A written and accessible code of behavior which is enforced by a powerful entity (almost always a state actor). Part of this code includes the entities responsible for maintaining and interpreting the written statutes, the punishments that can be applied in the case of the violation of the stated ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

11
votes
2answers
259 views

Is 529 the largest simultanious death penalty verdict ever?

Recently Egypt made headlines by sentencing 529 people to death in a single court verdict. I've seen a lot of talk both in the media and online about this being the largest single death penalty ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Why did Michigan abolish capital punishment so early?

The US state of Michigan abolished the death penalty in 1846, and according to Wikipedia, was the first English-speaking government in the world to do so; the death penalty has not been reinstated ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

What is the oldest state/nation that has abolished the death penalty?

In 1846 the state of Michigan became the first state in the United States to abolish the use of the death penalty, which still stands today. Is there any country (or state/province/etc.) elsewhere ...
8
votes
1answer
111 views

Has there ever been litigation over a salvaged shipwreck between a European country and a former ex-colony?

International law on shipwreck salvage rights has not yet stabilised and usually requires case-by-case litigation. A common example of this is litigation between a commercial salvage company and the ...
10
votes
2answers
359 views

Is it true that slavery was banned from discussion on the Senate and/or House floor before the American Civil War?

In one of the latter years of my undergraduate program I read/heard from one of my classes that discussing the slave trade/slavery on either the Senate and/or House floor (I forget which) was banned. ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Did Edward VIII's abdication follow constitutional procedures?

Edward VIII abdicated the English throne after discussion with his Prime Minister. Edward informed Baldwin that he would abdicate if he could not marry Simpson. Baldwin then presented Edward with ...
6
votes
1answer
454 views

How did the Nuremberg Trials decide whether a guilty defendant was to be sentence to death or life imprisonment?

This page contains a list of Nuremberg defendants, their verdict and sentence. While explanations for lighter sentence (e.g. Dönitz was only sentenced to 10 years) can be found quite easily, many Nazi ...
11
votes
2answers
355 views

Why did the political parties in the US give up power to run primary elections to some states?

In the US, it seems that in certain states, the political parties have allowed the state to prescribe the manner in which delegates are selected to the party's national convention. This includes ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

What were the civic privileges created for the Jews by Porcius Festus?

Festus inherited all of the problems of his predecessor in regard to the Roman practice of creating civic privileges for Jews. Only one other issue bedeviled his administration, the controversy ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the United States the only developed country whose labour laws leave most up to the employer? [closed]

I read this post: "Bad Facts About The USA". It says that the United States, Lesotho, Swaziland and New Guinea are the only countries in the world not to mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns. ...
6
votes
0answers
153 views

What were the factors that caused debtors' prison to disappear in most parts of the world in the 20th century?

Debtors' prison is a prison for people who are unable to pay debt. As recently as the mid 19th century, it was a common way to deal with unpaid debt in Western Europe. Debtors' prison started to ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Has the US Congress ever repealed a law?

Has the United States Congress ever repealed legislation, rather than amend the legislation or let the legislation be annulled by the Supreme Court? It seems to me that once a law is passed it ...
15
votes
2answers
341 views

How did ancient empires account for slow propagation of information e.g. in their legal codes?

Mathematician Alain Connes cites a French legal rule that explicitly accounts for propagation of information at finite speeds substantially below the speed of light: There was a legal rule ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How do new countries legally and without bloodshed declare themselves independent?

I saw an article about the legality of the declaration of independence. For example, when USSR broke up, several countries became independent, but for others, there is still fighting to maintain them ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How did Mike McShaffry's 'No Grownups Allowed' cause a congressional hearing? [closed]

While reading Mike McShaffry's book 'Game Coding Complete, Fourth Edition' I came upon this: Exactly seven years from the day he was hired, Mike arranged his escape and in 1997 formed his first ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What was the legal framework in Ancient India?

We all know the immense contribution ancient Roman, medieval Roman (or Byzantine), and pre-modern HRE cannon law has made to the modern world. These empires relied on a written constitution (or code) ...
1
vote
2answers
599 views

What is an open city? [closed]

During World War 2 Rome was declared to be an "open city" but I do not know what this means. What rules are there in an open city? Who controls it or is it neutral? I want to know what happens when a ...
13
votes
2answers
325 views

How did Quebec transition from French Law to English Law?

When Britain conquered Quebec at the end of the Seven Years War, Quebec began a transition between French law and English law. How did that transition occur?
21
votes
1answer
698 views

When did the Romans begin using the sword, as opposed to the axe, for decapitation?

According to this article, the Romans first used the axe for decapitation, and then moved to using the sword later. The article states: [B]eheading, a mode of executing capital punishment by which ...
4
votes
1answer
214 views

Did the Dutch carry out trials for collaboration with the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies?

After the Second World War, the Netherlands tried Dutch citizens for acts of collaboration with the German occupation. Did they do the same (as the UK did on a limited scale in India and other areas ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

When did the last formal and recorded duel take place?

It seems that duels are no longer fought because of a combination of both changes in law and in fashions. E.g. Tom Reiss' The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte ...
7
votes
2answers
119 views

Georgia's Ruling by O. Henry

O. Henry's 1900 story, "Georgia's Ruling", http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/ohenry/bl-ohenry-georgia.htm describes a dire social problem related to the USA land laws and the "land ...
10
votes
1answer
443 views

Did America ignore British patents during Industrialization

I remember reading a Noam Chomsky book where he stated that America simply stole British patented ideas, claiming that British laws did not apply to her. Chomsky's argument was that America is ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

History of terrorist organizations designations/undesignations by Israel

In 1948, Israel passed the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, which allows it to officially designate organizations as terrorists in the Official Gazette. What organizations have been designated this ...
12
votes
1answer
194 views

Was the State of Indiana's legislation changed to fix the value of Pi?

