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The Historical Roots of Objective Law in Ancient Greece and Rome

John David Lewis

Presented at: Lyceum 1999

Date: Jul 09, 1999

Objective law is a fundamental requirement of any society upholding the principle of individual rights. The principles of objective law were derived from attempts to resolve particular disputes between individuals, to prevent those disputes from escalating into violence.

Historically this began in ancient Greece and Rome. This course will examine how specific needs of man in the social context led to the formulation of legal decisions, procedures and principles that replaced the whims of magistrates with written statutes and codes. These inductive developments made possible the later ability to apply legal principles deductively to particular cases. Among the specific issues to be examined are the philosophical prerequisites to rational law, written law as a requirement of the rule of law, magistrate's law as the raw material of later legal codes, and the concept of crime. The course will analyze the contributions of the Greeks and Romans in the development of Objective law.


Parts: 3

Handout: none