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Legal Dictionary

sedition

Legal Definition of sedition

Noun

  1. Language or conduct directed against public order and the tranquility of the state
  2. The incitement of such disorder, tending toward treason, but lacking an over act
  3. Dissention
  4. Revolt

Related terms


Definition of sedition

Etymology

    From Latin s"ditiō (“sedition, discord”) < s"d- (“apart”) + itiō (“going”).

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /sɛˈdɪ.ʃən/

Noun

sedition (plural seditions)

  1. The organized incitement of rebellion or civil disorder against authority or the state.
  2. insurrection or rebellion

Further reading

In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.

Typically, sedition is considered a subversive act, and the overt acts that may be prosecutable under sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. Where the history of these legal codes has been traced, there is also a record of the change in the definition of the elements constituting sedition at certain points in history. This overview has served to develop a sociological definition of sedition as well, within the study of state persecution.

The difference between sedition and treason consists primarily in the subjective ultimate object of the violation to the public peace. Sedition does not consist of levying war against a government nor of adhering to its enemies, giving enemies aid, and giving enemies comfort. Nor does it consist, in most representative democracies, of peaceful protest against a government, nor of attempting to change the government by democratic means (such as direct democracy or constitutional convention).

Sedition is the stirring up of rebellion against the government in power. Treason is the violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or state, giving aid to enemies, or levying war against one's state. Sedition is encouraging one's fellow citizens to rebel against their state, whereas treason is actually betraying one's country by aiding and abetting another state. Sedition laws somewhat equate to terrorism and public order laws.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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