Judges have a variety of roles and functions in Canada`s constitutional democracy. They interpret the law, evaluate the evidence presented, and monitor the conduct of hearings and trials in their courtrooms. More importantly, judges […] Another important law of the Republican era is the Lex Aquilia of 286 BC. J.-C., which can be considered the root of modern tort law. Rome`s most important contribution to European legal culture, however, was not the enactment of well-drafted laws, but the emergence of a class of professional jurists (prudent, sing. prudens or jurisprudent) and jurisprudence. This was achieved in a gradual process of applying the scientific methods of Greek philosophy to the subject of law, a subject that the Greeks themselves never treated as a science. One of the most important sources on Roman law is the Corpus Iuris Civilis, compiled under the patronage of Justinian I and, as the name suggests, includes civil law. One of his four books, the Massive Digest, covers all aspects of public and private law. The Digest was produced in 533 AD under the supervision of Tribonian and gives an overview of about 2000 individual volumes of laws. Written by well-known jurists or legal experts such as Gaius, Ulpian and Paul, these original sources make the Digest one of the richest surviving texts since ancient times, as inside is a treasure trove of random historical information used to illustrate various legal issues ranging from life expectancy to paying taxes.
This Corpus Juris of Justinian remained the most important code of law of what remained of the Roman imperial world long after the reign of Justinian. Its legal system continued to develop in the Eastern Empire until the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in the 15th century. However, the real resurrection of Roman law took place in the West. The Corpus Juris Civilis was rediscovered in Bologna, Italy, at the end of the 11th century and became the reason for the foundation of Europe`s first university and the first law school. From then on, Roman law spread throughout Catholic Europe, England being an important exception. Among the sources of our knowledge of Roman law in antiquity are laws, charters and written contents left by jurists. Among these are the Institutes of Gaius, an unfinished manuscript of lessons from the 2nd century AD. Chr.
Gaius invented a system of private law based on the division of all matter into personae (persons), res (things) and actions (legal acts). This system was used for many centuries that followed. The most important source of information, however, is the Corpus Juris Civilis, commissioned by Emperor Justinian I. The emperor formed a commission of jurists to consolidate all the Roman laws that still exist today into a unified body. An important element of Roman law was jurists (iurisprudentes), legal experts who subjected laws, rules, and written institutions to intellectual examination and discussion in order to extract the fundamental legal principles they contained, and then applied and tested these principles to hypothetical special cases and then applied them to new laws. Jurists were an elite corps, as there were probably fewer than 20 at any given time and their qualification for the role was their in-depth knowledge of the law and its history. In imperial times, they were incorporated into the general bureaucracy that served the emperor. Jurists also had a kind of monopoly on legal knowledge, as the opportunity to study law as part of the usual curriculum was not possible until the middle of the 2nd century AD.
Jurists also wrote legal treatises, one of the most influential being On Civil Law (De Iure Civili) by Q. Mucius Scaevola in the 1st century BC. The lawyers performed various functions: they prepared legal opinions at the request of private parties. They advised judges in charge of the administration of justice, especially praetors. They assisted the praetors in drafting their edicts in which they publicly announced, at the beginning of their mandate, how they would exercise their functions and the formulas according to which certain procedures were conducted. Some lawyers have also held high judicial and administrative positions themselves. In the form of the Ius Commune, Roman law applied in many jurisdictions until these rules were replaced by national codes in the 18th and 19th centuries. In many parts of the German Empire, Roman law remained the main source of legal regulation until the introduction of the German Civil Code in 1900. Even today, a special branch of the Ius Commune, known as Roman-Dutch law, is the basis of the legal system of the Republic of South Africa. How did Roman law influence the English legal system? England did not adopt Roman law like other countries in Europe. In England, ancient Roman texts were never considered rules with the force of law.
Nevertheless, Roman law was taught at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, just as it was taught at Bologna. Scholars who had studied Roman law on the continent (the so-called civil) had a considerable influence on the development of certain areas of law. Certain substantive rules and, above all, concepts and reasoning developed by continental jurists on the basis of the Roman legal tradition influenced the English legal system. What does the term classical Roman law mean? The Romans were the first to make law a science. During the first two centuries of our era, Roman jurisprudence was the most fruitful. This age is called the classical period of Roman law because it was during this period, as taught and practiced, that law best illustrated the classical features of the Roman legal tradition. How do we know Roman law? A rich variety of written documents on Roman law in antiquity have been transmitted to us, including: laws, charters and the writings of jurists. The most important text of all is the Corpus Iuris Civilis. In addition to the Corpus Euris, Gaius` institutes of the mid-second century CE must be mentioned; These institutes represent a textbook of Roman law for beginners.
What is Corpus Iuris Civilis? In the sixth century AD, the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian (Iustinianus) ordered the compilation of several legal texts. These codes were based on much older sources of law, mainly laws and legal writings of the classical period. They were: In Western Europe, Roman law was designated by the legal system and this continued in most European countries until the 18th century. One of the most important aspects of Roman law is that it was in force much longer than the state of the Holy Roman Empire. Because of this longevity, it has become one of the most commonly used laws in many countries. In the Middle Ages (from about the 11th century) there was a renewed interest in Roman law. Initially, Roman law was studied only by scholars and taught in universities, with Bologna being the first place where Roman law was taught. Soon, Roman law was applied in legal practice – especially in the field of civil law. (Civil Law, Count 96) This process of (re)adoption (reception) of Roman law took place at different times and to varying degrees throughout Europe (England is the most important exception).