History Of Law Assignment

The Code Of Hammurabi

The Code of Hammurabi is the longest surviving text from the Old Babylonian period (2000-1600 BC). The code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest examples of the idea of presumption of innocence, and it also suggests that both the accused and accuser have the opportunity to provide evidence. The code of laws was arranged in orderly groups, so that everyone who read the laws would know what was required of them.

Some of the best known laws from Hammurabi's code was:

"An Eye For An Eye" Ex. Law #196: "If a man destroy the eye of another man, they shall destroy his eye. If one break a man's bone, they shall break his bone. If one destroy the eye of a freeman or break the bone of a freeman he shall pay one mana of silver. If one destroy the eye of a man's slave or break a bone of a man's slave he shall pay one-half his price."

"Slavery" Ex. Law #15: "If any one take a male or female slave of the court, or a male or female slave of a freed man, outside the city gates, he shall be put to death."

"Theft" Ex. Law #22: "If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death."

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Roman Law

Roman Law, the law of ancient Rome from the time of the founding of the city in 753 BCE until the fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century CE. Roman law has affected the development of law in most of Western civilization as well as in parts of the East and forms the basis for the law codes of most countries of continental Europe. The legal institutions evolved by the Romans had influence on the laws of other peoples in times long after the disappearance of the Roman Empire and in countries that were never subject to Roman rule. The Romans divided their law into jus scriptum (written law) and jus non scriptum (unwritten law). By unwritted they meant custom laws and by written laws they meant laws based on a written source.
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British North America Act

The British North America Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1867 and is the law that created the Canadian confederation. A federation usually consists of at least two main levels of government, Canada is no different. However, these levels can't share the same powers, as that would lead to direct competition and chaos so responsibilities and power was distributed upon them. The BNA Act was passed to set the legal ground rules for Canada, and also to divide up the powers between the provinces and the federal government.

Some of the key areas of federal and provincial responsibility are:


  • The Public Debt and Property.
  • The Raising of Money by any Mode or System of Taxation.
  • The Criminal Law


  • Direct Taxation within the Province in order to the raising of a Revenue for Provincial Purposes.

  • The Establishment, Maintenance, and Management of Hospitals, Asylums, Charities,

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Constitutional Act

The Constitutional Act passed by the British Parliament in 1791 divided the province of Quebec into two distinct colonies, lower Canada in the east and upper Canada in the west. The new constitutional act that repealed the Quebec Act of 1774 did not concern other Canadian colonies. For the first time since 1763, the name Canada was reintroduced into official documents and the two colonies were from then on called a "province". Upper and Lower Canada each had their own Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, Executive Council, and lieutenant governor. The new Constitution appeared very tolerant for the time, because it gave women, aboriginals, Jews, and Catholics the right to vote.
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