CODES AND STATUES
When Justinian came to the throne in 527 C.E., he created a commission of
lawyers to revise and codify the existing laws to both make them simpler to
interpret and to increase the authority of his leadership. The Corpus Juris
Civilis has four parts: the Code, which consists of 4,652 laws; the Digest, a
50-volume collection of decisions made by respected judges; the Institutes,
a kind of textbook of legal procedures, and the Novels, which contain laws
introduced by Justinian and his immediate successors. Justinian's new code
extended the rights of women, children, and slaves, but also called for
harsher penalties for crimes.
In the United States, although the Constitution is considered the highest
law of the land, it provides no specific penalties for criminal activity. The
Constitution lists the powers and duties of our leaders and guarantees the
personal rights of each citizen. Consequently, each of the states in America
is allowed to create its own statutes. Statutes regulate every human activity
in which government has an interest and are printed in Codes.
WHAT IS THE JUSTINIAN CODE?
• Corupus Iurus Civilis or the Justinian Code, was the result of
Emperor Justinian's desire that existing Roman law be
collected into a simple and clear system of laws, or "code."
• Tribonian, a legal minister under Justinian, lead a group of
scholars in a 14-month effort to codify existing Roman law.
• The result was the first Justinian Code, completed in 529.
• This code was later expanded to include Justinian's own laws,
as well as two additional books on areas of the law.
• In 534, the Justinian Code, made up of the Code, the Digest,
and the Institutes, was completed.
COMPOSITION OF THE
Codification of existing Roman laws
*A guide for judges
*Summary of common law
Introduction to law and the Code
intended for law students
AREAS OF LAW IN THE JUSTINIAN
• Public Law:
Law for government
• Private Law:
Law for individuals
composed of Natural Law, Law of Nations, and Civil Law
"The law of nature is that law which nature teaches to
all animals. For this law does not belong exclusively to
the human race, but belongs to all animals, whether of
the earth, the air, or the water. Hence comes the union
of the male and female, which we term matrimony;
hence the procreation and bringing up of children. We
see, indeed, that all the other animals besides men are
considered as having knowledge of this law."
Laws they felt were set in place by nature, not by man.
These laws are constant and should not be altered by
“The laws of nature, which all nations observe alike,
being established by a divine providence, remain ever
fixed and immutable. But the laws which every state
has enacted, undergo frequent changes, either by the
consent of the people, or by a new law being
Law of Nations
"[T]he law which natural reason appoints for all
mankind obtains equally among all nations,
because all nations make use of it.“
Law of Nations
“Nations have established certain laws, as occasion
and the necessities of human life required. Wars
arose, and in their train followed captivity and then
slavery, which is contrary to the law of nature; for
by that law all men are originally born free. Further,
by the law of nations almost all contracts were at
first introduced, as, for instance, buying and selling,
letting and hiring, partnership, deposits, loans
returnable in kind, and very many others.”
"The law which a people makes for its own
government belongs exclusively to that state and is
called the civil law, as being the law of the
“Civil law is thus distinguished from the law of
nations. Every community governed by laws and
customs uses partly its own law, partly laws
common to all mankind. . . . The people of Rome,
then, are governed partly by their own laws, and
partly by the laws which are common to all
WHAT TYPES OF LAW ARE IN THE
• Book I
• Book II
• Book III
• Book IV
Obligationes Arising From Delicta
BOOK I: OF PERSONS
• JUSTICE is the constant and perpetual wish to render
every one his due.
• I. Justice and Law.
• II. Natural, Common, and Civil Law.
• III. The Law of Persons.
• The laws continue discussing everything from
slaves to marriage and everything dealing with
person to person connections
BOOK II: OF THINGS.
• I. Divisions of Things.
• II. Incorporeal Things.
– 1. Corporeal things are those which are by their nature
tangible, as land, a slave, a garment, gold, and silver.
– 2. Incorporeal things are those which are not tangible,
such as are those which consist of a right, as an
inheritance, or obligations in whatever way contracted.
• These laws continue on with laws that have to do with
making wills and titles.
BOOK III: INTESTATE
• A person dies intestate, who either has made no
testament at all, or has made one not legally valid;
or if the testament he has made is revoked, or
made useless; or if no one becomes heir under it.
• These laws deal with obligations or contracts
verbal and consent.
BOOK IV: OBLIGATIONS
ARISING FROM CONFLICT
• For example, from theft, from robbery,
or damage, or injury.
• Spends a great deal of time with goods
taken by force or injury/robbery.