In law of torts, we all have come across the terms
‘Damnum Sine Injuria’
and ‘Injuria Sine Damnum
’ . We often get confused as to
the meaning of these two legal terms . Let us clear our concept by understanding
the basic concept and the difference between the two.
The word Damnum
is a Latin word which means Damage.
The word Sine
is also a Latin word meaning Without; and
The word Injuria
which is also a Latin word means injury of the Lawful personal
Thus the word Damnum Sine Injuria
means any damage which is caused apart from
the harm as well as prejudice or in simple terms it means Damage done without
the violation of legal rights.
Therefore, a brief explanation of this term is given below:
Damnum Sine Injuria as the meaning suggests is a situation where a damage of any
kind is done to another person without violating the legal rights of the other
person. For example, A, a shop owner sells stationery items to primary school
students for three years and next to A’s shop, B opens another stationary shop
and sells his items at a lower price compared to A’s. Now, A cannot sue B as he
did not violate any of the legal rights of A because by opening a shop just next
to A is no illegal act. Therefore, in this case, although A suffered sufficient
monetary loss in his business , he cannot sue B for opening another stationary
shop. So, we can say A was a victim of Damnum Sine Injuria
A person committing Damnum Sine Injuria cannot be sued in the court of law.
In Gloucester Grammar School’s case
, the defendant was a teacher who was
teaching in Gloucester Grammar school and due to some disputes he left the
school and opened his own school and even reduced the fees from 40 pence, which
was charged in Gloucester Grammar School to 12 pence . As a result, the students
started leaving the Gloucester Grammar school and joined the defendants school
due to the lower fees. This resulted in a loss for the Gloucester school.
The plaintiff sued the defendant for trespassing their franchise and demanded
damages caused by for the monetary loss caused by the defendant.
The court held that the defendant who opened the rival school would not be
liable for the monetary loss that occurred to the plaintiff. Though there has
been loss suffered to the plaintiff by the act of the defendant, still he would
not be getting any damages for the monetary loss by the defendant
The court also held that this case covers the essentials of the maxim Damnum
Sine Injuria and therefore the defendant did not violate any legal right of the
plaintiff even though the plaintiff suffered monetary loss. Therefore, the
plaintiff was not given any damages for his monetary loss as the essentials of
Damnum Sine Injuria were met.
This is all about Damnum Sine Injuria.
Injuria Sine Damnum
The maxim Injuria Sine Damnum is just the opposite of Damnum Sine Injuria.
Injuria means injury of the Lawful persons
Sine means without
Damnum means damage
Thus, the maxim Injuria Sine Damnum means the legal injury caused to the
plaintiff without any damage to the physical injury or in simple terms it means
a situation where no damage has been caused by a particular act , but that act
violated a legal right of another.
Therefore, even by an act of any person , no damage is caused to the other ,but
there has been a violation of the legal right of the other person ,then the
person committing such violation will be held guilty even if no damage has been
For example, A, a person was on his way to give his vote to favorite
leader but he was not allowed by B to give the vote as he did not had necessary
documents to show that he was an eligible voter. A, kept on saying that he was
an eligible voter and was backed by necessary documents to prove his
eligibility. B, still did not allow him to vote. However, the candidate whom A
wanted to vote won and as a result no such damage was caused to him. But B was
held guilty of Injuria Sine Damnum as not allowing a person to give vote is a
violation of legal right of A, no matter what was the outcome of the result.
In the case of Ashby vs White
, the plaintiff was a qualified voter at the
parliamentary elections which were held at that point of time. The defendant , a
returning officer wrongfully refused to take the plaintiff’s vote. The
plaintiff, however suffered no damage since the candidate whom he wished to vote
had already won the election, but still the defendant was held guilty by the
The court held that damage is not merely pecuniary but injury imports a damage,
so when a man is hindered of his legal rights, he is entitled to remedies. Hence
, according to the meaning of the maxim Injuria Sine Damnum , the defendant was
held guilty and was liable to pay damages to the plaintiff, although no damage
was caused to him but by the act of the defendant , the plaintiff suffered a
violation of his legal right to vote. Hence, the court said that the plaintiff
was entitled to damages by the defendant.
This is all about Injuria Sine Damnum.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Soubhratra Bhattacharjee
Authentication No: MA33254898501-12-0321