Justifying vs. Exempting Circumstances

Distinguish clearly but briefly: Between justifying and exempting circumstance in criminal law. (2004 Bar Exam Question)

Justifying circumstance affects the act, not the actor; while exempting circumstance affects the actor, not the act. In justifying circumstance, no criminal and, generally no civil liability incurred; while in exempting circumstance, civil liability is generally incurred although there is no criminal liability.


1998 Bar Exam Question

Distinguish between justifying and exempting circumstance.

1. In justifying circumstances:
a. The circumstance affects the act, not the actor;
b. The act is done within legal bounds, hence considered as not a crime;
c. Since the act is not a crime, there is no criminal;
d. There being no crime nor criminal, there is no criminal nor civil liability

Where as

2. In Exempting circumstances:
a. The circumstance affect the actor, not the act;
b. The act is felonious and hence a crime but the actor acted without voluntariness;
c. Although there is a crime, there is no criminal because the actor is regarded only
as an instrument of the crime;
d. There being a wrong done but no criminal.

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