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Roots of our Canadian law system

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daniel boucher

on 30 September 2013

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Transcript of Roots of our Canadian law system

Code of Hammurabi
1792-1750 BCE
The Code of Hammurabi was created by Hammurabi the king of Babylon whom got his laws for his god and codified it.
There were just about 300 laws recorded which had categories and had punishments to match to the offense.
1792 - 1750 BCE
The

Roots

of

Our

Canadian

Law

System
1200 century BCE
The Ten Modern Commandments:
Modernic Law
1936 - 2013 CE
Mosaic Law:
1200 century BCE
Mosaic law was one of the greatest influences on our laws today. As we learned in the Bible (if you've ever read it) we know that Moses climbed up a mountain and when he came back down he had laws given to him by God.
Relating to the Code of Hammurabi the mosaic laws show they have evolved. It's main focus was to punish deliberate actions rather than both deliberate and accidental.
Miscalculation, directing to too... the REAL Ten Commandments

400 BCE
450 BCE - 100 CE
Roman Law
450 BCE-100 CE
Two basic principals to Roman law:
The law must be recorded and
Justice could not be left in the hands of a judge alone
Twelve tablets written among the earliest roman codes were written on wood and bronze in 450 BCE. This is considered the foundation of modern law. These tablets promoted the public prosecution of crimes, created systems of victim compensation, and protect those of the lower class form being abused by the higher class.
The Romans also controlled most of Europe by 100 CE therefore society became more complex and more laws devised to decide different matters in criminal behavior. As the number of laws increased it was now necessary to ask people who were experienced in law to advise those who weren't . These became what is know as a lawyer now and days.
395 - 529 CE
Justinian's Code
395-529 CE
395 the Roman Empire split into the Byzantine Empire and the Western Roman Empire .
Byzantine Emperor Justinian I ordered 10 men to study the original 1600 books of Roman law and by 529 the task was complete and Justinian had new new book known as Justinian's Code.
Justinian's Code formed the basis of civil law and along with the criminal law it became the main legal system to govern Western civilization.
Fun Fact: Justice was derived from Justinian.
1804 CE
Napoleonic Code
1804 CE
The Napoleonic code took effect in 1804 and spread throughout much of Europe as he brought more countries under his domain

The code regulated civil matters such as property, wills, contracts, and family law.
We got our family law from the Napoleonic Code.
43 - 410 CE
Early British Law
43-410 CE
Romans conquered Great Britain in 43 CE, they imposed laws on them.
The rule lasted till 410 CE when the romans left for battle.
The customs and traditions left there by the romans quickly gave away as the British created their own.
Some laws created after the Roman Empire left were (for example) Trial by Ordeal, Trial by Oath Helping, Trial by Combat, Common Law, etc.
Trial by Ordeal:
When a lord couldn't judge someone based on facts and witnesses the accused would undergo torture thinking that evil could never overcome good. Such trials such as "trial by hot iron", "trial by hot water" and "trial by cold water".
Trial by Oath Helping:
In less serious charges they would get people who knows (knew) the accused to swear on the Bible that he/she was innocent.
Trial by Combat:
After the Norman invasion in 1066, the trial by combat to determine guilt or innocence. Two parties in a dispute engage in a duel to determine who is right and who is wrong. Like the Trial by Ordeal, it was presumed that God would be would be on the righteous side. This is now-and-days adversarial system, with the exception of death and the two parties duel is waged by lawyers in the arena called "court."
1450-1720 CE
Aboriginal Law
1450-1720 CE
In 1450 five aboriginal nations - Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, and Cayuga - all came together and formed a league of nations or the Iroquois Confederacy.
In 172, the Tuscarora joined the Iroquois Confederacy, and the Confederacy more commonly became known as the Six Nations. At it's high the influences of the Six Nations extended to
Quebec in the east and as far west as Illinois. This Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy was eventually recorded as the Great Binding Law.
The Great Binding Law outlined the rights, duties, and resposiblities of the people. This included laws covering adoption, emigration, treason and secession.
The constitution outlined many of the same principals of justice and fairness found in our modern civil rights document
The Feudal System
Eleventh century-twelfth century CE
By 1066 there was no unified system of law since the end of the Roman occupation. In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England.
Eleventh-Twelfth Century CE
He ruled like many kings before him, with
Divine Right
, which is the belief that monarchs get their power to rule from God and that this power is passed down to his/her successor, which put's them "Above the Law," and only accountable to God.
What William did do to set him aside from other rulers though was create a Feudal System. The Feudal System was the division of the whole land (Britain) in to parcels of land (cities). Each parcel of land was controlled by a Nobleman who controlled the whole parcel of land (the land, animals, and even people!?). Because these lands were divided and controlled by different people each land was rule differently, some well and some poorly.
By the twelfth century though, people decided to rise up against the harsh and unfair treatment. Their complaints reached the king whom was at the time King Henry II. His solution to this problem was the Common Law which utterly changed the course of history, reduced the power of the monarchy, and led us to our present-day system of Canadian Law
Common Law
Twelfth century CE
The number of disputes rose, King Henry II sought to bring consistency and fairness to the law. To do this he authorized a number of judges to travel to the villages and towns and hold court to resolve local disputes. These courts were known as
Assizes
and the judges were called
Circuit Judges.
Without a set of rules or a body of codified law these Circuit Judges had to rely on common sense and the principals of justice. They were also guided by existing local customs and traditions that reflected on the communities sense of being just and fair. Therefore the judges were applying existing laws but in oral form.
Over time the judges began to to notice to some similarities among some of the various legal issues. Eventually the judges agreed that similar cases should be ruled the same way, to do this they started recording their cases and decisions.
The records helped them establish a common method of dealing with similar legal issues. These documents formed what is now our
Case Law
or
Common Law
because the information contained was "Common to all."
Some cases of course were
not
the same as others and judges couldn't find a case to follow. When a decision was made, it created a precedent, an example, which other judges could follow in similar cases in the future. This precedent led to something known as
Stare Decisis
, a Latin phrase meaning "To stand by the decision" or abiding by a decision alredy made. This process also developed into the
Rule of Precedent
used today.
These laws were known as the
Ten Commandments
.
Hammurabi's laws were mostly based on
Retribution
, which is an eye of an eye type of justice and
Restitution
, which is the concept of payment of the crime, common with theft. These were justified by accident or a deliberate action.
Twelfth Century CE
Greek Law
400 BCE
Greek law was one of the first forms of democracy. It wasn't what it's like today though. Only few people had rights in greek law excluding women, children, aliens (Illegal aliens, people who enter the country illegally, no space aliens. Though space aliens are coincidentally illegal alines as well), and slaves.
What really made it a democracy though was that citizens were involved in making major decisions affecting the country. For example voting and jury duty. Jury systems were invented in Greece. the largest one recorded was 6000 people.
The End,
La Fin,
To Telos,
Final.
Full transcript