The Assize of Clarendon 1166 King Henry II

The Assize of Clarendon 1166

Henry II (1133–1189)

The Assize of Clarendon
The Assize of Clarendon

The modern-day grand jury can be traced back to a royal hunting lodge in twelfth-century England, according to historians. The Assize of Clarendon was promulgated by King Henry II in Clarendon Palace in Wiltshire, laying the groundwork for one of the most important procedural aspects of criminal law.

In the past, anyone in England may charge someone with a crime, however the victim of the crime was usually the one who pursued the charges. In 1166, Henry II established the Assize of Clarendon to strengthen the crown’s authority by displacing ecclesiastical tribunals.

Read more

Canon Law and the Decretum Gratiani 1140

Canon Law and the Decretum Gratiani 1140

Gratian (c.1110–c. 1158)

Canon Law and the Decretum Gratiani
Canon Law and the Decretum Gratiani

Most people associate canon law with the Catholic Church because of its religious origins and nature. While canon law is primarily concerned with worship, clergy, and the Church, it also has secular legal implications. Legal historians have praised it as an important aspect of the Western legal system.

Much of Europe operated under two legal systems beginning in the late eleventh and early twelve centuries: Roman law and canon law. The two systems competed but also complimented one other, and the former affected the latter. Canon law has its beginnings in ecclesiastical ideas and Church teachings, but it has now expanded to embrace secular matters.

Read more

The Quran 652 – The sacred scripture of Islam

The Quran 652

The Quran
The Quran

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) (c. 570–632)

The sacred scripture of Islam is the foundation of Islamic law, often known as Sharia. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh), according to religious tradition, received his first revelation near Mecca in 610 and continued to receive them until his death. His followers committed his words and acts to memory, and scribes assembled them into the Quran after his death.

Read more

The Tang Code 624, The Tang dynasty

This is the brief story of The Tang Code from the Tang dynasty. The Tang Code had a millennium of direct influence on China

The Tang Code
The Tang Code

China’s history, as one of the world’s oldest civilizations, is traced through a series of dynasties that began nearly 4,000 years ago and concluded in the early twentieth century.

The Tang dynasty (619–906) was one of China’s most important periods in history, with the Tang dynasty (619–906) being credited for cementing China’s long-term political and cultural dominance.The Tang dynasty also produced the Tang Code, which Wallace Johnson, a well-known East Asian historian and one of the first to translate the Tang Code into English, described as “probably the most significant legal document to have arisen in the whole of East Asian history.”

Read more

First Copyright Infringement – Irish War 561

First Copyright Infringement – The Irish Copyright War – The war of Irish Monks.

St. Columba (521–597), Finnian of Moville (495–589)

First Copyright Infringement - The Irish Copyright War
First Copyright Infringement – The Irish Copyright War

The first known decision of what we now call copyright infringement was made by King Diarmait mac Cerbaill of Tara. When Colm Cille, an Irish monk later known as St. Columba, visited Abbot Finnian of Moville, his old instructor and mentor, he secretly copied a psalter, or book of psalms, causing a feud. Columba was well-known as a missionary, manuscript collector, and prolific scribe who frequently copied the writings of intellectuals he met. Finnian sought the copy after learning of Columba’s deed, saying that it belonged to him as much as the original. Columba turned down the offer.

Read more

The Justinian Code 529

The Justinian Code is “probably the most important and influential compilation of civil and secular law that has come down to us from antiquity,” according to John Hessler, a research specialist at the Library of Congress.

The Justinian Code
This mosaic portrait of Justinian I stands in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy.

Justinian I (483–565), Tribonian (c. 485–545)

Although the Twelve Tables contained the earliest documented Roman laws, following state-issued legal publications became increasingly important. The Justinian Code is “probably the most important and influential compilation of civil and secular law that has come down to us from antiquity,” according to John Hessler, a research specialist at the Library of Congress. Many academics regard this collection of legal works, which assembled practically the whole history of surviving Roman law in one location in the sixth century, as the root from which all later Western systems of jurisprudence emerged.”

Read more

The Brehon Laws of Ireland c. 250

The Brehon Laws of Ireland
The Brehon Laws of Ireland

The Brehon Laws of Ireland, which have governed Ireland for almost 1,200 years, were described by noted legal historian and lawyer Sir Henry Maine as “a really extraordinary corpus of archaic law, extraordinarily pure from its inception.” The code was made up of the rendered decisions of Brehons, who acted as arbitrators when conflicts based on customary law arose.

They were “legislators, teachers of the customary law of the nation, expositors, interpreters, and keepers of legal traditions,” according to legal expert Josiah H. Blackmore II. Prior to the widespread invention of writing, the laws evolved over ages and were passed down from generation to generation by oral tradition.

Read more