Detail of Tomb of Johannes Legnano, Bologna

On the origins of the maxim "ne crimina remaneant impunita" see K. Pennington, "Innocent III and the Ius commune," Grundlagen des Rechts: Festschrift für Peter Landau zum 65. Geburtstag, herausgegeben von Richard Helmholz, Paul Mikat, Jörg Müller, Michael Stolleis (Rechts- und Staatswissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Görres-Gesellschaft, NF 91; Paderborn: Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 2000) 352-354

A signpost for the development of the inquisitorial procedure is the birth of an important maxim of criminal law, publicae utilitatis intersit ne crimina remaneant impunita (It is in the interest of the public good that crimes do not remain unpunished) during the pontificate of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216). Ne crimina remaneant impunita became a standard maxim of the Ius commune in the later Middle Ages. It was used by the jurists to signal the duty that princes and judges had to prosecute crime. Like many of the rules of law that became part of medieval jurisprudence, elements of the maxim had its origins in Roman law, but its final form was shaped by the medieval jurists of the Ius commune.