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A violation, by one individual, of another individual's legal rights.

The idea of rights suggests the opposite idea of wrongs, for every right is capable of being violated. For example, a right to receive payment for goods sold implies a wrong on the part of the person who owes, but does not make payment. In the most general point of view, the law is intended to establish and maintain rights, yet in its everyday application, the law must deal with rights and wrongs. The law first fixes the character and definition of rights, and then seeks to secure these rights by defining wrongs and devising the means to prevent these wrongs or provide for their redress.

The Criminal Law is charged with preventing and punishing public wrongs. Public wrongs are violations of public rights and duties that affect the whole community.

A private wrong, also called a civil wrong, is a violation of public or private rights that injures an individual and consequently is subject to civil redress or compensation. A civil wrong that is not based on breach of contract is a tort. Torts include assault, Battery, libel, slander, intentional infliction of mental distress, and damage to property. The same act or omission that makes a tort may also be a breach of contract, but it is the Negligence, not the breaking of the contract, that is the tort. For example, if a lawyer is negligent in representing his client, the lawyer may be sued both for Malpractice, which is a tort, and for breach of the attorney-client contract.

The word wrongful is attached to numerous types of injurious conduct. For example, wrongful death is a type of lawsuit brought on behalf of a deceased person's beneficiaries that alleges that the death was attributable to the willful or negligent conduct of another. However, even in these special contexts, the words wrong, wrongful, and wrongfully do not sharply delineate the exact nature of the wrongness. Their presence merely signifies that something bad has occurred.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

WRONG. An injury; (q.v.) a tort (q.v.) a violation of right. In its most usual sense, wrong signifies an injury committed to the person or property of another, or to his relative rights, unconnected with contract; and these wrongs are committed with or without force. But in a more extended signification, wrong includes the violation of a contract; a failure by a man to perform his undertaking or promise is a wrong or injury to him to whom it was made. 3 Bl. Com. 158.
     2. Wrongs are divided into public and private. 1. A public wrong is an act which is injurious to the public generally, commonly known by the name of crime, misdemeanor, or offence, and it is punishable in various ways, such as indictments, summary proceedings, and upon conviction by death, imprisonment, fine, &c. 2. Private wrongs, which are injuries to individuals, unaffecting the public: these are redressed by actions for damages, &c.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The DMK was blamed unnecessarily and we had been framed wrongly. The whole case was based on a notional loss.
By working with the specialist legal department, she was able to reclaim PS55,000 in wrongly paid care fees, which were reimbursed in July 2017.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Wrongly Charged: A Look at the Legal System" is packed with practical tips and fundamental information on how to deal with the legal system should you ever be arrested--a possibility that is always present as our nightly news headlines so frequently attest.
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said no motorists were wrongly prosecuted as a result of the officer's actions.
APUBLICAN has voiced anger after website bosses wrongly posted scathing reviews of a namesake pub on her establishment's page.
IN a report in Monday's Telegraph, Dr Gursharon Virk was wrongly identified as one of four dentists involved in an out-of-court settlement with a patient who had complained about her treatment.
Critics contend Zimmerman wrongly suspected Martin of being a criminal because he was black, making it civil rights issue, while gun rights supporters saw Zimmerman as a persecuted hero who was exercising his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Since 1989, 303 Americans convicted of crimes have been exonerated by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project, which works to free the wrongly convicted.
REFEREES have been told to take a tough line against cheats, even at the risk of wrongly accusing an innocent victim.
The Prime Minister said the error in which the South Korean flag was wrongly shown instead of sworn enemy North Korea's at a football game was "an honest mistake" for which an apology has been issued.
The Bulgarian State pays over BGN 3 M a year in damages caused by mistakes of the prosecution and over wrongly charged citizens.