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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14
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Did the U.S Constitution revoke or merely amend the the Articles of Confederation?

This may seem like a silly question, but I only ask because of a U.S. Supreme Court case that actually cited the Articles of Confederation. After the civil war, there is this case called Texas_v....
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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 ...
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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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Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.?

We know that the Roman Empire became a Christian state. Was it illegal to blaspheme God in Antioch in 360.-410.? What punishment was prescribed (if it was illegal)? If it was punishable, who could ...
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Comparison between the Law of the Roman Empire under the rule of 2 Emperors

What were the differences of the Law of the Roman Empire under the rule of Justinian I(with his Corpus Juris Civilis and the rest of his Legal Order) and under the rule of Basil II? I am interested ...
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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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Why was compulsory vaccination abandoned in the UK?

There is currently talk in the UK of making school attendance conditional on vaccination. Similar schemes operate in various places around the world now. Vaccination against smallpox was compulsory ...
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65 views

Where in San Francisco did the Land Commission meet?

After taking California, the U.S. needed a way to sort through land claims and established a Public Land Commission. This operated from 1852 to 1856, principally in San Francisco but also briefly in ...
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Had there been instances of national states banning harmful imports before the mid-19th C Opium Wars?

Background To my current understanding, James Matheson in his »The British trade with China« argued that China might have originally had the right to refuse trading with Britain, but that they lost ...
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How were de jure lands determined during the Middle Ages in Western Europe?

I was continuing my research on the strained relationship of France and England during the Middle-Ages. As I was reading up on Philip II Augustus of France in Wikipedia I stumbled upon this: The ...
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1answer
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In Renaissance Italy, was there any legal recourse against plagiarism?

In earlier days unlike today mathematicians didn't reveal their findings or formulas they came up with as they would use them in things like sort of maths competitions. An example is- In the 16th ...
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1answer
251 views

Thought Crimes in History? [closed]

Has there ever been anywhere at any point in history a law criminalizing certain thoughts? I mean a law that says that the thinking of certain thoughts is illegal. I don't mean a law that says that ...
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1answer
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How was ownership of property managed during the Black Death, when so many original owners had died?

Historically, in the UK if a property owner died intestate with no heirs, the property ownership went to the Crown under an escheat. During the Black Death, in the 12th century, the population of ...
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154 views

What were the rules of the migration to the Louisiana Territory in USA?

To my best knowledge, at the point of Louisiana Purchase, the area was inhabited mostly by Native Americans. At the time there existed some legislation regarding how the settlement should look like. ...
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Why was “leaping into the river” a valid trial outcome to prove one's innocence?

The second law of the Code of Hammurabi states: 2 If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall ...
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What is the history of the university asylum law?

I fear this question may be rather broad and I would like help to narrow it down. Currently a debate is ongoing in Greece regarding the law preventing police from stepping into university campuses. ...
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283 views

Does O Henry's story “Georgia's Ruling” describe history?

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 sharks":...
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Why were Law Lords created peers of different ranks?

I cross-referenced the men below with List of law life peerages to check that these Law Lords were created life peers, and didn't inherit peerage. Most Law Lords are created as Barons, but note the ...
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1answer
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Was Richard I's imprisonment by Leopold of Austria justified?

I read in Wikipedia and Britannica about Richard I of England regarding his imprisonment and I was perplexed by the fact that a sovereign monarch, and a crusader at that, could be imprisoned by a ...
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1answer
968 views

Strong movement to deregulate professions in the 1960's?

In chapter 11, page 209, of his book "predictably irrational", Dan Ariely writes: "The word profession comes from the Latin professus, meaning "affirmed publicly." Professions started somewhere ...
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Why were British laypeople more ready to challenge the government starting in the 1960s?

I rectified YouTube's transcript of former UKSC President Lord Neuberger's speech starting at 7:44. Please see the question in the title. I'm asking merely about the bolded phrase below. Are there ...
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1answer
259 views

Why might one think that Australia gained independence from the UK in December 1920?

I'm looking at a dataset claims that Australia gained independence from the UK in December 1920.† I found this puzzling and this could very well just be a mistake. But I'm wondering if there's any ...
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1answer
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Did any UK declaration of war extend automatically to Australia?

On 1939-09-03, the UK declared war on Germany and Australia did the same. A New Zealand government website claims: In contrast to its entry into the First World War, New Zealand acted in its own ...
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Was there ever a single collection of the Corpus Juris Civilis and has it survived?

Title just about says it. The parts (the Codex, Digesta, Institutiones, and Novellae) of the Corpus Juris Civilis were finished in 529, 533, and 534. So it is possible that by the time one was ...
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How long before someone was declared dead in ancient Greece?

In The Odyssey, everyone in Ithaca - except Penelope - assumes that since most surviving Greeks returned home shortly after the end of the Trojan War, Odysseus is dead. This legitimises a group of men,...
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1answer
191 views

Historical Statistical Analysis on the Length of Court Proceedings in the US?

Hello, all. I have been trying to find (and have failed, thus far) historical analyses of the average length of time court cases take, from start to finish, in the United States over time. I have a ...
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1answer
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Why was the duration of territorial contracts often 99 years?

This is based on this Reddit question, but I rectified its mistakes. For example, some European colonies in China were leased for 99 years, like German Kiautschou and the New Territories (but not ...
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1answer
606 views

What's the backstory behind the US federal regulation that requires buses to stop at railway crossings?

This Travel SE question's accepted answer raises that there's a Federal Regulation in the US, namely 49 CFR § 392.10 - Railroad grade crossings; stopping required, that requires buses that transport ...
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1answer
70 views

Did the Governor of Virginia in 1786 have the authority to veto laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly?

I believe that the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom was passed by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786. Did the Governor of Virginia at the time have the right to veto it?
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Bail bonds in UK Victorian period

If you were arrested in Victorian England, and the offense was 'bailable' (i.e. too severe) you could get bail and not be stuck behind bars until your trial. In the period, did you have to hand over ...
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132 views

Who issued the passports for travel to Russian America?

Employees of the Russian-American Company were supposed to have seven-year passports to travel from Russia to the Company's colonies. Officials endeavored to stay in compliance, though it's clear that ...
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1answer
386 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 ...
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2answers
573 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 ...
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1answer
138 views

Was slaughtering cows in Kamchatka prohibited in the 1820s?

In To the Pacific and Arctic with Beechey: The Journal of Lieutenant George Peard of HMS Blossom, 1825–1828, Peard claims that in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, "nearly every family possesses a Cow (...
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A German immigrant ancestor has a “Registration Affidavit of Alien Enemy” on file. What does that mean exactly?

While researching genealogy, I discovered that one of my ancestors had a "Registration Affidavit of Alien Enemy" document on file. It is dated 1 January 1918 and includes his fingerprints, immigration ...
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1answer
159 views

Chancery vs Common Pleas vs Exchequer vs King's Bench

Please explain with simple words. I'm interested only in their jurisdictions and functions: How did these 4 main courts' differ? What did the King's Bench cover? Parliament.uk distinguishes only ...
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1answer
271 views

Why weren't the Barons of the Court of Exchequer Barons as peers?

The first sentence at Chief Baron of the Exchequer The Chief Baron of the Exchequer was the first "baron" (i.e., judge) of the English Exchequer of Pleas. bemused me: Why were these judges were ...
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1answer
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Kissing in early Icelandic law

I'm reading the Grágás laws of early Iceland and have come across a passage I don't understand: K155, Ib p.47 "If a man kisses a woman in private, with no one else present and with her consent, then ...
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Virginia's response to Harper's Ferry, compared to the US response to 9/11

9/11 is now far enough in the past that I feel more able to analyze it as history. For most of the last 18 years, my rough mental model has been something like this. The US was subject to horrific ...
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1answer
175 views

What is the earliest recorded example of an extradition treaty or law?

While reading a news article on someone being extradited from overseas to face justice in the U.S. it started me thinking about the history of the extradition process. Wikipedia and The History Vault ...
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601 views

Why were businesses operating as trusts at one point, and why did the practice fall out of favor?

Anti-trust is synonymous with anti-monopoly. We say "anti-trust" because historically trusts were the preferred vehicles for operating monopolies. Why trusts? I know part of the answer is that there ...
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274 views

In what case was being called a Federalist considered libel?

I know, according to this site here: , in Indiana on 9/3/1857 (see note below), a man was accused of being a Federalist, sued for libel, and won a thousand dollars. The site describes "Joshua ...
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1answer
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Has anyone ever been punished for Project MK-ULTRA?

So I've been looking into what MK-ULTRA is, and recently a scary question has came to mind. That question being, has anyone been punished for the events of MK-ULTRA? By punished, I don't mean a slap ...
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1answer
152 views

Flag flying dynamics

How many flags are allowed to be on one pole? Is a flag ever flown up side down at half-mast, more than 1 and why?
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1answer
129 views

Where are the agrarian reforms of Basil II codified?

I am interested in Byzantine law, especially under Basil II. Much weight is always attached to his agrarian reforms. I would like to read some of his laws in the original. I guess these reforms were ...
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327 views

Did Time magazine aid Al Capone?

Note: maybe this should be on the law stack exchange, I really am not sure! In 1930, Al Capone made the cover of Time Magazine. Assuming this image was taken by Time Magazine, they would have had to ...
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1answer
291 views

Rose tattoo used to mark convicts condemned to death?

I recall from my university history courses a factoid about rose tattoos being used to mark convicts condemned to death in Europe during the Renaissance period (in case of escape), and was wondering ...
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2answers
787 views

Settling legal disputes in high medieval Europe?

In a medieval village, my understanding is that disputes (of a legal nature, as we view them today) could be settled in the manor court. But what about in urban centers? If two people living in a town ...
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2answers
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What documentary evidence is there that Roman crucifixion victims were completely nude?

(A few days ago, a user posted a couple good questions about the historic practice of crucifixion in Ancient Rome on the Christianity SE. Unfortunately, they posted the questions as an answer to this ...
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1answer
313 views

When did England make a statute that barred foreigners from inheriting the throne?

According to Iain Moncreiffe in his book The Highland Clans, he says this. “By the fourteenth century it had become common law (in both England and Scotland) that a person who was not born in the ...