Crimen injuria

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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."[1] Although difficult to precisely define, the crime is used in the prosecution of certain instances of road rage,[2] stalking,[1] racially offensive language,[3] emotional or psychological abuse[4] and sexual offences against children.[5] 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 is Latin, short for crimen injuria datum, meaning "offence committed without lawful cause".


  1. ^ a b Clark, DM (2003). South African Law Reform Commission Issue Paper 22 Project 130: Stalking. [1]: South African Law Commission. ISBN 0-621-34410-9.CS1 maint: location (link)
  2. ^ "Topic:Road Rage". Sector Policing. South African Police Service. Archived from the original on 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  3. ^ Hanti, Otto (2006-08-09). "Man fined after racial slur to top judge". IOL. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  4. ^ Paralegal Advice Website, Chapter 7: Family Law and Violence against Women. [2]: Paralegal Advice. 2006.CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ 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.CS1 maint: location (link)