The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 08 June 2023

Ex iniuria ius non oritur

Guide to Latin in International Law

Aaron X. Fellmeth,

Maurice Horwitz

Ex iniuria ius non oritur  āks ēnyū´rē-a yūs nōn ō´rētūr .  eks injɜ´rē-u jus nan ō´ritɜr . 

“A right does not arise from wrongdoing.”

A maxim meaning that one cannot generally rely on a violation of law to establish a new legal right or to confirm a claimed right. E.g., “As Lauterpacht has indicated the maxim ex injuria ius non oritur is not so severe as to deny that any source of right whatever can accrue to third persons acting in good faith. Were it otherwise the general interest in the security of transactions would be too greatly invaded and the cause of minimizing needless hardship and friction would be hindered rather than helped.” Advisory Opinion on Legal Consequences For States Of The Continued Presence Of South Africa In Namibia (South West Africa) Notwithstanding Security Council Resolution 276 (1970), 1971 I.C.J. Rep. 16, 167 (separate opinion of Judge Dillard). An alternative formulation is Ius ex iniuria non oritur. Compare with Nullus commodum capere (potest) de sua iniuria propria.