There has been much criticism over the political parties’ move to go for a general amnesty for perpetrators of offences committed during the decade-long Maoist conflict. Much of the current discourse seems to be concerned primarily with convincing the parties that the proposed transitional justice mechanism should retain the power of prosecution.
Philosophy of Life
A boat is docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village.
A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
"Not very long." they answered in unison.
"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"
The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.
"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children, and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.
We have a full life."
The tourist interrupted,
"I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!
You should start by fishing longer every day.
You can then sell the extra fish you catch.
With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."
"And after that?"
"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.
You can then leave this little village and move to
From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."
"How long would that take?"
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years." replied the tourist.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the tourist, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children,
catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends."
"With all due respect sir, but that's exactly what we are doing now. So what's the point wasting twenty-five years?" asked the Mexicans.
And the moral of this story is:
Know where you're going in life, you may already be there! Many times in life, money is not everything.
“Live your life before life becomes lifeless
[Send by Uddav from
Comparative law is the study of differences and similarities between the law of different countries. More specifically, it involves study of the different legal systems in existence in the world, including the common law, the civil law, socialist law, Islamic law, Hindu law, and Chinese law. It includes the description and analysis of foreign legal systems, even where no explicit comparison is undertaken. The importance of comparative law has increased enormously in the present age of internationalism, economic globalisation and democratisation.
1.2 Birth as a discipline in the
4 Relationship with other legal subjects
5 Classifications of legal systems
5.1 Arminjon, Nolde, and Wolff
5.3 Zweigert and Kötz
6 Professional associations
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
The birth of modern comparative law is generally attributed to
According to the prevalent view, Montesquieu is regarded as the 'father' of comparative law. His comparative approach is obvious in the following excerpt from Chapter III of Book I of what many consider to be his masterpiece, De l'esprit des lois:
[The political and civil laws of each nation] should be adapted in such a manner to the people for whom they are framed that it should be a great chance if those of one nation suit another. They should be in relation to the nature and principle of each government; whether they form it, as may be said of politic laws; or whether they support it, as in the case of civil institutions. They should be in relation to the climate of each country, to the quality of its soil, to its situation and extent, to the principal occupation of the natives, whether husbandmen, huntsmen, or shepherds: they should have relation to the degree of liberty which the constitution will bear; to the religion of the inhabitants, to their inclinations, riches, numbers, commerce, manners, and customs.
Also, in Chapter XI (entitled 'How to compare two different Systems of Laws') of Book XXIX he advises that "to determine which of those systems [i.e. the French and English systems for the punishment of false witnesses] is most agreeable to reason, we must take them each as a whole and compare them in their entirety." Yet another excerpt where Montesqieu's comparative approach is evident is the following one from Chapter XIII of Book XXIX:
As the civil laws depend on the political institutions, because they are made for the same society, whenever there is a design of adopting the civil law of another nation, it would be proper to examine beforehand whether they have both the same institutions and the same political law.
Birth as a discipline in the
Comparative law in the
Comparative law is an academic study of separate legal systems, each one analysed in its constitutive elements; how they differ in the different legal systems, and how their elements combine into a system.
Several disciplines have developed as separate branches of comparative law, including comparative constitutional law, comparative administrative law, comparative civil law (in the sense of the law of torts, delicts, contracts and obligations), comparative commercial law (in the sense of business organisations and trade), and comparative criminal law. Studies of these specific areas may be viewed as micro- or macro-comparative legal analysis, i.e. detailed comparisons of two countries, or broad-ranging studies of several countries. Comparative civil law studies, for instance, show how the law of private relations is organised, interpreted and used in different systems or countries. It appears today the principal purposes of comparative law are:
to attain a deeper knowledge of the legal systems in effect
to perfect the legal systems in effect
possibly, to contribute to a unification of legal systems, of a smaller or larger scale (cf. for instance, the UNIDROIT initiative)
Comparative law is a very important discipline in communication between legal systems. It may provide the basis for the production of bilingual dictionaries that include the information necessary to make legal communication across borders successful. It also helps mutual understanding and the dispelling of prejudice and misinterpretation. In this globalising world, comparative law is important for it provides a platform for intellectual exchange in terms of law and it cultivates a culture of understanding in a diverse world. Furthermore, comparative law helps in broadening horizons for law reformers and legislators around the world. It can also be helpful in international relations in shaping foreign policies.
