and a wide variety of statutory offenses involving making false statements in official documents (such as an application for a driver's license).

Thomas J. Bernard
 

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • perjury — per·ju·ry / pər jə rē/ n pl ries [Anglo French perjurie parjurie, from Latin perjurium, from perjurus deliberately giving false testimony, from per detrimental to + jur jus law]: the act or crime of knowingly making a false statement (as about a… …   Law dictionary

  • Perjury — Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under oath or affirmation in a court of law or in any of various sworn statements in writing. It is important that the false… …   Wikipedia

  • Perjury — • The crime and sin of taking a false oath Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Perjury     Perjury     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • perjury — per‧ju‧ry [ˈpɜːdʒəri ǁ ˈpɜːr ] noun [uncountable] LAW the crime of telling a lie after promising to tell the truth in a court of law: • A company official committed perjury during the trial. * * * perjury UK US /ˈpɜːdʒəri/ noun [U] ► LAW the… …   Financial and business terms

  • Perjury — Per ju*ry, n.; pl. {Perjuries}. [L. perjurium. See {Perjure}, v.] 1. False swearing. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) At common law, a willfully false statement in a fact material to the issue, made by a witness under oath in a competent judicial… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • perjury — late 14c., act of swearing to a statement known to be false, via Anglo Fr. parjurie (late 13c.) and O.Fr. parjurie, both from L. perjurium false oath, from perjurare swear falsely, from per away, entirely (see PER (Cf. per)) + jurare to swear… …   Etymology dictionary

  • perjury — [n] lying while under oath deceitfulness, deception, dishonesty, falsehood, false oath, false swearing, false testimony, falsification, untruth, untruthfulness; concepts 63,278 …   New thesaurus

  • perjury — ► NOUN Law ▪ the offence of deliberately telling an untruth in court when under oath …   English terms dictionary

  • perjury — [pʉr′jə rē] n. pl. perjuries [ME < OFr parjurie < L perjurium < perjurus, false, breaking oath < per, through + jus (gen. juris), a right, justice: see JURY1] 1. the willful telling of a lie while under lawful oath or affirmation to… …   English World dictionary

  • PERJURY — Witnesses are guilty of perjury if it is proved, by the evidence of at least two other competent and consistent witnesses, that they had not been present at the time and at the place where they had testified to have been when the event in issue… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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