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Lately, we're adhering to 2,500 years of judicial precedent a lot less.
it makes me woder to what extent Roman law really is a precedent in Anglo-American law. Roman influence in the British Isles basically disappeared overnight when the legions left, unlike in the rest of the Empire. Then you have English Common Law as the basis of law. I am not entirely certain that Roman law sets a precedent for the US. It certainly operates by analogy and the Founding Fathers took inspiration in Rome (or their myth of it) when they were designing their Republic. Considering
Twelve Tables - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

According to traditional, semi-legendary historical accounts preserved in Livy, during the earliest period of the Republic the laws were kept secret by the pontifices and other representatives of the patrician class, and were enforced with untoward severity, especially against the plebeian class. A plebeian named Terentilius proposed in 462 BC that an official legal code should be published, so that plebeians could not be surprised and would know the law.

Patricians long opposed this request, but in 451 BC a Decemvirate, or board of ten men, was appointed to draw up a code. They allegedly sent an embassy to Greece to study the legislative system of Athens, known as the Solonian Constitution, but also find about the legislation of other Greek cities. Modern scholars believe that a Roman assembly most likely visited the Greek cities of Southern Italy, and did not travel all the way to Greece.

The first Decemvirate completed the first ten codes in 450 BC. Here is how Livy describes their creation, "...every citizen should quietly consider each point, then talk it over with his friends, and, finally, bring forward for public discussion any additions or subtractions which seemed desirable." In 449 BC, the second Decemvirate completed the last two codes, and after a secessio plebis to force the Senate to consider them, the Law of the Twelve Tables was formally promulgated. The Twelve Tables were literally drawn up on twelve ivory tablets (Livy says brass) which were posted in the Forum Romanum so that all Romans could read and know them.

it is possible that the Magna Carta is the oldest source of Anglo-American law.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 09:25:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd have thought that you could have traced some of the laws and procedures back to Anglo saxon law

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 09:58:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose. My original question was, do Anglo-american legal scolars trace the roots of their law to Roman law, or not?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 10:02:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Roman Law in the West:
By the middle of the 16th century, the rediscovered Roman law dominated the legal practice in most European countries. A legal system, in which Roman law was mixed with elements of canon law and of Germanic custom, especially feudal law, had emerged. This legal system, which was common to all of continental Europe (and Scotland) was known as Ius Commune. This Ius Commune and the legal systems based on it are usually referred to as civil law in English-speaking countries.

Only England did not take part in the wholesale reception of Roman law. One reason for this is that the English legal system was more developed than its continental counterparts by the time Roman law was rediscovered. Therefore, the practical advantages of Roman law were less obvious to English practitioners than to continental lawyers. As a result, the English system of common law developed in parallel to Roman-based civil law, with its practitioners being trained at the Inns of Court in London rather than receiving degrees in Canon or Civil Law at the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. Elements of Romano-canon law were present in England in the ecclesiastical courts and, less directly, through the development of the equity system. In addition, some concepts from Roman law made their way into the common law. Especially in the early 19th century, English lawyers and judges were willing to borrow rules and ideas from continental jurists and directly from Roman law.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 10:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it appears that they do

| Book Review | Law and History Review, 17.2 | The History Cooperative

 Nevertheless, while trying to satisfy emotions, Cantor also provides a comprehensive and up-to-date narrative of the history of Anglo-American law, with critical comparisons with the Romanist tradition of "Justinian law" [sic]. He carries the story of common law from Glanville down to the O. J. trial--from the "legal revolution" of the twelfth century down to the state of Anglo-American law in the 1990s. The first key figure is Bracton, who was the first to introduce theory (drawn mainly from Roman law but also scholasticism and Magna Carta) into the unruly growth of English custom. Bracton is characterized by Cantor, variously and imaginatively, as "a medieval Holmes," a plausible secondary character in a Hardy novel,

Bracton Online home page, Harvard Law School Library

Bracton's chief claim to fame is his association with the long treatise De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae (On the Laws and Customs of England), which the noted legal historian F.W. Maitland described as "the crown and flower of English jurisprudence." The work (commonly known now simply as Bracton) attempts to describe rationally the whole of English law, a task that was not again undertaken until Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England in the eighteenth century. The work is remarkable both for its wealth of detail and for its attempts to make sense out of English law largely in terms of the ius commune, the combination of Roman and canon law that was taught in the universities in Bracton's time.

While the attribution of the work to Bracton is of considerable antiquity, it now seems that the bulk of the work was written in the 1220's and 1230's by persons other than Bracton himself.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 10:17:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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