Why Were Roman Laws Created

Why Were Roman Laws Created

13 December, 2022 0 Comments

In the Republic, the emphasis was more on the adaptation of existing laws by magistrates (ius honorarium) than on the creation of entirely new legislation. This was done especially in the annual Praetorian Edict (codified from 131 AD), when the types of admissible cases, defence and exceptions were described and an assessment of the previous year`s legal policy was made, making the necessary legal changes accordingly. In this way, it was the application of laws that could be adapted while the law itself remained unchanged, and so a series of case formulas accumulated to provide greater legal cover for the ever-changing situation of Roman society. For example, a fine could be increased to keep pace with inflation, but the legal principle of a fine for a specific offence remained unchanged. This allowed other officials, such as governors and military courts, to “interpret” the law and apply it on a case-by-case basis based on individual circumstances. The first text of the law is the Law of the Twelve Tablets of the mid-fifth century BC. The plebeian tribune, C. Terentilius Arsa, proposed writing the law to prevent judges from arbitrarily applying the law. [4] After eight years of political struggle, the plebeian social class convinced the patricians to send a delegation to Athens to copy Solon`s laws; For a similar reason, they also sent delegations to other Greek cities. [4] In 451 BC. According to traditional history (as Livy relates), ten Roman citizens were chosen to register the laws known as decemviri legibus scribundis.

While performing this task, they were given supreme political power (imperium), while the power of magistrates was limited. [4] In 450 BC. The Decemviri produced the laws on ten tablets (tabulae), but these laws were considered unsatisfactory by the plebeians. A second decemvirate is said to have added two more tablets in 449 BC. The new Law of the Twelve Tablets has been approved by the People`s Assembly. [4] The history of Roman law can be divided into three procedural systems: that of legis actiones, the system of form and cognitio extra ordinem. The periods in which these systems were used overlapped and had no definitive breaks, but it can be noted that the legis actio system existed from the time of the twelfth tables (about 450 BC) until the end of the 2nd century BC. It was widespread that the formula method was mainly used from the last century of the Republic until the end of the Classic period (c. 200 AD), and that of cognitio extra ordinem was in use in the Post-Classic period. Again, this data is designed as a tool to understand the types of procedures used, not as a rigid boundary where one system ended and another began. [7] “Jus eat ars boni et aqua” The law is the art of good and justice. This is how the Roman jurist Celsus defined law.

This definition represents and embraces the desires of the Roman people and their will to create and implement laws, a desire that actually managed to completely transcend the limits of time and reach the modern world as we know it today. Roman law is the stable foundation on which modern legal culture as a whole has developed and evolved. The civil law system is based on late Roman law and its most distinctive feature – that its fundamental principles are codified in a system that serves as the main source of law. After the Romans established a republic in 509 BC. They created several legislative bodies representing different classes of people. Initially, only upper-class patricians made laws. But soon the plebeians of the lower class obtained this right. Around 570 BC.

A.D., the Romans created the praetor system to settle conflicts. It has largely replaced the role of families and fathers in the legal system. Under the new system, the praetor, a powerful government official, received and investigated written complaints from citizens. The praetor decided whether or not to authorize a trial before a judge. The plaintiff, the person who filed the application and the defendant then presented their evidence to the judge. In the end, the lender decided the case and ordered reparation or compensation in case the plaintiff was successful. The praetor system treated crimes in the same way. While jurists often came from the upper echelons of society and, perhaps inevitably, dealt with the issues most relevant to this elite, they also dealt with two fundamental social principles in their deliberations: equity (aequitas) and practicality (utilitas). Moreover, because of their intellectual monopoly, jurists had much more independence from politics and religion than was common in ancient societies. From the 3rd century AD, however, the legal system was replaced by more direct intervention by those who ruled, especially by the emperor himself. Gradually, the number of legal experts and lawyers grew more and more like modern lawyers, who could be consulted by anyone who needed legal advice.

However, unlike modern lawyers, they offered their services for free, at least in principle. No one is legally obliged to judge a case. The judge had a great deal of leeway in the way he conducted the litigation. He looked at all the evidence and decided in the way that seemed right. Since the judge was neither a lawyer nor a legal engineer, he often consulted a lawyer about the technical aspects of the case, but he was not bound by the lawyer`s response. At the end of the dispute, if things were not clear to him, he could refuse to make a judgment by swearing that it was not clear. In addition, there was a maximum time limit for a judgement, which depended on certain technical issues (nature of the request, etc.). Students who learned Roman law in Bologna (and later in many other places) found that many rules of Roman law were better suited to regulating complex economic transactions than the usual rules that applied throughout Europe. For this reason, Roman law, or at least some provisions borrowed from it, was reintroduced into legal practice centuries after the end of the Roman Empire. This process was actively supported by many kings and princes who employed university-trained jurists as advisors and court officials, trying to benefit from rules such as the famous Princeps legibus solutus est (“The ruler is not bound by the laws”, a term originally coined by Ulpian, a Roman jurist). The system of Roman law developed during the continued existence of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.

Between 753-31 BC. AD, the ius civile (civil law) was developed. This legislation applied exclusively to Roman citizens. However, there have been many cases where foreigners have also been involved. These cases were adjusted by different judges and governors, so a different type of law was needed. This other type of jurisdiction was then called jus gentium (international law) and applied to both the Romans themselves and foreigners. It became a flexible alternative to the ius civile used by magistrates. Jus gentium consisted essentially of the following elements: 1. the existing commercial law applied by Mediterranean traders; 2. institutions of civil law that could be universally applied; 3.

The judge`s sense of what is fair or equitable. In the 3rd century AD. When citizenship was extended to the whole empire, the practical differences between ius civile and ius gentium ceased to exist. The term jus gentium has been given a more general meaning, referring to the same legal outcomes, whether or not the parties involved are citizens. Only England and the Nordic countries did not participate in the full reception of Roman law. One reason for this is that at the time of the rediscovery of Roman law, the English legal system was more developed than its continental counterparts. As a result, the practical benefits of Roman law were less obvious to English practitioners than to continental jurists. As a result, the English common law system developed alongside Roman civil law, its practitioners being trained at the Inns of Court in London, rather than obtaining degrees in canon or civil law at the universities of Oxford or Cambridge. Elements of Roman canon law were present in England in ecclesiastical courts and, less directly, through the development of the judicial system.

In addition, some concepts of Roman law have found their way into the common law. Especially in the early 19th century, English jurists and judges were ready to adopt the rules and ideas of continental jurists and directly Roman law. The Romans, as a rule, did not manipulate the local customs and laws of the peoples they had conquered. However, after centuries of Roman rule, Roman law began to apply equally to citizens and foreigners throughout the empire. Jus gentium (“law of nations”) included commercial laws, decisions of provincial governors and judges, and edicts of emperors.

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