malum in se

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin malum, the neuter of malus (bad) + in (in) + se, form of sui (oneself, itself).

Noun[edit]

malum in se (plural mala in se)

  1. (literally) Wrong in itself.
  2. (law) The Latin phrase used in law to refer to crimes that are illegal from the nature of crime, that is, inherently evil without any fact of its being noticed or punished, as opposed to malum prohibitum. Used to develop common law crimes.