Relationship with other legal subjects
Comparative law is different from the fields of general jurisprudence (legal theory), international law, including both public international law and private international law (also known as conflict of laws).
Despite the differences between comparative law and these other legal fields, comparative law helps inform all of these areas of normativity. For example, comparative law can help international legal institutions, such as those of the United Nations System, in analyzing the laws of different countries regarding their treaty obligations. Comparative law would be applicable to private international law when developing an approach to interpretation in a conflicts analysis. Comparative law may contribute to legal theory by creating categories and concepts of general application. Comparative law may also provide insights into the question of legal transplants, i.e. the transplanting of law and legal institutions from one system to another. The notion of legal transplants was coined by Alan Watson, one of the world's renowned legal scholars specializing in comparative law.
Also, the usefulness of comparative law for the sociology of law (and vice versa) is very large. The comparative study of the various legal systems may show how different legal regulations for the same problem function in practice. Conversely, sociology of law may help comparative law answer questions, such as: How do regulations in different legal systems really function in the respective societies? Are certain legal rules comparable? How do the similarities and differences between legal systems get explained?
Classifications of legal systems
Arminjon, Nolde, and Wolff
Arminjon, Nolde, and Wolff believed that, for purposes of classifying the (then) contemporary legal systems of the world, it was required that those systems per se get studied, irrespective of external factors, such as geographical ones. They proposed the classification of legal system into seven groups, or so-called 'families', in particular the
French group, under which they also included the countries that codified their law either in 19th or in the first half of the 20th century, using the Napoleonic code civil of year 1804 as a model; this includes countries and jurisdictions such as Italy, Portugal, Spain, Louisiana, states of South America (such as Brazil), Quebec, Santa Lucia, Romania, the Ionian Islands, Egypt, and Lebanon
Scandinavian group (comprising the laws of
English group (incl.
Islamic group (used in the Muslim world)
David proposed the classification of legal systems, according to the different ideology inspiring each one, into five groups or families:
Western Laws, a group subdivided into the:
Romano-Germanic subgroup (comprising those legal systems where legal science was formulated according to Roman Law - see also Civil law (legal system))
Especially with respect to the aggregating by David of the Romano-Germanic and Anglo-Saxon Laws into a single family, David argued that the antithesis between the Anglo-Saxon Laws and Romano-German Laws, is of a technical rather than of an ideological nature. Of a different kind is, for instance, the antithesis between (say) the Italian and the American Law, and of a different kind that between the Soviet, Muslim, Hindu, or Chinese Law. According to David, the Romano-Germanic legal systems included those countries where legal science was formulated according to Roman Law, whereas common law countries are those where law was created from the judges. The characteristics that he believed uniquely differentiate the Western legal family from the other four are
Zweigert and Kötz
Zweigert and Kötz propose a different, multidimensional methodology for categorizing laws, i.e. for ordering families of laws. They maintain that, to determine such families, five criteria should be taken into account, in particular: the historical background, the characteristic way of thought, the different institutions, the recognized sources of law, and the dominant ideology. Using the aforementioned criteria, they classify the legal systems of the world into six families:
Common law family
Family of the laws of the Far East (
Religious family (Muslim and Hindu law)
American Society of Comparative Law
