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Law'S Beginnings And Early Law

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter examines the process of the birth of law in a more general and comparative framework. Professionalization of law, in the sense of the emergence of a class of persons who are more or less exclusively engaged in legal business, is an important aspect of the processes around the origins of law. One of the most striking features of the earliest legislative layers is the prominence of catalogues of penalties or, rather, private fines or fixed compensations. The collective liability is connected with a particular type of patriarchal social system. The relationship between law and state, both in an early form, is inevitably a central issue in all studies of early law. The chapter discusses the definition of law and three phases in the genesis of law such as the emergence of dispute settlement by a third party and monopolization of rule creation, dispute settlement, and enforcement.

Keywords: collective liability; origins of law; penalties; professionalization of law; state



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