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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
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