Capitis Diminutio Law & Legal Definition


Capitis Diminutio literally means diminishing of a person’s personality or status. A person may loose his personality or legal capacity either in whole or in part.

There are three stages of loosing a persons personality namely:

1.Capitis diminutio minima consisting of the loss of a person’s family relations alone. The right to liberty and citizenship are unaltered here. In Capitis diminutio minima there is only a minimum loss of status.

2. Capitis diminutio media consisting of the loss of a person’s citizenship and family. Here there is no loss of personal liberty. In capitis diminutio minima there is a medium loss of status.

3.Capitis diminutio maxima consisting of the loss of liberty, citizenship and family. Here a person’s status is changed from freedom to bondage. In Capitis diminutio maxima there is the highest loss of status.