A crime of passion (French: crime passionnel), in popular usage, refers to a violent crime, especially homicide, in which the perpetrator commits the act against someone because of sudden strong impulse such as sudden rage rather than as a premeditated crime.
Provisions in law allowing for reduction or exemption in penalties for crimes of honour exist in almost every Arab code. The mitigation of penalties varies in application, however. Most of the codes limit excuses to crimes of passion, defined generally to require elements of surprise, flagrancy, and immediacy of response. The result is to circumscribe a young woman's life with a variety of sanctions. In adjudicating crimes of passion some courts have tended to apply other provisions of criminal codes to reach a heavier penalty. These judiciaries share the nationalist ideal of modernity that eschews the image of the "Western woman" in favour of that of the "Arab woman," educated and perhaps professional but quintessentially mother and wife. Conservative judges are constructing a new social function of crimes of honour in response to sexual practices they consider subversive.