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A wrong (from
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family, with its earliest forms spoken by the inhabitants of early medieval ...
– 'crooked') is an act that is illegal or immoral. Legal wrongs are usually quite clearly defined in the law of a state and/or
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin 'law' + 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. J ...
. They can be divided into
civil wrong Civil may refer to: * Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit * Civil affairs * Civil and political rights * Civil disobedience * Civil engineering * Civil (journalism), a platform for independent journalism * Civilian, someone not ...
s and
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in C ...
s (or ''criminal offenses'') in
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipres ...
countries, while civil law countries tend to have some additional categories, such as contraventions. Moral wrong is an underlying concept for legal wrong. Some moral wrongs are punishable by law, for example, rape or
murder Murder is the unlawful killing of another human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large and complex brain. This ...
. Other moral wrongs have nothing to do with law, but are related to unethical behaviours. On the other hand, some legal wrongs, such as many types of parking offences, could hardly be classified as moral wrongs.


Legal wrong

A violation of law is any act (or, less commonly, failure to act) that fails to abide by existing law. Violations generally include both
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in C ...
s and
civil wrong Civil may refer to: * Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit * Civil affairs * Civil and political rights * Civil disobedience * Civil engineering * Civil (journalism), a platform for independent journalism * Civilian, someone not ...
s. Some acts, such as
fraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compe ...
, can violate both civil and criminal laws. In law, a wrong can be a legal injury, which is any damage resulting from a violation of a legal right. A legal wrong can also imply the state of being contrary to the principles of justice or law. It means that something is contrary to conscience or morality and results in treating others unjustly. If the loss caused by a wrong is minor enough, there is no compensation, which principle is known as '' de minimis non curat lex''. Otherwise, damages apply. The law of England recognised the concept of a "wrong" before it recognised the distinction between
civil wrong Civil may refer to: * Civic virtue, or civility *Civil action, or lawsuit * Civil affairs * Civil and political rights * Civil disobedience * Civil engineering * Civil (journalism), a platform for independent journalism * Civilian, someone not ...
s (governed by civil law) and
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Crime, definitions of", in C ...
s (defined by
criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accep ...
), which distinction was developed during the thirteenth century. Civil law violations usually lead to civil penalties like fines, criminal offenses to more severe
punishment Punishment, commonly, is the imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome upon a group or individual, meted out by an authority—in contexts ranging from child discipline to criminal law—as a response and deterrent to a particular a ...
s. The severity of the punishment should reflect the severity of the violation (
retributive justice Retributive justice is a theory of punishment Punishment, commonly, is the imposition of an undesirable or unpleasant outcome upon a group or individual, meted out by an authority—in contexts ranging from child discipline to criminal ...
). In realistic situations and for minor violations, however, altruistic punishment was shown not 'to fit the crime'. This subdivision is similar to the distinction between misdemeanours, and felonies. Other examples of violations of law include: *
Infraction A summary offence or petty offence is a violation in some common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of bei ...
, in United States law, minor or petty offenses that do not require jury trial. In common usage, "violations" are treated as synonymous with infraction. * Willful violation, in U.S. law an act with intentional disregard for a regulation, statute and policy * Infringement, various violations of laws or rights, usually used in the context of intellectual property ** e.g. copyright violation * Breach of contract * Probation violation * against traffic rules ** Moving violation, any violation of law committed by a driver while the vehicle is in motion ** Parking violation, parking a motor vehicle in a restricted place or an unauthorized manner


See also

* Error *
Evil Evil, in a general sense, is defined as the opposite or absence of good In most contexts, the concept of good denotes the conduct that should be preferred when posed with a choice between possible actions. Good is generally considered to b ...
* Goodness and value theory * Guilt (law) * Illegalism *
Justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspective ...
* Moral rights * Natural and legal rights * Rights


References


Bibliography

*Willis, Hugh. ''Principles of the Law of Damages''. The Keefe-Davidson Co.: St. Paul, 1910.


External links

{{Set index article Criminal law Concepts in ethics Civil law (common law) Legal doctrines and principles