Legal history, or history of law, refers to studying the origin and changes in the law. Also, legal history examines why and how the law has evolved. Law includes various rules of how people should behave. The regulations also lay out the consequences to be faced if one fails to follow them. Legal history has a close connection to human development and governance. Most ancient laws were characterized by tradition, and these rules were also based on impartiality and social equality.
The ancient law in Egypt dates back more than 5000 years ago with a primitive ruler coming up with the first codes of law. These codes consisted of erroneous conditional statements. The statements outlined what to be done if a specific situation came up. The law codes were later developed further, codified, and inscribed in a stone by the Babylonian King. Ancient China and India had distinct law traditions as well. This legal guidance separated legal practices and thoughts, with the majority of ancient law systems evolved from religious, historical conventions.
Islamic law is one of the principal legal systems that evolved during the early middle ages. During the period of Islamic law and jurisprudence, many critical legal institutions were developed. Hawala was one of the developed systems in Muslim law, which later influenced specific laws development, such as the Italian law and the Aval in French Law.
Religious Catholic Canon Law
The religious Catholic canon law was the first legal system in the West and remains functional. The rules were developed by the leading authorities of the catholic church. The canon laws were aimed at regulating the activities of its followers. Also, the canon law governed the church’s external organization.
Canon law developed later than Roman law. However, it predated the rise of European civil law and traditions. Around the 20th century, the catholic canon law was codified by Pope Benedict xv. However, the code of catholic canon law has continuously been reformed by the top hierarchical authorities.
Legal systems remain to be complex systems consisting of symbols, rules, and players. The elements take part in interaction with the society, thus promoting change. Due to the continuous change in governance, the laws will continue to evolve.