Legal systems of the world (includes links to legal systems of specific countries)
Sir Henry Maine
Friedrich Karl von Savigny
German Historical School
Comparative criminal justice
Rule of law
Rule According to Higher Law
Sociology of law
Annual Bulletin of the Comparative Law Bureau (1908), the first comparative law journal in the U.S
^ Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, Translated by Thomas Nugent, revised by J. V. Prichard, Based on a public domain edition published in 1914 by G. Bell & Sons, Ltd., London
^ Traité de droit comparé - in French;
^ Traité élémentaire de droit civile comparé: Introduction à l'étude des droits étrangers et à la méthode comparative - in French;
^ An Introduction to Comparative Law, translation from the
Roman law is the legal system of ancient
2 Roman legal development
2.1 The Twelve Tables
2.2 Early law and jurisprudence
2.3 Pre-classical period
2.4 Classical Roman law
2.5 Post-classical law
3 Roman law substance
3.2 Public law
3.3 Private law
3.4 Roman status
3.5 Roman litigation
4.1 In the East
4.2 In the West
4.3 Roman law today
5 See also
7 Further reading
8 External links
Historically, "Roman law" also denotes the legal system applied in most of
Roman legal development
Before the Twelve Tables (754–449 BC), private law comprised the Roman civil law (ius civile Quiritium) that applied only to Roman citizens, and was bonded to religion; undeveloped, with attributes of strict formalism, symbolism, and conservatism, e.g. the ritual practice of mancipatio (a form of sale). The jurist Sextus Pomponius said, "At the beginning of our city, the people began their first activities without any fixed law, and without any fixed rights: all things were ruled despotically, by kings". It is believed that Roman Law is rooted in the Etruscan religion, emphasising ritual.
The Twelve Tables
Main article: Twelve Tables
The first legal text is the Law of the Twelve Tables, dating from mid-5th century BC. The plebeian tribune, C. Terentilius Arsa, proposed that the law should be written, in order to prevent magistrates from applying the law arbitrarily. After eight years of political struggle, the plebeian social class convinced the patricians to send a delegation to Athens, to copy the Laws of Solon; they also dispatched delegations to other Greek cities for like reason. In 451 BC, according to the traditional story (as Livy tells it), ten Roman citizens were chosen to record the laws (decemviri legibus scribundis). While they were performing this task, they were given supreme political power (imperium), whereas the power of the magistrates was restricted. In 450 BC, the decemviri produced the laws on ten tablets (tabulae), but these laws were regarded unsatisfactory by the plebeians. A second decemvirate is said to have added two further tablets in 449 BC. The new Law of the Twelve Tables was approved by the people's assembly.
Modern scholarship tends to challenge the accuracy of Roman historians. They generally do not believe that a second decemvirate ever took place. The decemvirate of 451 is believed to have included the most controversial points of customary law, and to have assumed the leading functions in Rome. Furthermore, the question on the Greek influence found in the early Roman Law is still much discussed. Many scholars consider it unlikely that the patricians sent an official delegation to
The fragments which did survive show that it was not a law code in the modern sense. It did not provide a complete and coherent system of all applicable rules or give legal solutions for all possible cases. Rather, the tables contained specific provisions designed to change the then-existing customary law. Although the provisions pertain to all areas of law, the largest part is dedicated to private law and civil procedure.
Early law and jurisprudence
Main articles: Lex Canuleia, Lex Hortensia, and Lex Aquilia
Many laws include Lex Canuleia (445 BC; which allowed the marriage—ius connubii—between patricians and plebeians), Leges Licinae Sextiae (367 BC; which made restrictions on possession of public lands—ager publicus—and also made sure that one of consuls is plebeian), Lex Ogulnia (300 BC; plebeians received access to priest posts), and Lex Hortensia (287 BC; verdicts of plebeian assemblies — plebiscita — now bind all people).
