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The Justinian Code and Roman Law

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Christina Kwiczala

on 15 September 2014

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Transcript of The Justinian Code and Roman Law

Impact on Canadian Law
- The practice of having an advisor who specializes in the law first became prevalent during Roman Times
- As the number of laws increased, it became necessary to train those who had expertise in legal areas to advise those who did not
- Justinian's Code inspired the modern concept of justice and served as an important basis for law in contemporary society
'Justice' is derived from Emperor Justinian's name!
- Justinian's Code formed the basis of civil law which became one of the main legal systems to govern Western civilization
- Elements of Justinian's Code can be found in the laws of France, which eventually influenced the development of Canadian Law

- At its peak, the Roman Empire extended from Britain to Africa and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea
- This area had one government, one monetary system, and one set of laws
- Roman laws were codified, they were set out in an orderly written arrangement that could be revised as new laws were needed
- The earliest coded Roman laws were created in 450 BCE, and by 100 CE the Romans had a sophisticated and complex set of laws

- As Roman society became more and more complex, more laws were devised to decide such matters as what constituted criminal behavior, how contracts should be regulated, and how everyday disputes between citizens should be resolved
- In 529 CE the Emperor Justinian I decided to reform, organize, and clarify Roman Law
It became the standard body of law throughout the Roman Empire

Beliefs and Values
- Roman laws reflected a patriarchal society
- The Justinian Code was implemented after the Roman Empire had recognized Christianity as its official religion
It united the church and state
It only allowed Christians to be Roman citizens
It forbade the practicing of other religions among citizens, especially paganism

Examples of Laws
- "Sons shall be under the jurisdiction [legal authority] of the father"
- "Women are prohibited from being the main heir to a dead man's estate, including situations where there are no male relatives alive"

- "Manumission, or the freeing of a slave could only be accomplished if the master was at least 20 years old and the slave at least 30. The freed slave could not become a Roman citizen"

- "A Senator can be expelled from the senate if they had been convicted of a crime, or if their power had been revoked while serving as a magistrate"

- "Marrying-age celibates and young widows that would not marry are barred from receiving inheritances and from attending public games"
The Justinian Code and Roman Law
There Were Two Basic Principles of Roman Law
The law must be recorded
Justice could not be left to judges alone

Canada Adopted the Following Aspects of the Roman Legal System
- The Use of Codes
Most of Canada's criminal laws have been published in the Criminal Code
- The Use of Lawyers
Lawyers are a mainstay of the Canadian legal system, providing assistance to almost everyone who comes in
- No concept of gender equality
- In many cases women were not even mentioned since they had no status as 'persons
- Romans practiced slavery, which goes against our conceptions of equality
- This is similar to our rules of conduct and professional standards of a variety of careers
- No conception of freedom of choice
- People who are viewed as 'different' don't have the same entitlements as the rest of society
- All About Law: Exploring the Canadian Legal System (2010), Sixth Edition, Nelson
- Dimensions of Law: Canadian and International Law in the 21st Century (2004), Emond Montgomery Publications Limited
- Law in Action: Understanding Canadian Law (2009), Second Edition, Pearson
- http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/308835/Code-of-Justinian
- http://www.leges.uni-koeln.de/en/lex/codex-iustinianus/
Full transcript