Code Of Hammurabi Essay

1900 words - 8 pages

The Code of Hammurabi is considered the earliest known legal document in its entirety, which is a collection of laws and edicts of the Babylonian king Hammurabi. It was uncovered by a pair of French archaeologists at Sussa, Iraq during 1901. Hammurabi established this law code in attempt to establish justice in his hand. He was basically trying to unify his people by having them follow a specific code that included moral values, economic activity, and everyday life.Ø Main Features of the Legal System The code is composed of 28 sections, which appears to be an amendment to the common law of Babylonian. First, it begins with the proper directions for legal procedures and the statements of penalties for unjust accusations, false testimony, and corruption among judges. After, follows laws involving property rights, loans, deposits, debts, domestic property, and family rights. Then follows laws indicating the punishment to physicians causing malpractice or damages caused in other trades or professions. The Code of Hammurabi states that the basis of criminal law is that of equal retaliation, or in other words, "an eye for an eye. The law offers protection to all citizens of Babylonian of every class. The laws provide cover for the weak and the poor, including women, children, and even slaves against injustice at the hand of the rich and the powerful.Ø Examples of Laws 1. Anyone who bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that belonged to its accuser.2. If any one bring accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.3. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, if later error shall appear in his decision by his fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case and he shall never render judgement again.4. If anyone steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or goat, if it belong to a god of to the court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold therefor; if they belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.5. If persons are stolen, then shall the community pay one mina of silver to their relatives.6. If fire break out in a house, and someone who comes to put it out cast his eyes upon the property of the owner of the house, and take the property, he shall be thrown into that self-same fire.7. If anyone take over a field to till it, and obtain no harvest therefrom, it must be proved that he did no work on...

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