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Law and the Technologies of Communication By Peter Tiersma.

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1 Law and the Technologies of Communication By Peter Tiersma

2 Ancient Mesopotamia

3 Laws of Ur-Nummu (2100 BC) [Schoyen collection, MS 2064]

4 Laws of Ur-Nummu (2100 BC) (excerpts) # 1. If a man commits a murder, that man must be killed. # 2. If a man commits a robbery, he will be killed. # 3. If a man commits a kidnapping, he is to be imprisoned and pay 15 shekels of silver. # 7. If the wife of a man followed after another man and he slept with her, they shall slay that woman, but that male shall be set free. # 8. If a man proceeded by force, and deflowered the virgin slavewoman of another man, that man must pay five shekels of silver. # 13. If a man is accused of sorcery he must undergo ordeal by water; if he is proven innocent, his accuser must pay 3 shekels.

5 Code of Hammurabi

6 Hammurabi Code subjects, No. 1 libel; corrupt administration of justice; theft, receiving stolen goods, robbery, looting, and burglary; murder, manslaughter, and bodily injury; abduction; liability for negligent damage to fields and crop damage caused by grazing cattle; illegal felling of palm trees; legal problems of trade enterprises, in particular, the relationship between the merchant and his employee traveling overland, and embezzlement of merchandise;

7 Gortyn Code, 7 th century BC

8 Athens: the Agora


10 Law of King Æthelberht of Kent Gif man mannan ofslæhđ, medume leodgeld C scillinga gebete If a person kills someone, let him pay an ordinary person-price, 100 shillings.

11 Book of Statutes, ca.1445 [Schoyen collection, MS 1355]

12 Act of Parliament, 1702

13 Plain Meaning Rule The only rule for construction of Acts of Parliament is, that they should be construed according to the intent of the Parliament which passed the Act. If the words of the Statute are in themselves precise and unambiguous, then no more can be necessary than to expound those words in that natural and ordinary sense. The words themselves alone do, in such case, best declare the intention of the law giver." Lord Chief Justice Nicolas Tindal, 1844

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