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A Europe-wide Law Merchant was formed so that merchants could trade with common standards of practice rather than with the many splintered facets of local laws.
The Law Merchant, a precursor to modern commercial law, emphasised the freedom to contract and alienability of property.
Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000 BC, contained a civil code that was probably broken into twelve books.
It was based on the concept of Ma'at, characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality.
The most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, and has since been fully transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian, German, and French.
The Old Testament dates back to 1280 BC and takes the form of moral imperatives as recommendations for a good society.
He said that, for example, "early customary law" and "municipal law" were contexts where the word "law" had two different and irreconcilable meanings.
Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; this became known as the Codex Hammurabi.
The small Greek city-state, ancient Athens, from about the 8th century BC was the first society to be based on broad inclusion of its citizenry, excluding women and the slave class.
However, Athens had no legal science or single word for "law", Although codes were replaced by custom and case law during the Dark Ages, Roman law was rediscovered around the 11th century when medieval legal scholars began to research Roman codes and adapt their concepts.
State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions.
Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process.