Another important statute from the Republican era is the Lex Aquilia of 286 BC, which may be regarded as the root of modern tort law. However,
Traditionally, the origins of Roman legal science are connected to Gnaeus Flavius. Flavius is said to have published around the year 300 BC the formularies containing the words which had to be spoken in court to begin a legal action. Before the time of Flavius, these formularies are said to have been secret and known only to the priests. Their publication made it possible for non-priests to explore the meaning of these legal texts. Whether or not this story is credible, jurists were active and legal treatises were written in larger numbers the 2nd century BC. Among the famous jurists of the republican period are Quintus Mucius Scaevola who wrote a voluminous treatise on all aspects of the law, which was very influential in later times, and Servius Sulpicius Rufus, a friend of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Thus,
In the period between about 201 to 27 BC, we can see the development of more flexible laws to match the needs of the time. In addition to the old and formal ius civile a new juridical class is created: the ius honorarium, which can be defined as "The law introduced by the magistrates who had the right to promulgate edicts in order to support, supplement or correct the existing law." With this new law the old formalism is being abandoned and new more flexible principles of ius gentium are used.
The adaptation of law to new needs was given over to juridical practice, to magistrates, and especially to the praetors. A praetor was not a legislator and did not technically create new law when he issued his edicts (magistratuum edicta). In fact, the results of his rulings enjoyed legal protection (actionem dare) and were in effect often the source of new legal rules. A Praetor's successor was not bound by the edicts of his predecessor; however, he did take rules from edicts of his predecessor that had proved to be useful. In this way a constant content was created that proceeded from edict to edict (edictum traslatitium).
Thus, over the course of time, parallel to the civil law and supplementing and correcting it, a new body of praetoric law emerged. In fact, praetoric law was so defined by the famous Roman jurist Papinian (Amilius Papinianus—died in 212 AD): "Ius praetorium est quod praetores introduxerunt adiuvandi vel supplendi vel corrigendi iuris civilis gratia propter utilitatem publicam" ("praetoric law is that law introduced by praetors to supplement or correct civil law for public benefit"). Ultimately, civil law and praetoric law were fused in the Corpus Juris Civilis.
Classical Roman law
Main articles: Gaius (jurist), Ulpian, Aemilius Papinianus, Julius Paulus Prudentissimus, and Herennius Modestinus
The first 250 years of the current era are the period during which Roman law and Roman legal science reached the highest degree of perfection. The law of this period is often referred to as classical period of Roman law. The literary and practical achievements of the jurists of this period gave Roman law its unique shape.
The jurists worked in different functions: They gave legal opinions at the request of private parties. They advised the magistrates who were entrusted with the administration of justice, most importantly the praetors. They helped the praetors draft their edicts, in which they publicly announced at the beginning of their tenure, how they would handle their duties, and the formularies, according to which specific proceedings were conducted. Some jurists also held high judicial and administrative offices themselves.
The jurists also produced all kinds of legal commentaries and treatises. Around AD 130 the jurist Salvius Iulianus drafted a standard form of the praetor's edict, which was used by all praetors from that time onwards. This edict contained detailed descriptions of all cases, in which the praetor would allow a legal action and in which he would grant a defense. The standard edict thus functioned like a comprehensive law code, even though it did not formally have the force of law. It indicated the requirements for a successful legal claim. The edict therefore became the basis for extensive legal commentaries by later classical jurists like Paulus and Domitius Ulpianus. The new concepts and legal institutions developed by pre-classical and classical jurists are too numerous to mention here. Only a few examples are given here:
Roman jurists clearly separated the legal right to use a thing (ownership) from the factual ability to use and manipulate the thing (possession). They also found the distinction between contract and tort as sources of legal obligations.
The standard types of contract (sale, contract for work, hire, contract for services) regulated in most continental codes and the characteristics of each of these contracts were developed by Roman jurisprudence.
The classical jurist Gaius (around 160) invented a system of private law based on the division of all material into personae (persons), res (things) and actiones (legal actions). This system was used for many centuries. It can be recognized in legal treatises like William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England and enactments like the French Code civil or the German BGB.
