Nemo auditur propriam turpitudinem allegans

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Nemo auditur propriam turpitudinem allegans is a civil law maxim[1] which may be translated into English as "no one can be heard to invoke his own turpitude"[2] or "no one shall be heard, who invokes his own guilt".[3] The maxim operated with another, in pari causa turpitudinis cessat repetitio (where both parties are guilty, no one may recover), to preclude a court from intervening in a dispute involving an unlawful transaction.[2][3]

On 30 June 1950, during the 475th meeting of the United Nations Security Council when discussing the validity of resolutions made in the absence of one of the permanent members, the French delegate invoked the maxim.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wade, John W. (Feb 1947). "Restitution of Benefits Acquired through Illegal Transactions". University of Pennsylvania Law Review. 95 (3): 261–305 at 263. JSTOR 3309617.
  2. ^ a b Enonchong, Nelson (Jan 1995). "Effects of Illegality: A Comparative Study in French and English Law". The International and Comparative Law Quarterly. Cambridge University Press on behalf of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. 44 (1): 196–213 at 202. doi:10.1093/iclqaj/44.1.196. JSTOR 760867.
  3. ^ a b Cumyn, Michelle (22–26 August 2004). Nullity of contracts in Québec Law : an overview and comparison with the Common Law of illegal contracts (PDF). Uniform Law Conference of Canada. Regina, Saskatchewan. footnote 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  4. ^ Yuen-Li Liang (Oct 1950). "Abstention and Absence of a Permanent Member in Relation to the Voting Procedure in the Security Council". The American Journal of International Law. American Society of International Law. 44 (4): 694–708 at 704. JSTOR 2194987. At the 475th meeting of the Council on June 30, 1950, the representative of France, commenting on the above-mentioned statement of the Soviet Government, invoked the old adage of Roman law, "Nemo auditur propriam turpitudinem allegans," and observed that "the delegation of the Soviet Union, by abandoning the Council, has abandoned the Charter. When it returns to the one and to the other, it will find again its right of speech, of criticism, of vote and of veto. So long as it has not done so, the U.S.S.R. Government has no legal or moral basis for contesting the action of the United Nations." Security Council, Official Records, 5th Year, No. 17, p. 8.