Ignorance as a Defense

thomas jefferson

Ignorantia juris non excusat – “ignorance of the law excuses not” and ignorantia legis neminem excusat – “ignorance of law excuses no one”.

This legal principle holds that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of it.

pizzaA commercial Broadcasting Authority sued ‘Pizza Slice’ for broadcasting the 2016 European football matches without obtaining a license for public showing.

The owner of the pizza shop claimed the defense of ignorance under Section 58 of the Israel Copyright Law. Somewhat surprisingly, the court accepted that he wasn’t to know that there were rights in the broadcast that prohibited public exhibition.


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