Some form of law, is always the foundation of even primitive institutions. Law, as it were, has traveled a long, long blood-stained path. From acts so barbaric that they defy belief, to a modern world where much if not most of the world population is exempt from the tyrannical Rule of Man system, and benefit from a transparent Rule of Law.

This time-table provides a point of reference to the advancement of laws throughout history.Some for the benefit of mankind. However as we traverse through history are we at a point in time when new laws are being written not for the benefit of all but for the bizarre behavior of others.

On the Origin of Law

  • 2853 BC: Evidence of law during the reign of legendary Chinese Emperor Fuxi
  • 2350 BC: Urukagina’s Code
  • 2050 BC: Ur-Nammu’s Code
  • 1850 BC: The Earliest Known Legal Decision
  • 1760 BC: Hammurabi’s Code
  • 1350 BC: Deborah (Israel)
  • 1300 BC: The Ten Commandments
  • 1125 BC: Eannashumiddina’s Kudurru (Mesopotamia)
  • 1000 BC: The Chou Dynasty Laws
  • 800 BC: Lex Rhodia
  • 700 BC: Lycurgus’ Law
  • 621 BC: Draco’s Law (Greece)
  • 536 BC: The Book of Punishments (China)
  • 530 BC: Solon’s Laws (Greece)
  • 480 BC: Law Code of Gortys or Gortyn (Crete)
  • 450 BC: The Twelve Tables (Rome)
  • 399 BC: The Trial of Socrates (Greece)
  • 400-350 BC: The Chinese Codes of Fa Jing and Li k’vei (China)
  • 286 BC: Lex Aquila
  • 210 BC: The Qin Code (China)
  • 206 BC: Han Code (China)
  • 200 BC: The Laws of Manu
  • 50 BC: Cicero’s theories (Rome).

 

