The Impact of European Rights on National Legal Cultures (Modern Studies in European Law)

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However, there were many cases in which foreigners were also involved. These cases were subject to justice by different magistrates and governors and hence the need of another type of law occurred. This other type of jurisdiction was then called jus gentium law of nations and was applied to both the Romans themselves and the foreigners. It became a flexible alternative to jus civile applied by the magistrates.

In its essence jus gentium consisted of the following elements: 1. The existing mercantile law used by the Mediterranean traders; 2. Institutions of Roman law that could be applied universally; 3. By the 3rd century AC when citizenship was extended throughout the empire, the practical differences between jus civile and jus gentium ceased to exist. The term jus gentium obtained a more universal meaning referring to the same legal results whether the participated parties were citizens or not. An important divisions of Roman law became what is now known as jus scriptum written law and jus non scriptum unwritten law.

The term unwritten law was strictly referred to customs, while written law represented literally all law based on any written source and evidence. There were various types of written law, the first of which consisted of leges or enactments of one of the general assemblies of the Roman people. They were source of law only during the Republic. The most important leges or legislation were the Twelve Tables, enacted in BC.

This is the first attempt by the Romans to create a code of law in order to prevent political struggle between classes. Little is known of the actual content of the Twelve Tables. Unfortunately the authentic text of the code has not completely survived to date and only a few fragments are presently preserved. However, these fragments clearly show that numerous key legal matters were treated by the code such as family law, delict and legal procedure. Many of today's laws throughout the world can be tied back to the earliest of beginnings with the Twelve Tables.

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Other types of written law were: the edicta edicts or proclamations, issued by a superior magistrate on judicial matters; the senatus consulta or resolutions of the Roman senate; constitutiones principum which were expressions of the legislative power of the emperor as by the middle of the 2nd century AC the emperor was the sole creator of the law; and the responsa prudentium or answers to legal questions given by learned lawyers to those who consulted them.

The sources of our knowledge of Roman law in the ancient world include statutes, deeds and the written content left by legal scholars. Among these the Institutes of Gaius, an unfinished manuscript of lections, dated from the 2nd century AC, must be mentioned. Gaius invented a system of private law based on the division of all material into personae persons , res things and actiones legal actions. This system was used for many centuries that followed after.

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However, the most important source of information is the Corpus Juris Civilis, ordered by the emperor Justinian I. The emperor formed a commission of jurists to compile all existing Roman laws till date into one unified body. Subsequently, by blending the old outdated laws with the new laws of the Roman empire, emperor Justinian I effectively cleansed and updated the Roman law thus selecting only those rules that had real practical value of the time leaving behind all obsolete principles and postulates.

The second book or a set of book volumes consists of 50 more book volumes that became known as Digest Digesta or Pandects Pandectae. At about the same time the Institutes of Justinian was published. It contained an outline of the elements of the Roman law. The last book is known as the New constitutions or the Novels and consists of ordinances issued by the emperor himself.

His system of law continued to develop even further in the Eastern Empire until the very fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 15th century. However, the real resurrection of Roman law occurred in the West.

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From there Roman law spread across all Catholic Europe with England being an important exception. By the 16th century Roman law was in force throughout most of Europe. In: Clement-Wilz, L. In: Foulds, C. Advancing Energy Policy. McKeever, G.

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