Thursday, May 15, 2008

de minimis non curat lex

One cold morning in my 3rd year at the David Derham Law School at Monash University, Melbourne (that would be Australia and the year was 1984), Mr. Kumar Amarasekara walked into Lecture Hall L1 to deliver a lecture on a Criminal Law module on sexual offences. As he took us through the intricacies of sexual offences on vital issues such as whether the usage of a tongue on the private parts of an unwilling person constitutes a sexual offence he paused and, with a dead-pan face, offered this limerick to make a point about how the law will not deal with trivialities. Kumar said thus,
There was a young man named Rex,
Who had diminutive organs of sex.
When caught for exposure,
He said with composure,
De minimis non curat lex!
(the law will not deal with trivialities)
As you may have guessed, I never forgot the limerick.

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