The law is defined as a regime that governs human activities and relationships by the systematic application of the force of a politically organised society or through social pressure in such a society. Everyone is expected to respect and obey the law in the legal system.
With a few exceptions, practically all of our actions are governed by law. Civil, criminal, personal, family, revenue, public and private international law, and so on are all sorts of law. However, it is commonly understood that ignorance of any of these regulations does not constitute an alibi.
Ignorantia legis non excusat
The Latin maxim states that ignorance of a legal requirement or restriction is never an excuse for committing a crime. I In English, the concept is usually expressed as “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” And it’s often abbreviated to ignorantia juris.
The maxim is also known as ‘ignorantia legis non excusat,’ ‘ignorantia juris haud excusat,’ and ‘ignorantia juris neminem excusat,’ which means ‘ignorance of the law excuses no one.’
The presumption that everyone is, rather obligation bound, to know the law underpins the premise behind the notion of maxim.
As a result, ignorance of these matters, which everyone should be aware of, does not exonerate anyone. It is essentially a legal fiction, according to scholars, that was constructed out of necessity for the sake of convenience. As a result, even if made in good faith, a legal error that is made without analysing the rationale behind it cannot serve as a basis for acquittal.
If the maxim is eased, any defendant can claim ignorance of the law. As a result, the prosecution’s burden of proof will be nearly impossible to meet. As a result, dismantling the tool that is required for successful justice administration is not advisable.
Even a simple reading of sections 76 and 79 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, with special attention to the words ‘who by reason of a mistake of fact and not by reason of a mistake of law in good faith believes’, reveals that the sections protect only people who make mistakes of fact, not people who make mistakes of law.
This is founded on the common law maxim ignorantia facti excusat, ignorantia juris non excusat, which states that ignorance of fact justifies but not ignorance of law.
In India, A, a foreigner, kills B in a duel. Duelling, he argues, is legal in India. ‘A’ has committed murder. The conduct done by ‘A’ was a specific act that, for the first time, became a statutory offence. ‘A’ establishes that did not know the time the statute was passed and could not have known about it.
This is not an acceptable defence.
People who disobey the law will be punished, regardless of whether they are aware of the legislation preventing or allowing their action, which may be considered a crime, according to the concept. The doctrine’s underlying idea, however, is not that everyone should be aware of every legal provision. However, it is for the greater public welfare that effective justice administration is possible.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge