Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The comparative paper between contract law in the Code of Hammurabi and Magna Carta

After i studied the two code of laws, i get more interested in them even the two have some different points. It was about 4000 years ago since the Code of Hammurabi had been created by the king Hammurabi to establish right and obligation for his people at that time. Unlike, Magna Carta that was created because of disagreements between Pope Innocent III, King John and his English barons to exercise the right of the king. Even so there are a lot of differences between the two laws. But i would like to take only some differences to compare.
In the Code of Hammurabi, the laws were carved on the stone for the king thought that it would be easier to his people coming and seeing what was writen on the stone. More than that he thought the stone was always there, and it would be the proof to prevent people who attempt to commit something wrong such as criminal. There will no excuses for an offender to say that he or she did not do something wrong as the stone contained everything on it. In contrast, the law of Magna Carta was created for the reason that Pope Innocent III disagreed with King John and also it people within the country. The king had to renounce certain right, respect certain legal procedures and people must accept the will of the king as it was bound by law. By the way it was the first document to limit the power of the king by law. So i can say that this is the difference of the two laws based on different purpose.
when i looked into the articles of the two laws i also found out something. For example, in the article 117 says that " If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and sell himself, his wife, his son, and daughter for money or give them away to forced labor: they shall work for three years in the house of the man who bought them. or the proprietor, and in the fourth year they shall be set free." In this case the government doesn't care what will happen between the one who gave away his of her family and the creditor. The thing is that the government only cares to the aspect that slaves at that time didn't pay tax at all, but free men did. It was very different from the Magna Carta in the article 9 that says" Neither we nor our officials will seize any land or rend in payment of a debt, so long as the debtor has moveable goods sufficient to discharge the debt. A debtor's sureties shall not dis trained upon so long as the debtor himself can discharge..................................., unless the debtor can show that he has settled his obligations to them." In this case the law of Magna Carta gives priority to the debtors who can pay back the debt in any way as they can do, but they don't have to sell their family members like the Code of Hammurabi. It can also say that the human right in Magna Carta is better than the time of Hammurabi.
In short, even there are diffences between the two, there are also some good points that they have in common. For example, the purpose of the two play an important roles in protecting their society and people.
Writen by: Keo Cheysothearith

1 comment:

kray sokkanha said...

Hi, dear Sothearith

After I read your post, It help me to understand more new concepts about contract law between Hammurabi and Carta which you have written. However, your idea is short and not clear, you should raise more examples and details. So, I would like to give you some comments about this law. First, Hammurabi seem to rely on the government interest and put strong discipline to the people. Unlike, Magna Carta which focus on human rights because people can make their own decision without forcing from the king.

I hope that you will reflect to my comments. Thanks