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) and trained magistrates, lawyers, and notaries [cf. Judith Herrin, Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire; Peter H. Wilson, Europe's Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War]. Much of today's European civil law can trace its origin to those cannons and much of our current legal framework (courts, judges, constitution, senate, and lawyers) are a direct copy of their ideas.
I know that during the Mughal period, the administration was uniform and structured and that there existed courts (known as kotwaalis) and magistrates (or kotwaals) [cf, John Keay: India --A History].
I have four general questions:
- Was there a (more or less) uniform law?
- Was this law (or these laws) documented?
- Were there lawyers?
- How effective were these courts? (less being outright civil violence and highly being close to the standards observed in the 15th century HRE)?
And I ask these four general questions for each of the following three periods (thus in total 12 questions --let me know if you want to split them into different posts).
- India from 6th century CE - 11th century CE (when it was divided amongst many smaller kingdoms for most times).
- India from 11th century CE - 15th century CE (pre Mughal Islamic period in the North; divided rule in the South).
- India from 16th century CE - 18th century CE (post Sher Shah Suri period --when the reforms started to the beginnings of the Company rule).