Justinian's Digest (De iniuriis) 47.10.15.41-43

Domitius Ulpianus ( 223 AD)


Justinian and his Entourage
San Vitale, Ravenna. Mosaic (527-548 AD)

"Quaestionem" intellegere debemus tormenta et corporis dolorem ad eruendam veritatem.  Nuda ergo interrogatio vel levis territio non pertinet ad hoc edictum.  Quaestionis verbo etiam ea, quam malam mansionem dicunt, continebitur. Cum igitur per vim et tormenta habita quaestio est, tunc quaestio intellegitur.  < 42>  Sed et si iussu domini quis quaestionem habeat, modum tamen excesserit, teneri eum debere Labeo ait. < 43>  Praetor ait: "Si quid aliud factum esse dicetur, causa cognita iudicium dabo".

By "torture" we mean pain and suffering of the body to draw out the truth.  Mere interrogation or mild intimidation does not fall under this edict.  The word "torture" can also be understood to mean bad conditions of confinement.  Therefore it is torture when an investigation is conducted with pain and force.   If a slave owner orders a slave to be tortured, and the slave's torture exceeds the normal limits, Labeo (c.54 BC 10/11 AD) says that the owner is liable to a court suit.  The Praetor says that "if  anything else be done, I will, having looked into the matter, grant an action."