By the middle of the 3rd century, the conditions for the flourishing of a refined legal culture had become less favourable. The general political and economic situation deteriorated as the emperors assumed more direct control of all aspects of political life. The political system of the principate, which had retained some features of the republican constitution, began to transform itself into the absolute monarchy of the dominate. The existence of a legal science and of jurists who regarded law as a science, not as an instrument to achieve the political goals set by the absolute monarch, did not fit well into the new order of things. The literary production all but ended. Few jurists after the mid-3rd century are known by name. While legal science and legal education persisted to some extent in the eastern part of the Empire, most of the subtleties of classical law came to be disregarded and finally forgotten in the west. Classical law was replaced by so-called vulgar law. Where the writings of classical jurists were still known, they were edited to conform to the new situation.
Roman law substance
jus civile, Jus gentium, and jus naturale - the jus civile ("citizen law", originally jus civile Quiritium) was the body of common laws that applied to Roman citizens and the Praetores Urbani, the individuals who had jurisdiction over cases involving citizens. The jus gentium ("law of peoples") was the body of common laws that applied to foreigners, and their dealings with Roman citizens. The Praetores Peregrini were the individuals who had jurisdiction over cases involving citizens and foreigners. Jus naturale was a concept the jurists developed to explain why all people seemed to obey some laws. Their answer was that a "natural law" instilled in all beings a common sense.
Jus scriptum and jus non scriptum - the terms jus scriptum and ius non scriptum literally mean written and unwritten law, respectively. In practice, the two differed by the means of their creation and not necessarily whether or not they were written down. The ius scriptum was the body of statute laws made by the legislature. The laws were known as leges (lit. "laws") and plebiscita (lit. "plebiscites," originating in the Plebeian Council). Roman lawyers would also include in the ius scriptum the edicts of magistrates (magistratuum edicta), the advice of the Senate (Senatus consulta), the responses and thoughts of jurists (responsa prudentium), and the proclamations and beliefs of the emperor (principum placita). Ius non scriptum was the body of common laws that arose from customary practice and had become binding over time.
ius commune and ius singulare - Ius singulare (singular law) is special law for certain groups of people, things, or legal relations (because of which it is an exception from the general principles of the legal system), unlike general, ordinary, law (ius commune). An example of this is the law about wills written by people in the military during a campaign, which are exempt of the solemnities generally required for citizens when writing wills in normal circumstances.
ius publicum and ius privatum - ius publicum means public law and ius privatum means private law, where public law is to protect the interests of the Roman state while private law should protect individuals. In the Roman law ius privatum included personal, property, civil and criminal law; judicial proceeding was private process (iudicium privatum); and crimes were private (except the most severe ones that were prosecuted by the state). Public law will only include some areas of private law close to the end of the Roman state. Ius publicum was also used to describe obligatory legal regulations (today called ius cogens—this term is applied in modern international law to indicate peremptory norms that cannot be derogated from). These are regulations that cannot be changed or excluded by party agreement. Those regulations that can be changed are called today jus dispositivum, and they are not used when party shares something and are in contrary.
Main articles: Ius publicum, Constitution of the
Cicero, author of the classic book The Laws attacks Catilina, a traitor to the Republic, in the Roman Senate
The constitution of the
Main articles: Ius privatum, Stipulatio, and Rei vindicatio
Stipulatio was the basic form of contract in Roman law. It was made in the format of question and answer. The precise nature of the contract was disputed, as can be seen below.
Rei vindicatio is a legal action by which the plaintiff demands that the defendant return a thing that belongs to the plaintiff. It may only be used when plaintiff owns the thing, and the defendant is somehow impeding the plaintiff's possession of the thing. The plaintiff could also institute an actio furti (a personal action) to punish the defendant. If the thing could not be recovered, the plaintiff could claim damages from the defendant with the aid of the condictio furtiva (a personal action). With the aid of the actio legis Aquiliae (a personal action), the plaintiff could claim damages from the defendant. Rei vindicatio was derived from the ius civile, therefore was only available to Roman citizens.
