March 31, 2011
Historical Laws and Security
The Code of Hammurabi was established in 1750 B.C. by Babylonian King Hammurabi. It contained 282 clauses that regulated a variety of obligations, professions, and rights, including clauses pertaining to commerce, slavery, theft, and debts. The punishment for violating any of the clauses, were at the very least, barbaric when compared to the punishment given today for the same crime. Draco’s Law was written in 621 B.C and is named after the Greek citizen who wrote the code of law for Athens. The laws were the first laws written for Greece (Clifford, 2004). It is important to recognize these laws because they were the first ones to introduce the notion that the state, not private citizens should be responsible for punishing a person accused of committing a crime. The Law of the Twelve Tables was written in Rome in 450 B.C. The laws were meant to govern Romans. The laws were considered as the foundation of modern public and private law. The laws helped to organize how crimes would be prosecuted and began a system in which the victim could seek compensation from the offender. These laws were written to protect the lower classes from an aggressive government; particularly when it came to the enforcement of debts (Clifford, 2004). It was at this point that Roman law was written so the judges could not interpret them anyway they chose. Emperor of Byzantium, Justinian (A.D. 529) wrote a series of books called Corpus Juris Civilis that were the codification of Roman law and are a good example of early codified law (Clifford, 204). Legal maxims derived from these books are still used in the modern legal system. The code was the foundation of civil law and continues to be used today. The Magna Carta was created in 1215 during the reign of King John of England and is the basis for “due process” as we know it. The Magna Carta...