Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
(mal-uhm in say) Latin for something "wrong in itself," even in the absence of a law making it illegal.In criminal law, it describes acts that have traditionally been considered crimes, whether or not a specific written law made them crimes, because they violate the principles of civilized society. Examples are murder, rape, and theft. By contrast, making a left turn at an intersection where a traffic law prohibits it would not be malum in se, because it is based only on statutory law. Compare: malum prohibitum
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:19 pm