Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Executio Juris Non Habet Injuriam Definition:

Latin: The execution of the law does no injury.

Related Terms: Actus Regis Nemini Est Damnosa

Very similar, if not interchangeable with actus legis nemini est damnosa.

Executio juris non habet injuriam, other than a few mentions in the aged English Reports, has become verba fata and is practically an oxymoron since once execution is required, it implies the use of the apparatus of justice to retrieve something by force if necessary.

For the record, Jeremy Gilman wrote of the maxim and its shortcomings in the Case Western Reserve Law Review:

"The Latin maxim executio juris non habet injuriam (the execution of the law does no injury) is not entirely true.

"Execution sales often severely injure those who have invested in encumbered property thinking it to be fully marketable. The blow is especially merciless to purchasers of goods and chattels who risk some or all of their capital outlay on the tenuous prospect that an unknown rightful owner will not surface in the future with a claim on the property purchased at the sale."

Executio juris non habet injuriamExecutio juris non habet injuriam was mentioned by Herbert Broom in his much-cited treatise on Latin maxims as one of the most important maxims.

In Lock v Ashton, the reports summarize the submissions of counsel as was customary at the time in the law reports. One argument quoted executio juris non habet injuriam to show another use of the maxim:

"The liability of the defendant up to the time when the plaintiff was taken before a magistrate is not disputed; but, at that stage of the proceeding, a duty is cast upon the magistrate by statute: he was bound to hear the charge, and, if made out, to commit the party, although the informant might desire his discharge; and the maxim executio juris non habet injuriam applies. The party who sets the law in motion by laying the information is not liable unless he acted maliciously and without reasonable and probable cause."

REFERENCES:

  • Gilman, Jeremy, Rethinking the Role of Caveat Emptor in Execution Sales, 32 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 735 (1981-1982)
  • Lock v Ashton, 13 Jurist 167 (1848)

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