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Countless books detail the development of Roman law and explain the laws of the ancient Romans. Similarly, many scholars have traced the law of ancient Athens. Written for both students and educated lay readers, the chapters dealing with ancient Greece focus primarily on the law of ancient Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.E. But material relating to other Greek colonies and city states also plays a significant role in the development of ancient Greek law. The Roman law chapters explore both law and legal institutions and emphasize the growth and expansion of legal principles. Roman law still serves as the foundation for the civil laws of many nations today. And given the importance of globalization, Roman law is likely to continue to influence the modern word for the foreseeable future. Each unit begins with a "Background & Beginnings" chapter that establishes the historical context in which law developed and introduces relevant principles of jurisprudence (i.e., legal philosophy). The second chapter in each unit covers procedural aspects of the law, such as court structure, judges, trial procedure, evidence, and legislation. The remaining chapters examine substantive legal topics such as property, contracts, family law, criminal law, and the like. The text also maintains a focus on the connections and influences of social, cultural, economic, philosophical, and political forces as they have affected law and its development. In addition, several sections of the book add another dimension. These sections, entitled "Law in Literature," use works of ancient literature to explore aspects of law as seen through the eyes of poets, dramatists, orators, and historians. In theory, modern readers can learn a great deal about law through literature because literature often lacks the official filter of many traditional legal sources. Of course each individual author brings his own biases about law and the legal system to his writing. But as long as we acknowledge the potential for such bias, these sections have the potential to offer completely different perspectives and insights.
“...a must read for persons from all walks of life...interested in understanding the philosophical evolution of an ordinary man into the extraordinary.” -- Indian Law Journal In 1888, at the age of eighteen, Mohandas Gandhi sets out from his modest home in India. Shy, timid, and soft-spoken, he embarks on what he believes will be a new life abroad. Twenty-seven years later, at the age of forty-five, he returns—this time fearless, impassioned, and ready to lead his country to freedom. What transformed him? The law. M. K. Gandhi, Attorney at Law is the first biography of the Mahatma’s early years as a lawyer. It follows Gandhi as he embarks on a personal journey of self-discovery: from his education in Britain, through the failure of his first law practice in India, to his eventual migration to South Africa. Though he found initial success representing wealthy Indian merchants, events on the ground would come to change him. Relentless attacks by the white colonial establishment on Indian civil rights prompted Gandhi to give up his lucrative business in favor of representing the oppressed in court. Gandhi had originally hoped that the South African legal system could be relied upon for justice. But when the courts failed to respond, he had no choice but to shift tactics, developing what would ultimately become his lasting legacy—the philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience. As he took on the most powerful governmental, economic, and political forces of his day, Gandhi transformed himself from a modest civil rights lawyer into a tireless freedom fighter. Relying on never-before-seen archival materials, this book provides the reader with a front-row seat to the dramatic events that would alter Gandhi—and history—forever.
This book develops a historical concept of liberal democratic law through readings of the pivotal twentieth century legal theoretical positions articulated in the work of Herbert Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Duncan Kennedy, Rudolf Smend, Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt. It assesses the jurisprudential projects and positions of these theorists against the background of a long history of European metaphysics from which the modern concept of liberal democratic law emerged. Two key narratives are central to this history of European political and legal metaphysics. Both concern the historical development of the concept of nomos that emerged in early Greek legal and political thought. The first concerns the history of philosophical reflection on the epistemological and ontological status of legal concepts that runs from Plato to Hobbes (the realist-nominalist debate as it became known later). The second concerns the history of philosophical and political discourses on law, sovereignty and justice that starts with the nomos-physis debate in fifth century Athens and runs through medieval, modern and twentieth century conceptualisations of the relationship between law and power. Methodologically, the reading of the legal theoretical positions of Hart, Dworkin, Kennedy, Smend, Kelsen and Schmitt articulated in this book is presented as a distillation process that extracts the pure elements of liberal democratic law from the metaphysical narratives that not only cradled it, but also smothered and distorted its essential aspirations. Drawing together key insights from across the fields of jurisprudence and philosophy, this book offers an important and original re-articulation of the concept of democratic law.
At the age of eighteen, a shy and timid Mohandas Gandhi leaves his home in Gujarat for a life on his own. At forty-five, a confident and fearless Gandhi, ready to boldly lead his country to freedom, returns to India. What transforms him? The law. The Man before the Mahatma is the first biography of Gandhi’s life in the law. It follows Gandhi on his journey of self-discovery during his law studies in Britain, his law practice in India and his enormous success representing wealthy Indian merchants in South Africa, where relentless attacks on Indian rights by the white colonial authorities cause him to give up his lucrative representation of private clients for public work—the representation of the besieged Indian community in South Africa. As he takes on the most powerful governmental, economic and political forces of his day, he learns two things: that unifying his professional work with his political and moral principles not only provides him with satisfaction, it also creates in him a strong, powerful voice. Using the courtrooms of South Africa as his laboratory for resistance, Gandhi learns something else so important that it will eventually have a lasting and worldwide impact: a determined people can bring repressive governments to heel by the principled use of civil disobedience. Using materials hidden away in archival vaults and brought to light for the first time, The Man before the Mahatma puts the reader inside dramatic experiences that changed Gandhi’s life forever and have never been written about—until now.
Legal Traditions of the World places national laws in the broader context of major legal traditions, those of chthonic (or indigenous) law, talmudic law, civil law, islamic law, common law, hindu law and confucian law. Each tradition is examined in terms of its institutions and substantive law, its founding concepts and methods, its attitude towards the concept of change and its teaching on relations with other traditions and peoples. The fifth edition covers increasing recognition of chthonic legal tradition and features new discussion on the notion of collective memory. New to this editionFeatures new discussion on the notion of collective memoryCovers increasing recognition of chthonic legal traditionIncludes new coverage of the notions of Big Data, Big History and private cloudsIncreased coverage of treatment of animals in each of the legal traditions

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