Main article: Status in Roman legal system
To describe a person's position in the legal system, Romans mostly used the expression status. The individual could have been a Roman citizen (status civitatis) unlike foreigners, or he could have been free (status libertatis) unlike slaves, or he could have had a certain position in a Roman family (status familiae) either as the head of the family (pater familias), or some lower member.*alieni iuris-which lives by someone elses law.
Main article: Roman litigation
The history of Roman Law can be divided into three systems of procedure: that of legis actiones, the formulary system, and cognitio extra ordinem. The periods in which these systems were in use overlapped one another and did not have definitive breaks, but it can be stated that the legis actio system prevailed from the time of the XII Tables (c. 450 BC) until about the end of the 2nd century BC, that the formulary procedure was primarily used from the last century of the Republic until the end of the classical period (c. AD 200), and that of cognitio extraordinarem was in use in post-classical times. Again, these dates are meant as a tool to help understand the types of procedure in use, not as a rigid boundary where one system stopped and another began.
During the republic and until the bureaucratization of Roman judicial procedure, the judge was usually a private person (iudex privatus). He had to be a Roman male citizen. The parties could agree on a judge, or they could appoint one from a list, called album iudicum. They went down the list until they found a judge agreeable to both parties, or if none could be found they had to take the last one on the list.
No one had a legal obligation to judge a case. The judge had great latitude in the way he conducted the litigation. He considered all the evidence and ruled in the way that seemed just. Because the judge was not a jurist or a legal technician, he often consulted a jurist about the technical aspects of the case, but he was not bound by the jurist's reply. At the end of the litigation, if things were not clear to him, he could refuse to give a judgment, by swearing that it wasn't clear. Also, there was a maximum time to issue a judgment, which depended on some technical issues (type of action, etc.).
Later on, with the bureaucratization, this procedure disappeared, and was substituted by the so-called "extra ordinem" procedure, also known as cognitory. The whole case was reviewed before a magistrate, in a single phase. The magistrate had obligation to judge and to issue a decision, and the decision could be appealed to a higher magistrate.
In the East
Main articles: Corpus Juris Civilis and Byzantine law
Title page of a late 16th century edition of the Digesta, part of Emperor Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis.
When the centre of the Empire was moved to the Greek East in the 4th century, many legal concepts of Greek origin appeared in the official Roman legislation. The influence is visible even in the law of persons or of the family, which is traditionally the part of the law that changes least. For example
The codes of Justinian, particularly the Corpus juris civilis (529-534) continued to be the basis of legal practice in the Empire throughout its so-called Byzantine history. Leo III the Isaurian issued a new code, the Ecloga, in the early 8th century. In the 9th century, the emperors Basil I and Leo VI the Wise commissioned a combined translation of the Code and the Digest, parts of Justinian's codes, into Greek, which became known as the Basilica. Roman law as preserved in the codes of Justinian and in the Basilica remained the basis of legal practice in Greece and in the courts of the Eastern Orthodox Church even after the fall of the Byzantine Empire and the conquest by the Turks, and also formed the basis for much of the Fetha Negest, which remained in force in Ethiopia until 1931.
In the West
Main articles: Early Germanic law, Anglo-Saxon law, and Medieval Roman Law
In the west, Justinian's political authority never went any farther than certain portions of the Italian and Hispanic peninsulas. Law codes were edicted by the Germanic kings, however, the influence of early Eastern Roman codes on some of these is quite discernible. In many early Germanic states, ethnic Roman citizens continued to be governed by Roman laws for quite some time, even while members of the various Germanic tribes were governed by their own respective codes.
