Sunday, 23 January 2022

Damnum sine injuria and Injuria sine damnum

               Damnum sine injure and Injuria sine damnum


The tort law encompasses all situations in which a court grants a remedy in the form of damages for legally unjustifiable harm or injury caused by one person to another. Before a tort may be established, three factors must be established:

  • The defendant must have committed an act or omission.

  • That conduct or omission should be in breach of the plaintiff's legal rights.

  • The defendant's illegal conduct or omission is of such a kind that it warrants legal action.

The meaning these two maxims are,

  • Damnum/Damno means substantial harm, loss or damage with respect to the money, health, etc.

  • Injuria means an infringement of a right given by the law to the plaintiff.

  • Sine means without.


Damnum sine injuria

Damnum sine Injuria is a legal maxim that refers to damages without harm or damages in which the plaintiff's legal rights have not been infringed upon. In the instance of damnum sine injuria, no action is available because no legal right has been violated. This maxim is founded on the fundamental premise that using one's common or ordinary rights within reasonable bounds and without infringing on another's legal rights does not give rise to a tort action in favor of that other person. Damages might take the shape of any major suffering or loss sustained in terms of money, comfort, health, or other factors.

There are no remedies for any moral wrongs until and unless a legal right has been breached, which is an implied concept in law. Even if the defendant's act or omission was deliberate, the Court will not award damages to the plaintiff.

In a case of Gloucester Grammar School (1410) in which a schoolmaster, set-up a rival school to that of the plaintiff and since because of the competition the plaintiff had to reduce their fees from 40 pence to 12 pence per quarter. Thus claimed for compensation from the defendants for the losses suffered. It was held that the plaintiff had no remedy for the losses suffered, since the act though morally wrong has not violated any legal right of the plaintiff.

Injuria sine Damno

Injuria sine Damno is a breach of a legal right that does not cause the plaintiff any pain, loss, or damage, and whenever a legal right is violated, the person who owns the right has the right to sue. Every person has an absolute right to his or her property, personal immunity, and liberty, and any infringement of this right is actionable in and of itself. A person who has had a legal right infringed on has a cause of action, and even deliberately infringing on a legal right gives rise to a cause of action.

he law even gives the liberty that if a person merely has a threat of infringement of a legal right even without the injury being completed, the person whose right has been threatened can bring a suit under the provisions of Specific Relief Act under Declaration and injunction. 

in the case of Ashby Vs. White (1703) wherein 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 suffered no damage since the candidate which he wished to vote already won the elections but still, the defendants were held liable. It was concluded that damage is not merely pecuniary but injury imports a damage, so when a man is hindered of his rights he is entitled to remedies.


The conclusion of the two maxims is that one is a moral wrong for which the law provides no remedy despite the fact that it causes great loss or detriment to the plaintiff, while the other is a legal wrong for which the law provides a legal remedy despite the violation of a private right and no actual loss or detriment in that case.

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