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 ...

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341 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 ...
6
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1answer
261 views

When did private fighting become a capital offense in Japan?

In "Might Makes Right: Just war and just warfare in early medieval Japan", Karl Friday mentions that bushi (warriors) who violated decrees banning fighting were exiled or imprisoned under pre-Edo ...
6
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1answer
464 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 ...
6
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1answer
198 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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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1answer
217 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 ...
5
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2answers
370 views

Was either side legally in the right in the Hundred Years War?

Legalistically speaking which side was right in the Hundred Years War. My view is that the Salic law combined with the principle that nobody can transmit a right greater than he himself can possess ...
5
votes
1answer
564 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
296 views

Why was the Le Chapelier law annulled in Belgium?

The Le Chapelier Law was an important law in Belgium, as it implicitly disallowed the proletariat from associating, or organising a strike. As the parliament at the time (1864) was dominated by the ...
5
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1answer
120 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 ...
5
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1answer
827 views

What was the age of majority in 1900 United States?

What was the age of majority in 1900, in the United States? For women and for men? I am not asking about the age of consent. The age of majority is the chronological moment when minors cease to ...
5
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1answer
107 views

Why was the Halifax death penalty reserved for thefts of at least 13½ pence?

Wikipedia's article on the Halifax Gibbet says, with several citations: …ancient custom and law gave the Lord of the Manor the authority to execute summarily by decapitation any thief caught with ...
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0answers
150 views

Execution at the scene of the crime under Australian law

The Criminal Law Consolidation Act Amendment Act 1971 (South Australia) removed the ability for Aboriginal murderers to be executed at the scene of the crime as allowed by the Criminal Law ...
5
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0answers
307 views

How did the bureaucratic culture of Great Britain affect its response to the protests over the Stamp Act of 1765? [closed]

I'm writing a paper on the era of the Stamp Act (1765) concerning primarily the clash of legal cultures between what was then the Colonies of North America and the mother country, Great Britain. You ...
4
votes
2answers
827 views

What is the longest running legal case?

The Black Hills Lands Claim is an ongoing land dispute between the US Government and The Sioux Nation. The treaty of Fort Laramie protected the hills from white settlement, but the discovery of gold ...
4
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2answers
137 views

post slavery segregation outside of the US

Other than the USA did any other countries practice a codified form of segregation after abolishing slavery?
4
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1answer
179 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 ...
4
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3answers
317 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
368 views

Where is the Hindu law/instruction of Cremation?

Coming from the northern half of India, I assumed that Hindus were all cremated. In the southern half of the country, I was surprised to find many Hindu burial grounds. Subsequent searches showed many ...
4
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1answer
208 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
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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 ...
4
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Why are lower court jurists, judges, and supreme court jurists, justices?

I cannot find any information explaining why judges that sit on a Supreme Court are referred to as "justices," and judges that sit on a lower court are "judges." Everything I've found seems to ...
4
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1answer
80 views

What were the effective dates of this 1968 Delaware law and this 1967 Nevada law?

What were the effective dates of each of these two laws? I am asking for purposes of my academic research, which relates to the history of the American family. 1968 Delaware, 124th General Assembly, ...
4
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1answer
222 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 ...
4
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1answer
107 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 ...
3
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2answers
243 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, ...
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3answers
285 views

Prisons and prison laws in Old Testament times?

Prisons where evidently known to Israelites quite early (see the story of Joseph). Nevertheless, I could find no legislation in the Torah on imprisonment - it seems that this form of punishment was ...
3
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1answer
102 views

When did the Ecclesiastical courts in England lose the authority to mete out punishments such as imprisonment and execution?

In 1401, the ecclesiastical courts in England were given the power to burn heretics. In modern times the ecclesiastical courts have no control over anyone who does not belong to the Church of England, ...
3
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
3
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2answers
233 views

What if a slave entered a state without slavery?

I was told that a slave entering a sovereign state that has abolished slavery is automatically freed. However, I was only able to trace legal statements on this for ships travelling under the flag of ...
3
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

United States Incarceration Rate

How many people were sentenced to prison in 2011 in the United States? This statistic is hard to come by online. The only measured incarceration rate I've come across is the amount of people ...
3
votes
2answers
170 views

How did criminal law work in the Roman Empire?

I have old memory from when I was in little school: During the Roman empire, criminal law was very "flexible". You could kill nearly anyone in the Empire, as long as you were able to pay a fee to the ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

Moving day in Paris, France in the 19th century

Is it true that rental agreements or leases in Paris France all used to start/end on the same day? I think this would have been in the mid/late 19th century or earlier. I know Quebec, Canada had a ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

What were the laws on suicide in the Third Reich?

Currently it is legal to kill yourself in Germany, but what about in the past? What were the laws on suicide in the Third Reich? Was it illegal to kill yourself? What about self-maiming, like ...
3
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0answers
131 views

Is this character based on a real person?

In the 2014 historical novel Natchez Burning, by Greg Iles, chapter 29: A black Mississippian who left his native state in the early 1950s to go to law school, Quentin Avery fought on the front ...
2
votes
6answers
298 views

How Did The US Justice System Lose Sight of Intent? [closed]

In the USA all that seems to matter is the letter of the law. This example demonstrates how a US law is being used for things it was never intended. The British Justice System places a huge emphasis ...
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Did John F. Kennedy know about his judicial nominee's racism?

[Source:] On June 20, 1961, Cox was nominated by President John F. Kennedy to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi created by 75 Stat. 80. [...] ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Name of the ancient law that forbade naming/publicising the name of a criminal?

I think it was a Roman law, and it said that when a horrific crime was committed, the criminal could not be named, and anyone who disobeyed would suffer capital punishment. I can't remember the name, ...
2
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5answers
508 views

Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the Union through an act of Congress?

I have read the answers about the legality of southern secession - very helpful; thank you. In light of those, I have another question: Did the Southern States make any attempt to secede from the ...
2
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Death of a Jane or John doe [closed]

I enjoy watching cop dramas and in The Closer (Season 1, Episode 12), a criminal might be exonerated because authorities mis-identified the body of a victim. In American legal history has anyone been ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
2
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0answers
95 views

Have there ever been maximum age limits for public office in the United States?

In doing some research, I came across this obituary in "The Sabbath Recorder" At his residence in Hopkinton, R. I., Sept. 18th, Deacon Daniel Babcock, in his 85th year of his age, and the 59th ...
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vote
4answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Could invocation and revocation of bastardry be used to manipulate primogeniture?

Primogeniture: The legal custom for the firstborn and only the firstborn to inherit the bulk of the estate, especially indivisible property. Bastard: An illegitimate child without the right to ...
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2answers
631 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 ...
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1answer
665 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 ...