Showing posts with label italian penal code. Show all posts
Showing posts with label italian penal code. Show all posts

Turkish English Criminal Law Glossary

Is It Crime Or Offence?

Let's see what is lost in translation:

No one may be punished for an act which is not expressly designated as an offense by law, nor with punishments which are not thereby prescribed.
English translation of Italian Penal Code article 1 (by Edward M. WISE, Wayne State University)

Nobody may be punished for an act which is not expressly defined by law as a crime; and no one can be subjected to a punishment not prescribed by law.
English translation of the first sentence in Turkish Penal Code article 1 (by Nevzat Gürelli, Istanbul University)

The two provisions are quite similar, because the Turkish code is an exact reception of the Italian code.¹

Apart from the style of translation, the only technical difference between the translations is the replacement of the term offense with crime. Which one is correct? What is the precise difference?

The difference between "crime" and "offense" are regarded mainly in 3 aspects.

1- Offense is often minor², whereas the term crime never excludes felonies.

2- Given that the laws are fundamentally divided into two -as public laws and civil laws- one can see that the term crime is an exclusively public law term by its nature; a crime is a criminal wrong. Whereas offense in many jurisdictions may be subject of civil law as well.

While tort is a definite civil law term and crime is a definite public law term, the term civil offense as a civil law term may refer to torts and the term public offense refers to what we call crime.

In short, the term tort is the civil law reflection of the term crime. And offense is a legal term that covers both possible reflections of one same act.

3- Any damaging act that is against the public duties may be considered a crime³, whether or not it is defined so by applicable laws, whereas calling it an offense requires a clear provision with the exact definition in law.

Having mentioned crime, offense and tort, let me also define delict. Delict is Latin for tort. Since Roman Law is source of the Continental Civil Law, continental lawyers (such as Turkish lawyers) may prefer using the English term delict, unlike the lawyers of common law.

¹ Turkish exact translation of Italian Penal Code was adopted in March 1, 1926. The translated Italian code is code of 1978, whereas the translated Turkish code is code of 1965. However, there are still many articles that remain as exact translations and this is one of them.

² see term Offense in Black's Law Dictionary, seventh edition

³ see term Crime in West's Legal Thesaurus/Dictionary, special deluxe edition, 1986

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...