Development of Law

  • Jan 1, 604

    The Seventeen Article Constitution of Japan

    The island nation of Japan was given a constitution by a member of the royalty in 604. The code was quite advanced in many aspects, especially in regards to the moral and philosophical aspects of law. Interestingly, there are many differences between the laws detailed in this constitution and tradition Western laws.
  • Jan 1, 653

    T'ang Code

    A standard form of procedures is very important in any system of law. This is chiefly what the 'unifying' T'ang Code did.
  • Jan 1, 700

    Fingerprinting Is Invented

    The invention of fingerprinting meant that prosecutors could be more sure that they were making just arrests. It was first applied in China.
  • Jan 1, 1100

    First Law School

    The first law school was established in Italy. It specialized in teaching the laws of antiquity to students from across Europe. This spread these laws to faraway places.
  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Tensions within the nobility forced the King of England to declare a standardized system of laws into existence. This was instrumental in the evolution of British Law into what it is today.
  • The English Bill of Rights

    This law limited the power of the royalty and helped transform Britain into the democratic pluralistic society that it is today. The laws also gave greater powers to the parliament so that it could govern more effectively.
  • The Salem Witch Trials

    The town of Salem, Massachusetts experienced a withc craze where dozens of innocent individuals were put to death by their fellow townsfolk. The trials showed how much superstition was ingrained into the laws.
  • South Carolina Slave Code

    This law made slaves officially bound to their masters for life, and made their children automatically slaves. This law was copied in many other states and served to oppress the African American people for over one hundred years.
  • Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England

    The accesibilty of legal documents and procedures to the public is essential in a free and democratic society. This is what the British barrister Blackstone intended to do by publishing all the English lwas in one set of volumes. These documents are also useful for us in the study of the history of British law.
  • Present Day

  • Justinian's Code

    Justinian's Code was notable for being one of the main ancestors to our laws in use today. The Emperor Justinian had wanted a clear codification of the laws of the Byzantine Empire.