INFAMY (Lat. infamia), public disgrace or loss of character. Infamy (infamia) occupied a prominent place in Roman law, and took the form of a censure on individuals pronounced by a competent authority in the state, which censure was the result either of certain actions which they had committed or of certain modes of life which they had pursued. Such a censure involved disqualification for certain rights both in public and in private law (see A. H. J. Greenidge, Infamia, its Place in Roman Public and Private Law, 1894). In English law infamy attached to a person in consequence of conviction of some crime. The effect of infamy was to render a person incompetent to give evidence in any legal proceeding. Infamy as a cause of incompetency was abolished by an act of 1843 (6 & 7 Viet. c. 85).

The word " infamous " is used in a particular sense in the English Medical Act of 1858, which provides that if any registered medical practitioner is judged by the General Medical Council, after due inquiry, to have been guilty of infamous conduct in any professional respect, his name may be erased from the Medical Register. The General Medical Council are the sole judges of whether a practitioner has been guilty of conduct infamous in a professional respect, and they act in a judicial capacity, but an accused person is generally allowed to appear by counsel. Any action which is regarded as disgraceful or dishonourable by a man's professional brethren such, for example, as issuing advertisements in order to induce people to consult him in preference to other practitioners may be found infamous.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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