The Origin of Western Judicial Systems

Book Details

Author  Edward DeV. Bunn Jr.
Publisher  Cambridge Lighthouse Press
Publication Date   December 10, 2004
ISBN  097670756X
Pages  84

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The Origin of Western Judicial Systems is a historical perspective look at the rich and wonderful beginnings of judicial systems in the Roman Empire. The law of ancient Rome spans almost six centuries of history-from the time of the city's founding in 753 BC until the fall of Rome's Western Empire in the fifth century AD-and provides the backdrop for many of today's legal practices. As a legal system, Roman law has affected the development of law in most of Western civilization as well as parts of the East. This law formed the basis for the legal codes of most continental European countries and is one of the greatest legacies of the Roman Empire In 753 BC, the city of Rome and its administration, which was the nucleus of the Roman Empire, began as a monarchy, but by the end of the sixth century BC kings had been replaced by the Roman Republic. The Republic was located on the banks of the Tiber River in Italy where the birth of the modern judicial system occurred. The earliest laws of Rome, the ius civile, based on Roman Catholic Pontiff's interpretation of the Bible, were unwritten customs passed on orally from one generation to the next in a folk heritage fashion. Initially, ius civile was only applicable Roman citizens and is considered to be the first civil laws specifically designed to regulate the behavior of a defined community of citizens. From these humble beginnings of ius civile, Roman law grew into the first written laws of the Empire, the Twelve Tables of Roman Law. The Twelve Tables, through interpretation and modification by Praetors, Jurists and Advocates, became the basis for what is known today as civil law and was first outlined and systematized in such renowned works as The Institutes and The Digest.

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