This title is the Latin for Lèse-Majesté in English, literally “Injured Majesty” in English, also lese-majesty, lese majesty or leze majesty; and is the crime of violating majesty, an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state.
This behaviour was first classified as a criminal offence against the dignity of the Roman Republic in Ancient Rome. In the Dominate, or Late Empire period, the Emperors scrapped the Republican trappings of their predecessors and began to identify the state with their person.
Though legally the Princeps Civitatis (the Emperor’s official title, roughly 'first citizen') could never become a sovereign, as the republic was never officially abolished, emperors were deified as Divus, first posthumously but by the Dominate period while reigning. Deified Emperors thus enjoyed the legal protection provided for the divinities of the state cult; by the time it was exchanged for Christianity, the monarchical tradition in all but name was well established.
Narrower conceptions of offences against Majesty as offences against the crown predominated in the European kingdoms that emerged in the early medieval period. In feudal Europe, various real crimes were classified as lese-majesty even though not intentionally directed against the crown, such as counterfeiting (because coins bear the monarch's effigy and/or coat of arms).
However, since the disappearance of absolute monarchy, this is viewed as less of a crime, although similar, more malicious acts could be considered treason. By analogy, as modern times saw republics emerging as great powers, a similar crime may be constituted, though not under this name, by any offence against the highest representatives of any state. In particular, similar acts against heads of modern age totalitarian dictatorships are very likely to result in prosecution.
Even the Arab World Monarchies have developed their versions of the Lèse Majesté laws; where in Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain such could be somewhat understandable even tolerable being Realms of Kingdoms or Princedoms; but the adaptations of the concept to become implemented severely in all Arab Dictatorships though ruling gowned as Republics, is the legal surprise that distorted the conservative constitutional traditions.
In Egypt we’ve experienced that repressive measure starting from the “Qanoon El Eib” (the Arabic term for ‘Indecency Law’) in times of Sadat, till the ferocious applications of the various blunt versions of “Qanoon el Taware” or ‘Emergencies Law’ which remained in vigour all throughout the three decades of the overthrown Mubarak..
Even today such laws are still in force under a Democratically elected President whom supposedly presides a Free Democratic Sovereign Republic respecting the Human and Civil Rights; and as such TV channels are censored and even shut down, journalists and bloggers are arrested and sentenced to serve terms for committing crimes varying from “Criticising the President” to “Inciting unrests and plotting to overthrow the Government”.
Therefore I invite you all to lighten up and cheer out loud to repeat with me:
“The King Is Dead, Long Live The King”.
Pass On The Word.