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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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 ...
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315 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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Meaning of the words “Wanted Dead Or Alive”

What is the meaning of the famous words "Wanted Dead Or Alive"? Did they mean that it was for some reason legal for ordinary people to kill the fugitive described on the poster? Is there still this ...
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93 views

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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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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Did Roman statutory law in the 1st century allow for crucifixion of non slaves?

Did Roman statutory law in the 1st century allow for crucifixion of non slaves? I knew a Roman law scholar who claimed it did not, ergo Christ could not have been crucified but must have been ...
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278 views

Did international laws on wars of conquest change in 1945?

From a comment on what victors can do to losers in a war: Since this is a history site, we should also note that wars of conquest are no longer legal after 1945, so "most of history" no longer ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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What was the sentiment regarding government control of railroads in Gilded-Age America?

I know this is a bit of a broad question, but what did leading thinkers and the American public think about government control of railroads as they were coming into widespread use post-Reconstruction? ...
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In ancient Rome what could 'childhood innocence' save a child from being punished for?

The "Innocence of a child", you know, that thing that lets curious little kids sneak onto the white house lawn and not immediately get shot or whatever. In ancient Rome (lets say during the republic ...
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What political events led to the Separate Car Act that was upheld in Plessy v. Ferguson?

One often reads that in 1896 in the case of Plessy versus Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court let stand a Louisiana law, the Separate Car Act, that required white and non-white passengers to ...
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452 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 ...
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272 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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When was the first time lower-class people had a reasonable chance of having a fair trial? [closed]

When was the first time in recorded history where the juridical system provided for protecting the rights of the general population, including the lower classes, so that a person of lower class could ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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What were common outcomes for white 17 year olds charged with attempted rape around 1982? [closed]

When United States Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh was publicly accused of a 1982 attempted rape at age 17, his defenders noted that the accuser Dr. Blasey Ford had not obtained redress by pressing ...
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Was homosexuality illegal during the early Muslim rule of the Indian subcontinent?

Was homosexuality punished under the early Muslim rule in India, beginning with the Umayyad conquest of Punjab and Sinh in 712? The early Muslims were Arabs and part of a universal caliphate. After ...
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Was there any restriction on private citizens owning cannons and other large weaponry in 17th, 18th and 19th century Europe? [closed]

Were there laws limiting what kind of guns a private citizen in Europe could own? Could John Doe go to a shop and commission a cannon to be made for his own personal use?
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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 ...
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Cult related law made in US

Was there some law formed in US after Jonestown mass suicide, regarding religious or such kind of clique/sect/cabals? or what actions were taken regarding limiting and monitoring cult activities by US ...
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In England in 1700, would defending property with lethal force be illegal at all?

My limited understanding is that without an extensive police force and good communications, much of what modern people would leave to police was handled directly. If so, were any questions asked of a ...
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749 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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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 ...
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Punishment for deserting lictors

Assume the following scenario: In the late days of the Roman Republic a consul is assaulted on the streets of the city by an angry mob, abetted by his political enemies. His lictors run away, leaving ...
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Were life imprisonment and mental insanity the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted in early 20th century England?

I was watching a Poirot TV movie which was set to England somewhere around 1930s, and one plot point was that the only reasons a divorce couldn't be granted were that either the husband or the wife ...
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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 ...
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Was Canónigo Fernández a traitor to Mexico?

Agustín Fernández de San Vicente was the canon priest of the Cathedral of Durango and the Vicar-General of New Mexico. In between these church posts, at the time of Mexican Independence, he traveled ...
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How does citizenship work during revolutions and similar upheavals?

For example, on October 1st 1949, the People's Republic of China (PRC) was proclaimed. Would hundreds of millions of people then suddenly have switched from being citizens of the Republic of China (...
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How did wills work in times of Oscar Wilde?

Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest contains the following lines (shortened as marked for this purpose) in its third act: JACK. I beg your pardon for interrupting you, Lady Bracknell, ...
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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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Which Imperial Russian officials created and verified passports?

In Imperial Russia (as in other states) passports were required for interior travel. They were issued to individuals and had a finite duration. I'm guessing that being found away from home without a ...
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Has the United States paid US dollars as reparations to children other than a “child” of Japanese American internees during World War II?

Has the United States officially paid reparations in the form of US dollars to any parties that were a "child" "Civil Liberties Act of 1988" (PUBLIC LAW 100-383—AUG. 10,1988; Public Law 100-383, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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At what age could you hold custody of another in 12th century England?

My question is as stated in the title. My reason for asking is that I know girls could marry at twelve, and boys at fourteen. I am wondering at what age could each have legal custody of another? I ...
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Were single-sex house parties illegal in mid-20th century Canada?

At around the 47 minute mark of Forbidden Love: The Unashamed Stories of Lesbian Lives, one of the women interviewed, Carol Ritchie-MacKintosh, talks about the persecution of gay men in the mid-20th ...
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463 views

Changes to the school leaving dates in Scotland and Northern Ireland

I am looking for sources that tell me about when and how the school leaving dates were changed in Scotland and Northern Ireland after World War 2. I define school leaving date as the date you do not ...
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Why was the the sack of cities acceptable?

When reading history, it seems that the sacking of cities (rape and/or killing of the inhabitants and pillaging) after a successful siege was a common and accepted practice... Why was it acceptable?...
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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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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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When did divorce become legal in California?

California has been administered under Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. law. Divorce is presently legal, which it assuredly was not in the Spanish Empire. At which point in history did the process of ...
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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 ...