The Code and the Institutes of Justinian were known in Western Europe, and along with the earlier code of Theodosius II, served as models for a few of the Germanic law codes; however, the Digest portion was largely ignored for several centuries until around 1070, when a manuscript of the Digest was rediscovered in Italy. This was done mainly through the works of glossars who wrote their comments between lines (glossa interlinearis), or in the form of marginal notes (glossa marginalis). From that time, scholars began to study the ancient Roman legal texts, and to teach others what they learned from their studies. The center of these studies was
The students, who were taught Roman law in Bologna (and later in many other places) found that many rules of Roman law were better suited to regulate complex economic transactions than were the customary rules, which were applicable throughout Europe. For this reason, Roman law, or at least some provisions borrowed from it, began to be re-introduced into legal practice, centuries after the end of the
There have been several reasons why Roman law was favored in the Middle Ages. It was because Roman law regulated the legal protection of property and the equality of legal subjects and their wills, and because it prescribed the possibility that the legal subjects could dispose their property through testament.
By the middle of the 16th century, the rediscovered Roman law dominated the legal practice in a lot of European countries. A legal system, in which Roman law was mixed with elements of canon law and of Germanic custom, especially feudal law, had emerged. This legal system, which was common to all of continental Europe (and
The practical application of Roman law and the era of the European Ius Commune came to an end, when national codifications were made. In 1804, the French civil code came into force. In the course of the 19th century, many European states either adopted the French model or drafted their own codes. In
Colonial expansion spread the civil law system and European civil law has been adopted in much of Latin America as well as in parts of
Roman law today
Today, Roman law is no longer applied in legal practice, even though the legal systems of some states like
As steps towards a unification of the private law in the member states of the European Union are being taken, the old Ius Commune, which was the common basis of legal practice everywhere, but allowed for many local variants, is seen by many as a model.
Auctoritas (power of the sovereign)
Basileus (akin to modern sovereign)
Constitution of the
Corpus Iuris Civilis
Imperium (Archons - magistrates - power)
Justitium (akin to modern state of exception)
Lex Caecilia Didia
Lex Duodecim Tabularum
Lex Junia Licinia
List of Roman laws
Res extra commercium
Ancient Greek law
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^ "Roman Law". Catholic Encyclopedia.
^ Jenő Szmodis: The Reality of the Law—From the Etruscan Religion to the Postmodern Theories of Law; Ed. Kairosz, Budapest, 2005.; http://www.jogiforum.hu/publikaciok/231.
^ a b c d e f g "A Short History of Roman Law", Olga Tellegen-Couperus pp. 19–20.
^ Cf. Berger, Adolf. Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law. The American Philosophical Society. 1953. p 529.
^ Jolowicz, H. F. Historical Introduction to the Study of Roman Law.
^ a b c "A Short History of Roman Law" By Olga Tellegen-Couperus, Tellegen-Couper
^ "Civil law (Romano-Germanic)". Encyclopædia Britannica.
Berger, Adolf, "Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law", Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 43, Part 2., Pp. 476.
W. W. Buckland, A Textbook of Roman Law from Augustus to Justinian,
Fritz Schulz, History of Roman Legal Science,
Peter Stein, Roman Law in European History.
Andrew Borkowski and Paul Du Plessis, Textbook on Roman law.
Barry Nicholas, An Introduction to Roman Law. Rev. ed. Ernest Metzger. Clarendon Press, 2008 (ISBN 978-0-19-876063-4).
Jill Harries, "Law and Empire in Late Antiquity"
Gábor Hamza, Das römische Recht und die Privatrechtsentwicklung in Russland im modernen Zeitalter In: Journal on European History of Law, London: STS Science Centre, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 20 – 26, (ISSN 2042-6402).
An extensive collection of digital books and articles on Roman Law and History, in various languages. By professor Luiz Gustavo Kaercher
A very good collection of resources maintained by professor Ernest Metzger.
The Roman Law Library by Professor Yves Lassard and Alexandr Koptev
The Roman Law Articles of Smith's Dictionary
Roman Legal Tradition: open access journal devoted to Roman law
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