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Delict Notes

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This is an extract of our Delict document, which we sell as part of our Roman Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Roman Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Delict

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Wrongs against a person, his family, or his property - private law. Delict arose from a wrongful or intention act/omission. Under early law, there would have been some sort of vengeance allowed. Sometimes it was retaliation, enslavement etc. Actions in personam - they end in death, unless the praetor grans the heir a right. If many committed a delict, each was personally liable for the full damage.

INJURIA

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"The residual delict for intentional wrongs to the personality with a comprehensive range - assault and battery, defamation, trespass, exercise of servitude without a claim of right, etc." - Thomas

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Wilful and unjustifiable violation of the rights of a freeman to freedom, safety and reputation - corpus, fama and dignitias.

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The claim is for personal insult - it's not defamation where there has to be damage. Penalty:

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Under XII tables asses for a broken bone, but retaliation for limb. Praetor introduced the actio injuriarum: C estimated his damage and the judge ruled what was reasonable. Limitation period of one year. Not available for mere negligence (intention only) and self defence could be argued. Note that there could be mistaken injuria Each person affected by the act could bring their own action. A slave had no action but his master could raise personal injuria. In later law, consequent damage could be claimed.

Requirements:

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Contumelia - insult

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Intention to insult - note the reference to the bootmaker in D.9.2.5.3 whose purpose is not to insult but to teach.

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The insult was not justified

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C had hurt feelings - later relaxed so he could claim if he heard of the insult later. Injuria atrox:

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Especially outrageous harm resulted in higher damages: ex persona because of a person's position e.g. senator, ex facto because of the nature of the act, ex loco because of the public nature of the incident, or ex loco vulneris because of the vulnerable nature of the body part injured.

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