Ex turpi causa non oritur actio

Ex turpi causa non oritur actio – this legal phrase comes from Latin. Literally it means “of an illegal act there can be no lawsuit”. In the legal practice, it finds application in the area of Tort Law in many jurisdictions. There it states that if one person is involved in performance of illegal action, then he/she cannot pursue remedy and to sue the injured for damages that arose out of this illegal action. An example in the Civil Law would be if you try to break your neighbor’s fence, but you injure yourself during breaking it. Then you cannot claim compensation from your neighbor for the injury of your arm, resulted from your own wrongful action. Another example lays in the Criminal Law, where if a person tries to steal a car, but brakes their arm. In both cases there could be no tort claim for damages for the injured wrongdoer against the property owner, under the ex turpi causa non oritur actio principle. Nowadays  called “illegality defense” in the Tort Law.

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