Development of Law Timeline

  • Jan 1, 604

    The Seventeen Article Constitution of Japan

    The Seventeen Article Constitution of Japan
    Encyclopædia Britannica Issued by Japanese regent, Shotoku Taishi, the Constitution stressed unity, peace, and harmony. Established during a time of dispute, when Japan was divided into heredity uji units, the Constitution abolished heredity powers and put in place ruling by merit. Based on Buddhist values and Confuscian virtues.
  • Jan 1, 653

    T'ang Code

    T'ang Code
    Chapman, Spira & Carson, LLC Written 400 years after the unification of the six separate feuding kingdoms (by Ch'in), served as the Code of Law. It consisted of 501 articles based on crime and punishment, which until then, was based on local option.
  • Jan 1, 700

    Fingerprinting is Invented

    Fingerprinting is Invented
    Forensic Science Developed by the Chinese as a means of identifying documents and clay sculptures. No formal classification system.
  • Jan 1, 1215

    Magna Carta

    Magna Carta
    Britannia History Signed by King John of England, it consisted of 61 clauses of legal rights to his barons and to the people, such as "No freeman shall be captured or imprisioned... except by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land." The Magna Carta was put into place to placate his Barons, who threatened rebellion because he had previously taxed abusively. Known as the "blueprint of English common law."
  • South Carolina Slave Code

    South Carolina Slave Code
    Teaching US History This was a series of laws aimed at controlling the African American slave population. It regulated the use of slaves and became a model for slavery laws in other states. It prohibited slaves from gathering without white supervision, learning to read and write, and making their own food.
  • The American Declaration of Independence

    The American Declaration of Independence
    US History Proclaimed on July 4, the declaration abolished the connection between the United Colonies and the State of Great Britain. It was the first time a a government rebuked the idea of one country ruling another. Important statements include "All men are created equal" and the rights include "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
  • The American Bill of Rights

    The American Bill of Rights
    Web Guides Consists of articles three to twelve, the first ten Ammendments to the US Constitution. Rights included:free speech, press and religion, trial of one's peers, and protection against cruel/unreasonable punishment or searches/seizures. Influenced many modern charters/ bill of rights.
  • The Geneva Convention

    The Geneva Convention
    ICRC The Geneva Convention serves as the core of international humanitarian law, outlining protection for military medical personnel and the treatment for the wounded. It was the first legal document which set out the most basic human standards during war. Later supplemented by a Prisoner of War Convention.
  • The Nuremburg War Crimes Trial

    The Nuremburg War Crimes Trial
    Spartacus Educational A trial consisting of 24 Nazi officers for crimes against peace and humanity during WWII (ex. torture, deportation, persecution, mass extermination). The judge panel consisted of eight leaders from USA, Great Britain, France, and Soviet Union. Twelve received death penalties.
  • Justinian's Code

    Justinian's Code
    Encyclopædia Britannica A collection of laws, Corpus Juris Civilis (Body of Civil Law) developed under the Emperor of Byzantine, Justinian. Consisting of four books, it was inspired by Greek legal principles and became a basis for civil law, one of the two legal systems in use today. This Roman Code has influenced the laws of Italy, Scotland, South Africa, and Quebec.