Questions tagged [law]

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 rules, and the means for determining guilt and innocence of parties suspected of violating any aspect of the aforementioned laws.

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Has the concept of "annulment" of a putative marriage changed over time in the Roman Catholic Church?

I'm confused about the details of how the concepts of "putative marriage", "valid marriage", and "invalid marriage" are related in the context of Roman Catholic canon law ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What legal code first provided tenants rights and/or covered eviction?

Historically land ownership, and extraction of tax/rents from tenants on that property and therefore the extraction of tenants from the property in event of non payment or other cause would have been ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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What was the "high Commissioner of the Police in Scotland" in 1777?

I was reading old newspapers, and I came across this mention of what I believe to be "high Commissioner of the Police in Scotland". I am sure of all of the words but "high", it ...
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Has a US President's family member ever been indicted or arrested during or after the Presidential term?

No United States president has ever been indicted or charged with a crime during or after their presidency. (According to my search / this Quora post) Has a president's family member ever been ...
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3 answers
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What were the alleged crimes that Conradin, King of Sicily and Jerusalem, was accused of?

Conrad V or Conradin, (1252-1268) was King of Sicily, King of Jerusalem, and Duke of Swabia. The throne of Sicily was usurped by his uncle Manfred in 1258, who in turn was overthrown and usurped by ...
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What would a criminal defense attorney charge in late 19th century America?

What would a criminal defense attorney charge on the American frontier in a murder trial in 1885? I am specifcally interested in what it would have cost three cowpokes to mount a murder defence in ...
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Besides NY, which other US states, if any, mandate the appointment of public historians?

As per the website of The Association of Public Historians of New York State : The Association of Public Historians of New York State is a 501(c)3 non-profit professional organization that represents ...
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In late-18th and 19th century America, how common were lawyers in criminal trials?

Before a slew of cases in the 20th century (Powell v. Alabama, Johnson v. Zerbst, Gideon v. Wainwright), there was no right to a public defendant in criminal trials. How often were defendants able to ...
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How to understand the gift of tithes to a priory in 1166 [closed]

I am trying to piece together the early history of Eversholt Church in Bedfordshire, UK. The earliest record found so far is in The Cartulary of Newnham Priory from 1166. Simon [II] de Beauchamp, who ...
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Did the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo intend for Mexicans to live in the USA but under Mexican law? [closed]

The text of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo seem to have allowed Mexicans living in California and New Mexico to make some choices: (1) leave or stay and (2) become a US citizen or remain a Mexican ...
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Did the empresario system exist only within Mexican Texas?

I have many sources describing the empresario system, a way to encourage settlement of Texas. Every source I could find mentioned "Texas". I cannot find any sources using this terminology ...
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How common were marital duels in medieval Europe?

On social media, I came across a post claiming that in medieval Germany spouses could settle a divorce outside of court, civic or religious, through trial by combat! Naturally, I was shocked (the ...
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5 votes
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Was New Hampshire's prohibition on non-Protestant officeholders enforced in the last decades of its existence?

In the context of Jewish History, it is often said that New Hampshire was the last state to remove legal disabilities on Jews in 1877 (which technically pushes the US quite far down the timeline for ...
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How did the Indian Appropriation Act of March 3, 1871 pass into law?

Many histories (including the Wikipedia article) state that Congress passed the Indian Appropriation Act of March 3, 1871. Did President Grant ever sign this law? I'm trying to figure out how it ...
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Did legal interracial marriage hit a nadir that was above 50% in 1948?

Did legal interracial marriage hit a nadir that was above 50% in 1948? Explain XKCD for this comic, which is currently down so I'm using an archive... said: Since the establishment of the United ...
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Why did the British Empire try to criminalize cannabis in India three times when they had good experience with its taxation?

The British Empire passed a taxation act on cannabis in India in 1798, apparently for the well-being of the natives. What the most likely motivation behind the taxation act is, I don't know. In 1838, ...
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Why was cannabis illegalized in the U.S.?

