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What were the important principles of Roman law?

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bergcar | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 14, 2012 at 8:19 AM via web

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What were the important principles of Roman law?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 14, 2012 at 8:32 AM (Answer #1)

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The most important principle of Roman law was that it should be written and transparent.  That is, everyone should know what the law was and the law should not simply change based on the whim of a ruler or judge.  This idea of the rule of law was the basis of all Roman law.

Another major principle of Roman law was that it should apply to all aspects of life.  There would be laws about criminal acts and laws about contracts and laws about family life.

A third principle was that both government and tradition should be sources of law.  There were laws (jus scriptum) that were written and tended to come from governmental sources.  But there were also unwritten laws that had come from tradition and precedent.  These were called "jus non scriptum" and were similar to the later English tradition of the common law.

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