History of Law in Society

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1 History of Law in Society

2 Laws in Canada Our legal system has its origins in many cultures including aspects of Mosaic Law, Greek Law, Roman Law, French Law, and British Laws. In Canada, we are also influenced by Aboriginal Law. Our laws were first codified in 1892 with the Criminal Code of Canada. The types of laws we posses are criminal and civil in nature.

3 Laws in Canada Many early laws in history were based on either Retribution or Restitution. In Canada, our laws include elements of both. In criminal cases, voluntary restitution to a plaintiff by a defendant can be considered when determining a punishment under the criminal code.

4 Protection of People and Property In Canada, the protection of people and property is a key element of our criminal laws The protection of people is covered by the Rule of Law as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The right to be tried by an impartial jury of peers is a fundamental cornerstone of Canada's legal system.

5 Disputes, Contracts, Wills etc. Laws were established in Canada to settle disputes - the ations (Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration. We have laws to regulate the use of contracts and wills.

6 The Babylonians & The Code of Hammurabi When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

7 The Hebrews & the Mosaic Law When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

8 Greek Law When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

9 Roman Law When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

10 Byzantine Law When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

11 French Law or Napoleonic Law When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

12 British Law When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

13 Aboriginal Law When Codified? Type of Law Basis of Laws Retribution or Restitution Protection of Property Protection for Persons Settle Disputes Regulate Contracts

14 Definitions You Need Definitions Law in Canada Codification of Laws Adversarial System Retribution Case Law Restitution Common Law Ten Commandments Stare Decisis Origin of Democracy Rule of Precedent Divine Right Habeas Corpus Trial by Ordeal or Combat The Great Binding Law

15 The Codification of Laws Laws were passed orally down the generations, but as societies grew, it became important that they were codified, or written down.

16 Hammurabi s Code 1. Code of Hammurabi - First Codified law: governed all aspects of life - Laws were said to be from the gods - Very male-dominated - Based on retribution and restitution

17 The Mosaic Laws 2. Mosaic Law - Ten Commandments - Laws became more specific and focused on deliberate action. First to look at intent. - Restitution (restore oxen) - Retribution (put to death)

18 Greek Law - First democracy, but for citizens only. - Citizens expected to participate in decisions. First to have jury duty. - The Greeks used democracy to decide the punishment. Both the accused and accuser chose a sentence, and the jury voted. (Socrates)

19 Roman Law - The law must be recorded, and justice was not left only to judges to decide. - Public trials, victim compensation, protection of lower classes from the elite, and legal experts for counsel. First to have Lawyers. - Codified Roman Law was brought to England and is the foundation of modern law.

20 Justinian and the Byzantine Empire - Organized and clarified Roman Law into Justinian s Code. - Inspired modern concept of justice (Justinian) and provided the foundation for much of modern law. - Created the distinction between civil and criminal law

21 The Napoleonic Code - Also known as the French Civil Code (Still used in Quebec) - Spread throughout Europe in Napoleon s Empire. - Became popular because it was simple to understand. - Regulated wills, property, family law and contracts

22 Effects on Canadian Law - Early British Law - After the Romans left Britain, the people turned to local customs. - Trial by Ordeal: God will save the innocent. - In all Trials (by ordeal, oath helping and combat) it was assumed God would save the innocent. - Today s Adversarial System where lawyers meet and battle stem from this tradition. - Today, many of our legal traditions and customs come from Britain.

23 Early British Law The Feudal System - The King was the law by Divine Right, meaning his laws came from God. - Land was owned by noblemen, and they ruled their land with their own laws and judgments. - Some were fair, others not. Eventually, the people rose up against this treatment.

24 Early British Law Common Law - King Henry II created a new system that was consistent. - Circuit Judges traveled the country and worked in courts called assizes. - Judges used common sense, and began to notice common elements. They formed case law or common law. - Unusual cases and decisions started the rule of precedent. This comes from Stare Decisis stand by the decision

25 Early British Law Legal Reforms - King Henry then created juries, courts and a legal system that took power from the king. - If laws weren t from God, the king was no longer above the law. - The Magna Carta was created which gave the people rights. - This led to the development of the Rule of Law (from earlier) and now everyone was equal. - The right of habeas corpus prevented people from being arrested and imprisoned with proper reason.

26 Aboriginal Law - The native nations of North America had laws that were passed orally down generations. There was a strong sense of family, community and spiritual belief in a creator. Around 1450, the Six Nations group codified their laws into The Great Binding Law. This law created a complete legal system of rights and freedoms.

27 Reflect Although the laws have changed dramatically since the Code of Hammurabi, many traditions are still linked to the past. Mosaic Law provides the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam which have brought many legal traditions around the world from the past. The Greeks gave us juries of our peers and the Romans gave us lawyers. The Roman system also formed the basis of the Quebec Civil Code. The British system gave us common law, rule of law and precedent. Aboriginal legal traditions are playing a larger role in in land claims and treaty rights, and are being used to govern communities.

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