Definition of imputation
From Latin imputatio (ascribe)
- (US) IPA: /ˌɪm.pjʊˈteɪ.ʃən/
- Rhymes: -eɪʃǝn
imputation (plural imputations)
- The act of imputing or charging; attribution; ascription.
- That which has been imputed or charged.
- Charge or attribution of evil; censure; reproach; insinuation.
- (theology) A setting of something to the account of; the attribution of personal guilt or personal righteousness of another; as, the imputation of the sin of Adam, or the righteousness of Christ.
- Opinion; intimation; hint.
The principle of imputation or attribution underpins the legal concept that ignorance of the law is no excuse (Latin: ignorantia juris non excusat). All laws are published and available for study in all developed states. The content of the law is imputed to all persons who are within the jurisdiction, no matter how transiently.
This fiction tries to negate the unfairness of someone avoiding liability for an act or omission by simply denying knowledge of the law. The principle also arises in specific areas of law, such as criminal law and commercial law, to describe the need for the law to hold a person liable, even when they may not have known the particular circumstances that caused another person to sustain loss or damage.
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