of the Day
Clue of the Month
Majesty: An offense committed against the ruler of a state
____ majeste (act of treason); It precedes majesty; Literally,
4 times a year
jailed for lese majeste posts
& Power – Thai law
majesté (French expression, from the Latin Laesa maiestas
or Laesae maiestatis (crimen), (crime of) injury to the Majesty;
in English, also lese majesty or leze majesty) is the crime of
violating majesty, an offense against the dignity of a reigning
sovereign or against a state.
Poland, it is illegal to publicly insult foreign heads of state
present on Polish territory. On 5 January 2005, Jerzy Urban was
sentenced to a fine of 20,000 złoty (about 5000 euros) for
having insulted Pope John Paul II, a visiting head of state.
was however first classified in Ancient Rome, as a criminal
offense against the dignity of the Roman republic. In time, as
the Emperor became identified with the Roman state (the empire
never formally became a monarchy), it was essentially applied to
offenses against his person. Though legally the princeps
civitatis (his official title, roughly 'first citizen') could
never become a sovereign, as the republic was never abolished,
emperors were to be deified as divus, first posthumously but
ultimately while reigning, and thus enjoyed the legal protection
provided for the divinities of the pagan state cult; by the time
it was exchanged for Christianity, the monarchical tradition in
all but name was well established (an example of the way the
Roman religion was made to serve the political elite).
the (mainly Christian) states emerging after the fall of Rome the
style of Majesty and the notion of offenses against it were
exclusively related to offenses against the crown. In feudal
Europe, various real crimes were classified as lèse
majesté even though not intentionally directed against the
crown, such as counterfeiting because coins bear the monarch's
effigy and/or coat of arms.
since the disappearance of absolute monarchy, this is viewed as
less of a crime, although similar, more malicious acts, could be
considered treason. By analogy, as modern times saw republics
emerging as great powers, a similar crime may be constituted,
though not under this name, by any offense against the highest
representatives of any state ( e.g. all heads of state,
regardless of their title, as in Belgium).
article is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Lèse majesté".