After the French revolution of 1789 the law was codified, that is, it was organized in a logical way, contradictions were eliminated, and it was written down in language that the ordinary person could understand. Investigations were carried out by a magistrate before the trial. This system of law is called civil law, and was later adopted by many other countries.
The main exception was in Britain and its colonies, where an older system of law, called common law, continued. Under common law the various past judgments of courts are taken as the basis for deciding future cases. Lawyers resisted codification of the law, although laws made by government are becoming more important in countries which have common law. A feature of common law systems is trial by jury, whereas in civil law systems a bench of lawyers and non-lawyers sit in judgment.
eBook only $2.99
398 pages, 300 images
"I find the science fabulous...an extremely useful teaching tool."
Professor David Christian
Become a Citizen of the Universe
and get your free badge!