Western Civilization law Essay

1352 WordsMar 26, 20096 Pages
The Law in the Western Civilization In the Ancient near east witch is Mesopotamia , Egypt and Israel the law was regulations and rules made by the high social class. The Sumerians a grate invention was the invention of the law. While all cultures have some system of social regulation and conflict resolution, law is a distinct phenomenon. Law is retribution that is administered by a centralized authority. This way retribution for wrongs does not threaten to escalate into a cycle of mutual revenge. Sumerian law sits half way between individual revenge and state-administered revenge: it is up to the individual to drag into the court, but the court actually determines the nature of the retribution to be exacted. The law is written and in this way, law assumes an independent character beyond the centralized authority that administers it. The basic cultural mechanism for dealing with unacceptable behavior is to exact revenge. Unacceptable behavior outside the sphere of revenge initially did not come under the institution of law , it was only much later that disputes that didn't involve retribution would be included in law. We don't know much about Sumerian law but we know that the Code of Hammurabi was written by a Babylonian monarch. Sumerian law, as represented in Hammurabi's code, was a law of exact revenge. It was a kind of revenge because the Hammurabi Code was based on "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life," Sumerian law was also only partly administered by the state, the victim had to bring the criminal to court. Once there, the court mediated the dispute, rendered a decision, and most of the time a court official would execute the sentence, but often it fell on the victim or the victim's family to enforce the sentence. Finally, Sumerian law recognized class distinctions, under Sumerian law, everyone was not equal under the

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