There seems to be a notion that cannabis was illegalized due to capitalism. I've read some theories as to how this happened, and one of them goes something like this: Commissioner of the National ...
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When did "killing" become wrong in society? [closed]

It occurred to me that in many medieval settings, people getting killed is just a part of life. If you angered a feudal lord or noble, they could cut off your hands or kill you and no one bats an eye. ...
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When did banishment/exile cease to be enforceable, if it ever was?

Reading historical accounts, it is not infrequent to read about exiled persons, from Trotsky to the Puritans leaving England. And, nowadays, some look wistfully to legal ways to get rid of their ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why are there laws that are used to limit how long a house can be in a family?

Wikipedia on the "Rule against Perpetuities" says that it was sometimes used to restrict how long one family could hold onto a, possibly aristocratic, estate. Lastly, the rule against ...
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When and why did the use of the lifespans of royalty to limit clauses in contracts come about?

I am in the process of attempting to buy a house in the UK; as it has stood for about a hundred years, the deeds feature some unusual clauses. For example, this conveyance from 1921: (Subject to any ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Was there a US state where video games were banned by accident?

I remember reading about some US state that banned video games up until something like the mid-seventies, not intentionally, but as collateral damage of a vaguely worded law intending to ban slot ...
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6 votes
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Under primogenture in 12th century France, if the eldest son predeceases his father, did the grandson or an younger son inherit?

Okay so I'm not sure how to word this eloquently, I'm sorry, but please bear with me. Let's say that a lord, eg. a Duke had two sons. The older one got married, had a male heir, and then died while ...
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49 votes
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How did German unification affect existing sentences for criminal convicts?

The German reunification of 1990 was legally the annexation of West Berlin (a separately administered occupied territory) and East Germany (the German Democratic Republic, or GDR) by West Germany (the ...
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Could a person in Victorian UK be in charge of their own money at 18 years old?

Could a male or female in Victorian UK be in charge of his or her own money at 18 years old? (Circa 1888) Could a legal guardian argue in court that since the age of majority was 21, he should be in ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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When were weapons banned at the Thing assemblies in Norway?

First the attendants of the assemblies used the clashing of their swords and shields as an expression of their agreement, but later on weapons at the Thing assemblies were banned and the meaning of &...
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20 votes
1 answer
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When did one-way mirrors become widely used by police?

Watching the BBC TV series "Life on Mars", the premise of which is that a time-travelling cop from 2000s England is transported back in time to the 1970s, where he is continually confounded ...
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34 votes
9 answers
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Are there any accounts written by torturers on their actions?

Often, in antiquity, rulers would order some horrific things to happen like extreme torture, flaying and so forth. The Hongwu Emperor ordered 5000 women flayed alive for instance. Obviously the rulers ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why didn't Justice Robert Jackson just finish his 2-year law degree, when he already completed his first year?

Philip Halpern. Stanford Law Review, Dec., 1955, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Dec 1955), pp. 3-8. JSTOR. p 3. Robert Jackson was born February I3, 1892, on a small farm near Spring Creek in Warren County, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How was Enguerrand VII de Coucy able to keep his allegiance to both king of England and France during the Hundrend Years War?

I was trying to do some research on the subject of feudal contracts. I found some example contracts here. This contains two contracts and one oath of fealty which as I understand it is part of the ...
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6 votes
2 answers
390 views

How did smaller feudal vassal realms survive a war or raid?

Say you're a knight or baron or just generally a landowner who swears fealty to a much more higher title than you. One day a war breaks out between a rival realm or raiders from a more tribal-like one ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Were Draco’s laws particularly “draconian” at the time they were enacted?

There is a lot of talk about “draconian” laws at the moment, which got me thinking about Draco. As I understand it, Draco produced the first written constitution of Athens, which stood for about 30 ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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In Indian census, were the children of a Thug recorded as "Yet to Be Thug"?

I read (can't remember where at the moment) that in a population census (probably around 1911) the child of a thug used to be recorded as "yet to be thug" in profession column in India. ...
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What are some good references for the history of legal business entities? [closed]

I'm looking for books and articles that can elucidate how different legal business entities and types of corporate personhood came to be. I've already found the book “The Company: A Short History of a ...
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26 votes
5 answers
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Who had the shortest time in going from imprisonment to head of state within democratic processes?