Is the following an anecdote? Mathematicians describe Pi as an irrational number, that is, a number that cannot be expressed as the ratio of any two integers. This was an irksome fact to the State ...
7
votes
2answers
120 views

Total budget of Nuremberg trial

I am trying to estimate the total budget of the Nuremberg War Criminal trial. Any help with reference, please?
4
votes
3answers
305 views

Did any of the US States ever attempt to secede, aside from American Civil War times?

Reading about the non-governmental organizations in support of the Texas secession movement, I've started to think if there were any States where such movements achieved something more. My questions ...
3
votes
2answers
236 views

How early did restrictions on hunting start?

Today in the US you can only hunt certain game during certain seasons. In medieval England, only certain people were allowed to hunt deer and boars. Legal restrictions on who could hunt what, where, ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Did Joseph II introduce the presumption of innocence in his legal code?

The Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II has pushed through some important reforms. E.g. strongly reducing death penalty or abolishing serfdom. His legal code (Josephina) was in many ways revolutionary, one ...
10
votes
1answer
361 views

Why did the states that were born out of the Louisiana purchase adopt a common law system, and not a civil law system?

The French system of laws is a civil law system that is based upon the Napoleonic Code, and further back the Justinian Code. The legal system in Louisiana is now bijuridicial retaining some of the ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

What does 'trade in' mean in this article on the Westway project?

A little background so you know where we are at. I'm doing a paper concerning the Westway project* specifically the period immediately before the collapse of the project in which hundreds of ...
11
votes
3answers
424 views

Was it ever illegal for two people of different religions to marry in the UK?

Was it ever illegal for 2 people of different religions (e.g. Catholic & Anglican) to marry in the UK? I'm refering only to "civil marriage". I'm sure, even now, that the Catholic church may not ...
28
votes
4answers
459 views

What Factors Have Led to the Duration of US Copyrights Continuously Increasing?

The below image shows how the duration of US copyright laws has increased to 4x what it was originally. Is there a reason that copyright duration has only been extended in the US? What are the ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

What was the procedure for prosecuting criminals in England between the World Wars?

I'm doing some research on court procedures during the '20's and '30's in England. I understand that at that time there was a Director of Public Prosecutions, and some of the resources I have found ...
18
votes
1answer
920 views

Did “droit du seigneur” actually exist in medieval Europe?

Droit du seigneur, also known as "jus primae noctis" (right of the first night), was the supposed right of a feudal lord to sleep with his serfs' brides on their wedding night. Was it actually ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Has the resignation of a political leader in a Westminster style parliament ever forced an election call?

So reading about the premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty abruptly quitting his post, and there's many people wondering if there will have to be an election to replace him. While there is some precedent ...
5
votes
1answer
558 views

When was divorce made illegal again in Ireland?

Divorce has been legal in the UK for a long time (since Henry VII obviously). Ireland was part of the UK since 1800 (Act of Union of 1800), so I assume that civil divorce was legal in Ireland in the ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

In the United States government, has there been cases that electoral colleges don't vote for the candidate the majority of their state voted for?

Has there ever been a case where electoral colleges vote for someone the people didn't vote for during an election for president of the United States?
3
votes
1answer
207 views

In medieval India, was there a distinction between the army and the police?

In medieval India, who was responsible for maintaining law and order? Was it the army or was there a separate arm of the state that was responsible for law and order, something akin to a modern police ...
6
votes
2answers
334 views

What laws of war existed before the modern international treaties and conventions?

Were there laws governing the rules of conducting war before modern (20th century) international treaties and conventions such as the Geneva conventions? For example, were there rules regarding the ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

Mexico has the right to possess firearms? [closed]

I have lived and grown up in Mexico for most of my life. I have always known firearms to be illegal here, as well as everyone I know. But just today, I came across this article on Wikipedia, (Gun ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

When was federal sovereign immunity in the U.S. established?

Lawsuits against the federal government can be dismissed under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. For example, Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Obama was recently dismissed (Appeals court dismisses ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

President proposes bills: provenance

The President of the United States sends proposed bills to members of Congress, that they may introduce the bills on his behalf. There's no provision for this in the Constitution (AFAICT). What was ...
14
votes
4answers
486 views

Where and how did the concept of “incorporation” originate?

Wikipedia states that "The alleged oldest commercial corporation in the world, the Stora Kopparberg mining community in Falun, Sweden, obtained a charter from King Magnus Eriksson in 1347". Is this ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

In which historical trials was God summoned as a witness? [closed]

Have there been any historical trials in which God or other deity had been summoned as a witness? How was his appearance / lack thereof handled by the court?
1
vote
1answer
629 views

How effective have Shariah-based Islamic Laws been at keeping the crime rate low in modern Saudi Arabia?

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is one of the strongest proponent of Shariah-based Islamic Laws. Did it have any effect on the crime statistics of the country? How effective have the criminal laws in ...
10
votes
1answer
255 views

Were mattress labels inspired by public outcry?

If you're an American consumer, you likely know the "mattress tag", labels attached to mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals, and pet beds, which often begin "This tag may not be removed under penalty ...
6
votes
4answers
508 views

What was the first supranational organization?

The European Union is the only organization at the moment that exhibits a high level of integration amongst its member nation states, but is it the world's first supranational type organization? Are ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

Nationalisation during wartime in the West: With or without compensation?

I was just reading about the forerunner to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraftworks, who designed and manufactured the legendary ME/BF-109 fighter). Apparently the owner, Herr Otto, was ...
7
votes
1answer
418 views

What were the Government Press Prosecutions of 1858 and why did they occur?

In the second chapter of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill mentions in a note the "Government Press Prosecutions of 1858". He further writes that "The offence charged was not that of criticising ...