Essay about The History of Law and the Justice System

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Laws and the justice system have had an important role all throughout history. The development of laws has an effect on each civilization, its people, and even religion. Different sets and types of laws can be linked to different government systems. For example, the laws of a democratic society are very different from those of a communist society. The ways that each civilization over time controlled the people and carried out punishments are all very different, yet in a way the same. Many civilizations build off of each other, and extend off of the past laws. During the course of my project, I really enjoyed seeing how we got to where we are today. It all started somewhere, and it was interesting to find the places where things began.
I traced all the way back to 1 BC and before. I started my research in Mesopotamia, 1780 BC, where I went in depth on Hammurabi’s code. King Hammurabi’s code of laws is one of the earliest that we have records of today. The laws clearly distinguish the social system, where free and wealthy men were at the top, serfs in the middle, with the poor and slaves on the bottom. At this point, crimes could be compensated for with money. So this obviously meant that the rich had options others did not. This code of laws had an “eye for an eye” outlook on punishment. The punishment for crime was equal to the crime committed. If something was stolen, it was returned, replaced, or paid for. The punishments for some things were rather harsh; as in law…