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By Susan Ford Wiltshire

Susan Ford Wiltshire lines the evolution of the doctrine of person rights from antiquity throughout the eighteenth century. the typical thread via that lengthy tale is the idea of common legislation. turning out to be out of Greek political notion, specifically that of Aristotle, common legislation grew to become an important guiding principle of Stoic philosophy in the course of the Hellenistic age and later grew to become hooked up to Roman felony doctrine. It underwent a number of ameliorations in the course of the heart a while at the Continent and in England, specially within the considered John Locke, prior to it got here to justify a concept of common correct, claimed by means of Jefferson within the statement of Independence because the foundation of the "unalienable rights" of american citizens.

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Under the ius gentium Roman jurists recognized a whole range of legal relations as valid between Roman citizens and foreigners or between foreigners and foreigners, depending on the decrease in national or municipal particularism. C. the term ius gentium was used to group together an array of rules governing these relationships that had been found so useful as to be put into law. 38 This broader notion of the ius gentium was a Roman creation and had no validity except in a context defined by Rome.

All of these works together comprise the Corpus iuris civilis, which is often considered to have influenced the Western world more than any other document except the Bible. Edward Gibbon in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire gives tribute to Justinian for his astonishing achievement: The vain titles of the victories of Justinian are crumbled into dust, but the name of the legislator is inscribed on a fair and everlasting monument. Under his reign, and by his care, the Page 21 civil jurisprudence was digested in the immortal works of the Code, the Pandects, and the Institutes: the public reason of the Romans has been silently or studiously transfused into the domestic institutions of Europe, and the laws of Justinian still command the respect or obedience of independent nations.

The ideas and practices behind the Bill of Rights, however, have a very long history that it is the purpose of this book to explore. " In this confidence Jefferson was elaborating ideas that had their origins more than two thousand years earlier in classical Greek philosophy. Eventually these ideas became attached to the practicalities of Roman law and thereby shaped the political institutions Page 4 of the West. Almost all of the provisions of the Bill of Rights reflect civic practices first developed by the Greeks and Romans.

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