Affidavit Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Affidavit, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Affidavit?

n. it is an act of oblivion of past offences, granted by the government to those who have been guilty of any neglect or crime. Amnesty could be express when explicitely mentioned or is implied indirectly in some cases say of a peace treaty being signed. An amnesty has the effect of destroying the criminal act, so that it is as if it had not been committed, as far as the public interests are concerned. It is different in this sense from pardon which is the remission of the whole or a part of the punishment awarded by the law.

History and Meaning of Amnesty

Amnesty is a term used in the legal system that refers to the act of a government pardoning individuals who have been convicted of a crime or who have otherwise violated the law. This pardon essentially wipes the slate clean for the individual who committed the crime, meaning that they are not subject to any further punishment or penalty. Amnesty can be granted for any number of reasons, such as following a successful appeal or the discovery of new evidence that overturns a prior conviction.

The concept of amnesty has a long and storied history, dating back to ancient times when kings and other rulers often would forgive crimes committed by their subjects. In the modern era, amnesty has been used as a way to promote reconciliation and healing in the wake of political conflicts or other sources of social upheaval. Examples of this can be found in the aftermath of civil wars or revolutions, where amnesty may be granted to former rebels or dissidents as a way to restore order and promote stability.

Examples of Amnesty

  1. After the end of apartheid in South Africa, the government established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was tasked with investigating and granting amnesty to those who committed atrocities during the previous regime.

  2. In the United States, President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty to those who had fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War draft.

  3. In 2018, Amnesty International called for the release of two Reuters journalists imprisoned in Myanmar for their reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims.

Legal Terms Similar to Amnesty

  1. Pardon: Similar to amnesty, a pardon is a legal act of forgiveness for a crime, but it usually applies to an individual rather than a group.

  2. Immunity: This refers to a legal agreement that exempts an individual or group from a specific offense or prosecution in exchange for information or cooperation.

  3. Clemency: This is a general term that refers to the act of mercy or leniency granted to someone who has been convicted of a crime. It can take many different forms, such as a reduction in sentence or a commutation of the sentence altogether.