The Role of Ma’at in the Emergence of Law in Ancient Egypt

Examining the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat. By Dr. N.J. van Blerk Lecturer in Ancient Studies University of South Africa (UNISA) Abstract In this article, the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat is discussed, as well as the[…]

A Brief Overview of Law and Courts in Ancient Athens

The Athens Acropolis as seen from the Court of Cassation (Areopagus, i.e. the “Stone, or Hill, of Ares”) / Photo by Tilemahos Efthimiadis, Wikimedia Commons Focusing on Athenian law in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. Introduction When we investigate how the law and the courts of Classical Greece worked, the law of ancient Athens provides most of[…]

The Historical Development of the Interface between Law, Medicine, and Psychiatry

From the Guild-Book of the Barber-Surgeons of the city of York / British Library, Public Domain Medicine and law were related from early times. This relation resulted as a necessity of protecting communities from the irresponsible acts of impostors. By Magdaleen Swanepoel, LLB, LLD Professor of Law University of South Africa (UNISA) History, despite its wrenching[…]

The Valerio-Horatian Laws of the Roman Republic and Plebeian Recognition

In response to drastic unjust debt and legal principles the Plebeians deserted their positions in society and left the Army refusing to fight in 494 BCE. The laws restored the right of appeal to the people and introduced measures which were favorable to the plebeians. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.05.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief[…]

Roman Law, from the Twelve Tables to the Corpus Iuris Civilis

The historical importance of Roman law is reflected by the continued use of Latin legal terminology in many legal systems influenced by it, including common law. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 10.05.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years[…]

The Origin of a Jury Trial from Ancient Greece to Medieval England

Kleroterion. This device was used for the jury selection system in Athens. Bronze identification tickets were inserted to indicate eligible jurors who were also divided into tribes. By a random process, a whole row would be accepted or rejected for jury service. There was a kleroteria in front of each court. / Photo by Sharon[…]

Social Norms in the Courts of Ancient Athens

Ancient Athens was a remarkably peaceful and well-ordered society by both ancient and contemporary standards. By Adriaan Lanni, J.D. Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law Harvard Law School Abstract Ancient Athens was a remarkably peaceful and well-ordered society by both ancient and contemporary standards. Scholars typically attribute Athens’ success to internalized norms and purely informal enforcement mechanisms.[…]

A Barbaric Form of Fixed Medieval Justice

Ordeal of boiling water from a Sachsenspiegel manuscript (1350 – 1375). Photo courtesy the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany In difficult criminal cases, when ‘ordinary’ evidence was lacking, their legal systems asked God to painfully inform them about defendants’ criminal status. By Dr. Peter T. Leeson / 10.19.2017 Duncan Black Professor of Economics and Law[…]

Punishing Criminals in the Middle Ages

In the Medieval ages there was an incredible amount of criminals, mostly because of impunity which gave them freedom to commit crimes. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.28.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Reasons for Committing Crimes In the Medieval ages there was an incredible amount of criminals, mostly because of impunity which gave them freedom[…]

From Blue Lobsters to Friendly Giants: Visual Representations of the Police, 1840–1880

Gloucestershire Constabulary at Northleach 1850s Pictures of Victorian policemen contain varied, conflicting and interacting strands of meaning. By Jane M. Card / 08.27.2018 Historian Introduction Images from the past are never to be taken at face value since, made according to contemporary visual conventions and artistic tastes, they reflect not objective reality but contemporary opinions[…]

Justice in Pharaonic Egypt

Detail of sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III / The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge Justice  was an immensely important concept within ancient pharaonic Egypt, known to them by the word Ma’at. By A.J. van Loon / 12.15.2014 MA Thesis, Ancient History Leiden University Introduction Concerning Egypt, I am going to speak at length, because it[…]

Rationality and Irrationality in the Ancient Greek Law of Procedure

A representation of Draco at the library of the Supreme Court of the United States / Photo by the Draconian Society, Wikimedia Commons Exploring rational and irrational procedural methods in Greek adjudication in archaic times. By Dr. Gerhard Thür Professor Emeritus of Roman Law Austrian Academy of Sciences Abstract The paper deals with what today[…]

Ancient Egyptian Law: Seeking Peace with Oneself, One’s Community, and the Gods

Polychrome relief of Kagemni in his own mastaba, Saqqara, Egypt. Kagemni was a vizier of pharaohs Djedkare Isesi and Unas (5th dynasty), and Teti (6th dynasty), 24th century BCE. / Photo by Sémhur, Wikimedia Commons Ancient Egyptian culture flourished through adherence to tradition and their legal system By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 10.02.2017 Professor of Philosophy Marist College[…]

The Supreme Court before John Marshall

By Dr. Scott Doublas Gerber, J.D. Professor of Law Pettit College of Law Ohio Northern University The Pre-Marshall Court in the American Mind    Patrick Henry (left) and Alexander Hamilton (right) both refused appointments to the Supreme Court Students of judicial institutions in recent years have come to appreciate more than ever that to understand[…]

The Legal System in the United States

Gordon County Courthouse in Calhoun, GA / Photo by Brent Moore, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.12.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt has this vital role in our criminal procedure for cogent reasons. The accused, during a criminal prosecution, has at stake interests of immense importance,[…]

Corroding Civil Liberties, Supreme Court Codifies Unlawful Police Stops

The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that evidence collected during an illegal stop can be used in court if the search was conducted after the discovery of an arrest warrant. (Photo: Mark Fischer/flickr/cc) “This case tells everyone…that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in[…]

How Campus Policies Limit Free Speech

Why do campuses have “free speech zones”? John By David L. Hudson, Jr. / 05.31.2016 First Amendment Expert, Adjunct Professor of Law Vanderbilt University Colleges and universities are supposed to be places where freedom of expression flourishes. Sadly, that is not the case. At a recent debate on the Yale University campus, 66 percent of[…]

Machine Bias

Bernard Parker, left, was rated high risk; Dylan Fugett was rated low risk. (Josh Ritchie for ProPublica) There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks. By Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner / 05.23.2016 On a spring afternoon in 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to[…]

Law: Changes In and Growth of Jurisprudence After the Middle Ages

Brian Turner on Flickr, under Creative Commons By Dr. Martin Otto Professor of Law and Legal History FernUniversität in Hagen Translated by: Andrew Smith Editor: Barbara Dölemeyer Copy Editor: Lisa Landes Abstract The medieval mind was unable to differentiate between temporal and spiritual law. Law was conceived as a unitary precept with a religious-metaphysical foundation.[…]

When Original Intent Isn’t So Original: The Senate “Thurmond Rule”

Senator Strom Thurmond / Creative Commons By Sean Pevsner, J.D. Brewminate Legal Analyst The preamble to the United States Constitution states: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of[…]