Literal Meaning – No one, except before God.
This legal maxim denotes that any accused person is entitled to make a plea of not guilty, and also that a witness is not obliged to give a response or submit a document that will incriminate himself. For not only does our law refuse to call on a man to accuse himself, but it will not admit his confession unless it be shown to have been made freely and voluntarily.
The Latin maxim “Nemo tenetur accusare se ipsum nisi coram Deo” translates to “No one is bound to accuse oneself except in the presence of God.” This principle is also known as the privilege against self-incrimination.
The privilege against self-incrimination is a fundamental right that protects individuals from being forced to incriminate themselves. It is an important aspect of the right to a fair trial and due process of law. The principle applies to both criminal and civil proceedings and is recognized in many legal systems around the world.
The privilege against self-incrimination means that a person cannot be compelled to give evidence that would incriminate them. This includes not only oral evidence but also any documents or other materials that could be used to incriminate the person. The principle also protects against any attempt to force a person to make a confession or admission of guilt.
In some legal systems, the privilege against self-incrimination is not absolute. For example, in the United States, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects against self-incrimination but allows for certain exceptions. These exceptions include situations where the person has been granted immunity from prosecution or where the person’s silence could be interpreted as an admission of guilt.
Overall, the privilege against self-incrimination is an important protection for individuals in the legal system. It helps ensure that people are not forced to incriminate themselves and that they have a fair opportunity to defend themselves against any accusations.