Legal Definition and Related Resources of Justification

Meaning of Justification

A plea by a defendant in a civil or criminal proceeding that the act complained of was lawful . Not a denial that the act complained of was committed by the defendant. Rather implicit in a plea of justification is an admission that he committed the act, but the defense is the existence or circumstances and facts which make the act, though apparently culpable , lawful. In criminal law, for instance , a person charged with assault may plead and prove that the assault was committed in self defense, i.e., defense of the person or property of the accused or for some othr person. Also, a procedure by which a surety miE demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that it has sufficient ability to perform : obligations. See Mathews v IMC Mir. Corp., (C.A. Utah) 542 F.2d 554.

Justification Alternative Definition

In Torts. Facts making the act charged legally justiflabla In Pleading. The allegation of matter of fact by the defaidant, establishing his legal right to do the act complained of by the plaintiflf. Justification admits the doing of the act charged as a wrong, but alleges a right to do it on the part of the defendant, thus denying that it is a wrong. Excuse merely shows reasons why the defendant should not make good the injury which the plaintiff has suffered from some wrong done. See “Avowry.” In Practice. The proceeding by which sureties establish their ability to perform the.undertaking of the bond or recognizance.

Synonyms of Justification


  • adjustment
  • allowance
  • clarifying statement
  • clearance
  • compurgation
  • defense
  • exculpation
  • excusatio
  • excuse
  • exonerating circumstance
  • exonerating fact
  • exoneration
  • explanation
  • exposition
  • extenuation
  • good excuse
  • ground for excusing
  • legal defense
  • mitigating circumstance
  • mitigation
  • palliation
  • purgatio
  • rationalization
  • reason
  • reasonable excuse
  • reasoning
  • statement of defense
  • vindication
  • Associated Concepts: justification for committing an unlawful act
  • legal cause

Related Entries of Justification in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Justification in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Justification in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Justification in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Justification in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Color Of Right, Contiguity, Excuse, Malice, Malice Aforethought, Mitigation Of Damages, Murder, Prejudice.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Justification in the Dictionary Justification in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Justification
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Justification in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Justification is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies
https://legaldictionary.lawin.org/justification/ The URI of Justification (more about URIs)

Justification in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of justification.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Justification

(You may find justification at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

late 14c., “administration of justice,” from Late Latin iustificationem (nominative iustificatio), noun of action from past participle stem of iustificare “act justly toward; make just” (see justify). Meaning “action of justifying, showing something to be just or right” is from late 15c. Theological sense “act by which the soul is reconciled to God” is from 1520s. Meaning “act of adjusting or making exact” in typography is from 1670s.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Work
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

Legal Usage of Justify/justification in English

An European Commission document offers the following explanation about the misused of Justify/justification:In English, to justify means ‘to demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid’ or ‘to show to be reasonable’, and ‘justification’ is ‘the act of justifying’ or ‘something that justifies’. In European Union texts, we often find it used to mean ‘to explain’ or ‘provide evidence for’. By extension, especially in working papers, we also find ‘justification(s)’ used to mean ‘supporting document(s)’. In the example below, the author uses ‘justification’ to mean ‘evidence’, whereas, from the actual wording, we would understand something like: ‘the French government was unable to provide an (or even an excuse)’.


‘Whereas the French Government was unable to provide any justification, and the Commission could find none, showing that the aid in question fulfilled the conditions required for grant of one of the exceptions set out in Article 92 (3) of the EEC Treaty115.’


substantiate, provide evidence for, explain, evidence, supporting document, proof, explanation.


Further Reading

  • David Mellinkoff, “Mellinkoff’s Dictionary of American Legal Usage”, West Publishing Company, 1992
  • Bryan A. Garner, “A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage”, West Publishing Company, 1995



, , ,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *