He discusses the defence of ex turpi causa in detail. Meaning Whenever a person does an unlawful act, the person who suffers loss because of such an act has the right to claim remedy against him in the court. For e. But in some cases, the plaintiff is not allowed to claim damages from the defendant because he himself has committed an illegal act and therefore he cannot get any remedy in the court. This is known as Ex turpi causa non oritur actio, which means that no action can arise from an illegal act.
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The objection, that a contract is immoral or illegal as between plaintiff and defendant, sounds at all times very ill in the mouth of the defendant. It is not for his sake, however, that the objection is ever allowed; but it is founded in general principles of policy, which the defendant has the advantage of, contrary to the real justice, as between him and the plaintiff, by accident, if I may say so.
The principle of public policy is this; ex dolo malo non oritur actio ["no action arises from deceit"]. No court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action upon an immoral or an illegal act. It is upon that ground the court goes; not for the sake of the defendant, but because they will not lend their aid to such a plaintiff. So if the plaintiff and defendant were to change sides, and the defendant was to bring his action against the plaintiff, the latter would then have the advantage of it; for where both were equally in fault, potior est conditio defendentis ["stronger is the position of the defendant"].
See also: English tort law In the law of tort , the principle would prevent a criminal from bringing a claim against for example a fellow criminal. In National Coal Board v England ,  Lord Asquith said, If two burglars, A and B, agree to open a safe by means of explosives, and A so negligently handles the explosive charge as to injure B, B might find some difficulty in maintaining an action for negligence against A.
It is not absolute in effect. For example, in Revill v Newbery  an elderly allotment holder was sleeping in his shed with a shotgun , to deter burglars. On hearing the plaintiff trying to break in, he shot his gun through a hole in the shed, injuring the plaintiff. At first instance, the judge awarded damages on the basis that the defendant had used violence in excess of the reasonable limits allowed by lawful self-defence and was negligent to the standard of care expected of a reasonable man who found himself in such a situation.
On appeal the defendant raised the defence of ex turpi causa, but the Court of Appeal held that while public interest required that someone should not benefit from his illegal conduct, different considerations applied in cases arising in tort as opposed to those in a property or contract context. Old common law authorities and the Law Commission report Liability for Damage or Injury to Trespassers acknowledged the existence of some duty towards trespassers and the defendant could not rely on the doctrine to relieve himself of liability.
The precise scope of the doctrine is not certain. In some cases, it seems that the illegality prevents a duty of care arising in the first place. For example, in Ashton v Turner  the defendant injured the plaintiff by crashing the car they sat in together in the course of fleeing the scene of a burglary they had committed together.
Ewbank J held that the court may not recognise a duty of care in such cases as a matter of public policy. Similarly, in Pitts v Hunt  the Court of Appeal rationalised this approach, saying that it was impossible to decide the appropriate standard of care in cases where the parties were involved in illegality.
If the illegality vanishes by result of legislative action such as if the law that made the act that caused the injury was a crime is repealed or some subsequent court case where the law is declared invalid , the tort action will stand.
In the case of Martin v. Ziherl , the two parties were girlfriend and boyfriend until Martin discovered Ziherl had given her herpes. Zysk since having sex with someone they were not married to was technically the crime of fornication, Martin could not sue Ziherl because she got herpes as result of the illegal act. Martin argued the act was unconstitutional.
The court agreed with Ziherl and against Martin. Texas that noncommercial, private intimacy was a protected right, the law making fornication a crime was unconstitutional, thus Martin could now sue since the law that made having sex with someone they were not married to was struck down as void.
See also: English trusts law In other cases, the courts view ex turpi as a defence where otherwise a claim would lie, again on grounds of public policy. In Tinsley v Milligan  Nicholls LJ in the Court of Appeal spoke of the court having to "weigh or balance the adverse consequences of granting relief against the adverse consequences of refusing relief". The plaintiff was ultimately successful in Tinsley v Milligan in the House of Lords , which allowed the claim on the grounds that the plaintiff did not need to rely on the illegality.
Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio Definition:
No action arises on an immoral contract. The best example of this principle can be an injury to a person, who is driving a stolen car the person is aware about the fact that the car is stolen. This maxim applies not only to tort law but also to contract, restitution, property and trusts. This principle is one of the widely used by the lawyers of the defendant party as it allows the defendant to escape his liability even though he is guilty of an unlawful act.
ex turpi causa non oritur actio
Ltd vs Smt. Surinder Kaur Scintronix Corp Ltd Chief Constable of the Greater Manchester Police Pitts v Hunt  3 All ER 5. Walsh v. Trebilcock, 23 S.
Ex Dolo Malo Non Oritur Actio Law and Legal Definition
Related Terms: Jus Ex Injuria Non Oritur , Equity , Clean Hands In other words, if one is engaged in illegal activity, one cannot sue another for damages that arose out of that illegal activity. This old and well known legal maxim is founded on good sense, and expresses a clear and well recognized legal principle which is not confined to indictable offences. No court ought to enforce an illegal contract or allow itself to be made the instrument of enforcing obligations alleged to arise out of a contract or transaction which is illegal, if the illegality is duly brought to the notice of the court, and if the person invoking the aid of the court is himself implicated in the illegality. It matters not whether the defendant has pleaded the illegality or whether he has not.