Which Roman Legal Concept Was Adopted by the Us Constitution


After some resistance from the patricians, a committee produced 12 bronze tablets, which together contained the first law of Rome. This code, called the Twelve Tables, contained important legal concepts such as: The Constitution of the Republic, although malleable and evolving, still had substantially entrenched norms. Institutions such as consuls, senate and tribunes developed considerably at the beginning of the republic, but remained relatively stable from the fourth century BC. Most of the actual political and administrative work was entrusted to the emperor. The founding of the empire was tantamount to a restoration of the old monarchy. The chief executive became the unchallenged power in the state, with the overwhelming dominance of the Senate, which, while receiving as an organ virtually all the authority previously held by the assemblies, also became nothing more than a stamp on the emperor. I`ve written before about the incredible collection of Roman legal resources at the Congressional Law Library. I have noted that references to Roman law have been made in arguments before and in decisions of U.S. courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. In fact, the use and reference to Roman law by American courts is widely documented. An American law professor said that the use of Roman law by U.S. courts was “part and parcel of the broader jurisprudential process by which U.S.

jurists have resorted to find a line of reasoning that could be used to understand the case.” (Samuel J. Astorino, Roman Law in American Law: Twentieth Century Cases of the Supreme Court, 40 Duq. L. Rev. 627 (2002).) The two highest ordinary magistrates, consuls and praetors, had a kind of authority called empire (Latin for “command”). The Empire authorized a magistrate to command a military force. Consuls had a higher degree of empire than praetors. Consuls and praetors, as well as censors and aediles of curoul, were considered “Kurulic magistrates.” They sat on a Kurulian chair, a symbol of state power. Consuls and praetors were visited by bodyguards called lictors. The lictors wore fasces. The fasces, which consisted of a stick with an integrated axe, were symbols of the coercive power of the state. The Quaestors were not magistrates of curoul, but administrators and had little real power.

The mayors were responsible for various municipal tasks, for example: When the Senate elected judges, the results of these elections were read to the assemblies. Sometimes the emperor submitted laws to the Comitia tributa for ratification. The assemblies ratified the laws until the reign of Emperor Domitian. After this period, the assemblies simply served as vehicles by which citizens organized themselves. Some 60 years after the founding of the Roman Republic, disgruntled plebeians demanded a written code of law and legal rights. The plebeians complained that government agencies and creditors could easily abuse the people because the laws were not written. Just because a father held the power of a dictator, he didn`t always have to act like one. In practice, many fathers willingly renounced their rights over their adult children.

When a girl married, she usually left her father`s control and came under her husband`s power. Fathers also emancipated themselves legally or freed their sons to become independent. There were two necessary elements for each assembly: (1) the convening magistrate and (2) the citizens in the assembly itself. The meetings did not attend or discuss the issues presented to them, they listened to the speakers` speakers.


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