We know that for example Mandela, Hitler, Stalin all spent some time in prison before they went on to become the head of their respective state or government. Regardless of the reason why they were ...
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When the 'speedy trial' amendment was written, how long did trials usually take?

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution promises "the right to a speedy and public trial," to prevent the accused from being held without a conviction for a long pretrial period. What ...
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40 votes
3 answers
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Why can I visit battlefields, but not battleships?

Why are warships declared as war graves prohibiting divers from even visiting them (let alone entering them or taking artifacts) and yet I as a pedestrian I can freely visit the Somme or any other ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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How did private property work in medieval France?

Were you required to purchase a land deed to get permission from the ruler of the area, or could you build wherever you wanted? If the latter is how it worked throughout Europe for the most part, I ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Were there any specific laws/treaties enshrining the Principle of Distinction in the 18th century?

Hathaway and Shapiro (2017): By the middle of the eighteenth century, European armies had come to recognize a “Principle of Distinction,” the doctrine central to modern humanitarian law, which ...
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30 votes
3 answers
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Why were Royal Navy ships forbidden to attack the ARA Veinticinco de Mayo in Argentinian waters?

I watched this video on the British hunt for the Argentinian aircraft carrier ARA Veinticinco de Mayo, during the Falklands war. Involved, among other ships, was the Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Could women make contracts in ancient Rome? [closed]

I'm writing a story and the main character is a wealthy widow who runs the estate for her rather lazy son. Could women in ancient Rome (specifically the 3rd Century Empire) legally make contracts, or ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Having had his policy judged unlawful, which Home Secretary asked to meet Lord Bingham to discuss?

I quote p 27, in the Winter 2018 Issue 13 of the Hong Kong Student Law Gazette. The tension between executive and judiciary exists in many jurisdictions practising separation of powers, and the UK ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Was Mark Twain's book 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' banned in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany)?

I am currently studying the film Barbara directed by Christian Petzold for my undergraduate dissertation. This film is based in the former German Democratic Republic=GDR (East Germany). The ...
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6 votes
1 answer
275 views

What sources describe the ending of the right to murder family members in 1st century BC Rome?

The right to murder family members ended in the first century BC, although, even then, they kept a few exceptions. Now, the law said, fathers could only murder their sons if they’ve been convicted of ...
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32 votes
2 answers
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Why are there so many laws about eye injuries in the Code of Hammurabi?

Why are there so many laws about eye injuries in the Code of Hammurabi? (And so few laws about other body parts injuries.) I want to concentrate on injuries mentioned as the crimes of physical ...
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1 vote
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Why did the form Baron OF Somewhere drop out of use?

The Question In the various British peerages - i.e. the peerages of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom - one finds titles of the form Duke of X, Marquess of X and Earl ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Who was Jack Hagler? As amended by chapter 87-24, Laws of Florida, this section shall be known and may be cited as the “Jack Hagler Self Defense Act.”

Who is Jack Hagler? Why is he mentioned in this law, the Jack Hagler Self Defense Act? I tried to find out information but nothing relevant came up. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Jack+Hagler&ia=web
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3 votes
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Are there any examples of retrial for longer prison sentences?

Today I've read in 'Journey into the Whirlwind' by Eugenia Ginzburg, that prisoners in the USSR could be re-sentenced. They had been accused and found guilty of a crime (usually counter-revolutionary ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What happens to interned military personnel if war is declared post-internment?

Here is a real-world example during World War I. The German ship SMS Geier sails to neutral port in Hawaii in 1914, territory of the United States. Since the USA and Germany are not at war, the ship ...
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37 votes
3 answers
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Is there a historical explanation as to why the USA people are so litigious compared to the French?

I'm French and I often hear that people in USA tend to sue for almost anything. I don't hear the same about countries neighboring France (Spain, Italia, Belgium, etc..) and, since a good part of USA ...
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