History of Law
What shaped the Canadian legal system (Grace Zhi)
The Code of Hammurabi
A few examples of their laws are:
- "If a son strikes his father, his hands shall be hewn off."
- "If a man knocks out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out."
- "If anyone is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death."
Life in the time of Hammurabi in Babylon would be pretty hard, since it was very likely to be punished for small actions. Also, accusing others of crimes was hard because the law requires the person accusing of the other to bring them to the court themselves. This means there was no police force to control situations or to make arrests. Also, doctors in this time period received high wages but however, they were received brutal punishments if errors were made. For example, if an operation is not successful, then the hands of the doctor would be cut off.
A few examples of their laws are:
- "A dreadfully deformed child shall be quickly killed."
- "If the theft has been done by night, if the owner kills the thief, the thief shall be held to be lawfully killed."
- "If one is slain while committing theft by night, he is rightly slain."
Because of the strict punishments, life was hard because of the rules and punishments and how easily a murder can be justified as being legal.
The Napoleonic Code
- Outlines civil rights
- marriage laws
- relationship laws
- property laws
- ownership laws
- receiving and modifying one's rights (inheriting and through marriage)
Examples of Laws:
- "A Married couple owe to each other loyalty, help or aid, and assistance."
- "The husband has the management of all the personal property of the wife."
- "The husband manages the property of the community. He may sell it, oppose, and pledge it without the agreement of his wife."
The British North America Act
- postal service
- criminal law
- marriage and divorce
- property and civil rights
- administration of justice in the province
- local works
The British North America Act was completely written by Canadians at the Quebec Conference of 1864 instead of the British. It was passed without going through the process of amendment. The picture on the top right corner shows the Fathers of Confederation discussing the BNA Act.
Quotations from the BNA Act:
- "Until the Queen otherwise directs the Seat of Government of Canada shall be Ottawa."
- "There shall be One Parliament for Canada, consisting of the Queen, an Upper House styled the Senate, and the House of Commons."
- "...The Part which formerly constituted the Province of Upper Canada shall constitute the Province of Ontario; and the Part which formerly constituted the Province of Lower Canada shall constitute the Province of Quebec."
- "The Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick shall have the same Limits as at the passing of this Act."
Comparing Laws from Different Time Periods
In the Code of Hammurabi and the Roman law, people were very concerned on the social status of a person. They were treated like less of a person just because of their class. In the Napoleonic Code, we begin to see a change in law as they have started to promote equality between people. However at that time, only men were considered equal; women were still inferior to men. By the time the BNA Act was established, the inequality in gender has gone down a little, but it still existed.
Laws created in the past has been heavily based on religion and morals. It caused some laws to be unreasonable and strange. Later on in time, laws started being based on common sense and reality. This makes the laws and punishments sounds more reasonable and justified.
Trueman, Chris. "Ancient Rome and Religion." Ancient Rome and Religion. N.p., 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/ancient_rome_and_religion.htm>.
"The Twelve Tables." Ancient Rome. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://rome.mrdonn.org/12tables.html>.
ANCIENT ROMAN LAW (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <http://www.pravos.unios.hr/engleski/pdf/roman_read.pdf>.
"Hammurabi's Code." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, 2014. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "British North America Act."Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/80310/British-North-America-Act>.
"Guide to the BNA Act." Canadian Human Rights Commission. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014.
"British North America Act 1867 Document." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.
"Napoleonic Code Approved in France." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.
"Napoleonic Code." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/thenapoleonsandempire/a/Napoleonic-Code-Code-Napoleon.htm>.
"The Napoleonic Code." Modern European History. N.p., 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. <https://moderneurope.wikispaces.com/The+Napoleonic+Code>.