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Flashcards in deck_2909625 vocab ch 1 Deck (24):

Adversarial system

The judicial process when two opposing sides state their evidence to the jury or impartial judge who then determine guilt or innocence.



Travelling courts established by King Henry II to increase fairness and consistency across villages when determining local disputes.


Case Law / Common Law

Case Law is a way of making decisions on cases based on past recorded decisions of similar cases. Common Law developed in British courts; it depends on Case Law and is common to all.


Circuit judges

Judges of travelling courts in King Henry II's time.


Code of Hammurabi

One of the earliest known pieces of written (codifed) law. This piece of law was written by King Hammurabi of Babylon and penalties were based on retribution and restitution. King attributed his laws to the gods to get compliance.


Code of Li K' vei

They were a set of Chinese laws written around the year 350 BC and focused on theft, robbery, prison and arrest.



The process of arranging and recording systematically.


Divine right

The belief that monarchs and their successors derived their power to rule from God and therefore, they were above the law and only God held power over monarchs.


Great laws of Manu

Indian laws written between 1280 and 880 BCE. Before, the set of laws had been passed orally.


Habeas Corpus

An order by the court to prevent unjust arrest by making sure that anyone arrested is charged before the court within a reasonable period of time to determine if the charge is valid. It is part of the Magna Carta and also, now part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Justinian's Code

Justinian I described and organized Roman law. Modern concept of justice. Formed basis of civil law - law governing personal relationships.


Magna Carta

This was a document of political and civil rights. It was signed in 1215 in England by King John at Runnymede, England. It recognized Rule of Law - equality of all before the law even the king or others who enforced the laws. No one was above the law. Established basic rights for all individuals of England.


Mosaic Law / 10 Commandments

Mosaic Law was biblical or Hebrew law found in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. The Ten Commandments were a set of laws given to Moses on Mount Sinai to guide the Hebrew people and is a form of Mosaic Law. Mosaic Law was written about 500 years after Hammurabi's death, but shares similar ideas.


Napoleonic Code

France's civil law that was completed in 1804 (known also as the French Civil Code). The code oversaw civil issues such as property, wills, contracts and family law.


Quebec Civil Code

The system of law used in Quebec to settle private matters arising from Romans.



It is payment made by the perpetrator to the victim of the crime e.g., Hammurabi's Laws where property was damaged or theft occurred used restitution.



Justice based on punishment and revenge of one's actions e.g., Hammurabi's Laws where "eye for an eye" justice occurred and no distinction was made between accident and purposeful or deliberate action.


Rule of Law

A pillar of justice stating that law is necessary to govern society; law is applicable equally to everyone including those in positions of power e.g., judges, heads of state, politicians, police; and people are not governed by arbitrary power that can take away our rights except as the law states.


Rule of precedent

Making a decision regarding a case based on a previous case that had similar circumstances. Stare decisis evolved into rule of precedent of today.


Stare decisis

A Latin phrase meaning "to stand by the decision." Written reports of previous decisions created a precedent which judges could follow if circumstances and facts were similar.


The Great Binding Law (Gayanashagowa)

The Iroquois Confederacy's constitution. In 1450, five First Nations - Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida and Cayuga - created League of Nations or Iroquois Confederacy. In 1720, the Confederacy also included Tuscarora and then was renamed the Six Nations.


Trial by combat

Parties fighting in a duel to determine guilt or innocence. Established after Norman invasion 1066. Fatal assumption was that God would side with the innocent and they would win. Not a great idea as the weakest would likely lose, not necessarily the innocent.


Trial by oath helping

A requirement of friends of the accused to swear on the bible that he or she was innocent. Also known as compurgation, or "to purify with". If they did, the accused was let go. May seem like a bad idea (bad people being given an easy way out) but the people who swore the oath feared that God would strike them down, so justice may have been better served than one might think.


Trial by ordeal

Individuals would be tortured to decide if they were guilty or innocent. God was viewed as deciding whether someone was guilty or innocent as God would not permit an innocent person to perish. Evil would not win over good. Only used when death was a penalty. Examples include cruel trials by hot iron, hot water or cold water.