  • 101: l’Institutio alimentaria (Rome).
  • 250: the First Law School (Beirut)
  • 250: Brehon Code (Ireland).
  • 426: The Law of Citations
  • 438 A.D., The Theodosian Code
  • 480: Euric’s Code
  • 500: Burgundian Code
  • 506: The Breviary of Alaric
  • 507: Salic Law
  • 533: Justinian’s Institutes
  • 561: The Copyright War (Ireland).
  • 600: The Laws of Aethelbert (England).
  • 604: The Seventeen Article Constitution of Japan (Japan)
  • 622: The Medina Charter (Islam).
  • 630: Lex Ribvaria
  • 650: Visigoth Code
  • 652: The Koran or Qur’an (Islam)
  • 652: T’ang Code (China).
  • 700: Fingerprinting Is Invented
  • 1016: The Russkaia Pravda (Russia).
  • 1100 (dates approx.): The Hunt for Thomas Dun (England) and the Great Law of Peace, Constitution of the Iroquois Federation (North America).
  • 1124: The Textus Roffensis (England)
  • 1188: Ranulf de Glanvill’s Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae (England).
  • 1198: Exchequer of the Jews
  • 1206: Genghis Khan’s Yasak (Mongolia).
  • 1207 – The Trial of Suspected Adulteress, Marion (England)
  • 1215: Magna Carta (England)
  • 1240: Henri de Bracton’s De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae (On The Laws And Customs of England) (England).
  • 1267: Costs Are Born …. and Borne (England).
  • 1300: The establishment of law schools in England
  • 1306: The Trial of Scotsman William Wallace (England).
  • 1316: The Articuli Cleri (England).
  • 1320: Scotland’s Regiam Majestatem (Scotland).
  • 1368: The Statute of Kilkenny (Ireland) (Ireland).
  • 1381: Let’s Kill All The Lawyers (England).
  • 1431: Nezahualcoytl’s Law Code (Aztec/Mexico)
  • 1474: The Peter Von Hagenbach Trial, The First International Criminal Tribunal (Germany)
  • 1482: New Tenures: The First Common Law Textbook (England)
  • 1495: Ponyings’ Law (Ireland) (England).
  • 1508: The Trial of the Autun Rats (France)
  • 1527: England’s first law dictionary Termes de la Ley (John Rastell) (England)
  • 1533 – A Trial Ends the Empire of the Incas (Spain/Peru)
  • 1535: The Trial of Sir Thomas More (England)
  • 1535: Poor Law (England)
  • 1545: Statutory Royal Fallacious Flattery, (England)
  • 1548: The Abstinence From Flesh Law
  • 1574: The Possession of Robert Brigges, Barrister
  • 1600: The Dreaded Star Chamber
  • 1600: The East India Company
  • 1601: Poor Law, Act II (England)
  • 1604: The Abolition of the Surname “Macgregor” (England/Scotland)
  • 1610: John Cowell’s law dictionary burned  by public hangman
  • 1611: Dale’s Laws of the Virginia Colony (England/USA)
  • 1628 – Edward Coke begins the publication of the 4-volume Institutes of the Laws of England (England)
  • 1641: Book of the General Lawes and Libertyes
  • 1644: Qing Code (China) (China)
  • 1649: The Russian Ulozhenie (civil code) (Russia)
  • 1660: Matthew Hale’s 18 Rules for Judges (England)
  • 1670: The Jury Earns Independence (England)
  • 1689: The English Bill of Rights
  • 1692: The Salem Witch Trials (USA)
  • 1717: The Transportation Statute
  • 1740: South Carolina Slave Code
  • 1746-1794: Frederick the Great’s Great Law Reforms (Germany)
  • 1748: Montesquieu publishes Esprit des lois in Paris, France
  • 1758: Emerich Vattel Publishes The Law of Nations
  • 1765: Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England
  • 1772, June 22: Justice Manfield’s decision in Somerset v Steuart, which ended slavery in England
  • 1776: The American Declaration of Independence
  • 1779 – The Miller Arnold Lawsuit: How One Court Case Changed the World
  • 1784: Litchfield, America’s First Law School (USA)
  • 1787: The Constitution of the United States of America
  • 1788: Through the Operation of Penal Law, A Country Is Formed (Australia)
  • 1789: Declaration of the Rights of Man (France)
  • 1791: The American Bill of Rights
  • 1803: Marbury versus Madison
  • 1804: Napoleon’s Civil Code
  • 1814: The Thibaut-Savigny Controversy, German Codification
  • 1816 Discovery of the Institutes of Gaius (Italy)
  • 1824: Charter of Justice (Australia)
  • 1828: The First Recorded Medical Malpractice Litigation (England)
  • 1839: John Bouvier’s American Law Dictionary
  • 1848 – The Seneca Declaration of Women’s Rights (USA)
  • 1864: The Geneva Convention
  • 1865: The Thirteenth Amendment (USA)
  • 1868: Charter Oath of the Five Articles (Japan)
  • 1873: The Great Failed Criminal Code Experiment (England)
  • 1873 – This Is Our Land (Crow Indian tribe, USA)
  • 1884: R v Dudley (England)
  • 1890: Debut of the Electric Chair (USA)
  • 1895 – The Trial of Oscar Wilde for Sodomy (England)
  • 1897: Salomon v Salomon & Co.
  • 1900: Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch – The German Civil Code
  • 1911: The Fire That Changed The Law – Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire (USA)
  • 1913-1915: The Leo Frank Affair (USA)
  • 1929: Consumers’ Research Inc. (USA), First Consumer Rights Organization
  • 1933-1934: Nazi Law, Prelude to Holocaust
  • 1941: the Japanese Military Field Code
  • 1941 – The Atlantic Charter
  • 1945-46: The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
  • 1948: The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

Why is the history of law important?

History has a habit of repeating itself. When an in balance in society begins which we are seeing now, laws are forced to be re written at the cost of the civilization it originally represented.