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A question on history of law

  1. Sep 11, 2014 #1
    Abul-Walid Mohammed ibn-Ahmad Ibn-Mohammed ibn-Roshd this historical character is admitted as a lawyer but I do not think that there was job as lawyer in his time.
     
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  3. Sep 11, 2014 #2

    Evo

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    Did you have a question?
     
  4. Sep 11, 2014 #3
    Yes, it seems to me strange. I think there could not be any lawyer that time. Why is he defined as a lawyer?
     
  5. Sep 11, 2014 #4
    This is very esoteric. Can you link us to information on this person?
     
  6. Sep 11, 2014 #5
  7. Sep 11, 2014 #6

    Evo

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    First, I've never heard of him. Apparently he's more known in Muslim history. I did find him in wikipedia. There is a tiny reference to him to do with Islamic (specifically religious Maliki) law. That gets into religion, which we don't get into here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Averroes#Jurisprudence_and_law
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  8. Sep 11, 2014 #7
    I have alway heard that that philosopher is well know by people of west.
     
  9. Sep 11, 2014 #8

    Evo

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    I guess if someone studied philosophy they would have. It seems Ibn Rushd or Averroës would be more familiar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  10. Sep 11, 2014 #9

    SteamKing

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    Known more commonly by his westernized name Averroes, he was a prolific Islamic scholar who live in Cordoba, Spain in the middle ages. His writings and commentaries on the philosophy of Aristotle are credited with reviving the study of Aristotle in the west, leading to the rise of Scholasticism. It was thru Islamic scholars like Averroes that knowledge of the ancient Greek philosophers was preserved and disseminated to the West, leading up to the Renaissance.

    As to whether there were 'attorneys' in his time, there have been law codes since the time of the Akkadian king Hammurabi (died 1750 B.C.), and since there were legal codes, surely there were people skilled at arguing and interpreting what these codes said.

    In Greek and Roman times, the great orators, like Demosthenes and Cicero, were skilled at taking on Clients and arguing their cases before various tribunals. Cicero's 'Orations against Catiline' preserve the arguments made by him against Catiline, who was suspected of plotting to overthrow the Roman Senate.

    This article discusses the development of the legal profession throughout history:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_legal_profession
     
  11. Sep 11, 2014 #10

    SteamKing

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    He's quite well known to Western philosophers, especially scholars of Aristotle, having written extensive commentaries on Aristotelian philosophy.
     
  12. Sep 11, 2014 #11

    Astronuc

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    It is more likely that ibn Rushd was a jurist or ulema, rather than a lawyer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurist

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/ibnrushd/
    "In law he outshone all his predecessors, writing on legal methodology, legal pronouncements, sacrifices and land taxes. He discussed topics as diverse as cleanliness, marriage, jihad and the government’s role with non-Muslims."
     
  13. Sep 12, 2014 #12

    D H

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    I suspect dead lawyer jokes started appearing soon after Hammurabi's code was written down.

    Dead lawyer jokes (or their medieval equivalent) certainly were extant prior to ibn-Roshd's (Averroes's) time. The cited articles by Rose and Uelmen both describe how attitudes toward the legal profession was rather low even in medieval times, prior to Averroes's birth.


    Rose, J. (1998). Medieval Attitudes Toward the Legal Profession: The Past as Prologue. Stetson L. Rev., 28, 345.

    Uelmen, A. J. (2002). View of the Legal Profession from a Mid-Twelfth-Century Monastery, A. Fordham L. Rev., 71, 1517.
     
  14. Sep 12, 2014 #13
    I only understand from a lawyer that he is someone who goes to court and defend someone need defence.
     
  15. Sep 12, 2014 #14

    SteamKing

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    Hopefully, he, the lawyer, is also skilled and knowledgeable in the law against which his client needs a defense.
     
  16. Sep 12, 2014 #15
    Yes. A lawyer is someone who studies the law so s/he can help clients circumvent it.
     
  17. Sep 12, 2014 #16

    WWGD

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    There is also the prosecuting side, the side that brings the suit. I don't know how it works outside of the US, but there are plaintiffs and defendants.
     
  18. Sep 12, 2014 #17
    Well, prosecutors and plaintiff lawyers have their clients too, and at least in the US, they are not adverse to taking a favorable interpretation of the law and the facts to win their cases. The adversarial system is usually about winning and not so much about truth and justice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  19. Sep 12, 2014 #18

    WWGD

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    At least in theory the adversarial system is the best one to bring-about the truth, given that, as you say, neither party is interested in the truth.
     
  20. Sep 12, 2014 #19
    I do think any such system has to have an adversarial component where the two sides present their cases. However, I prefer a system where 3 or 5 trained professional unbiased jurists hear the arguments and are free to interrogate advocates, witnesses and even the defendants if they waive their right not to testify. The jurists could also ask for additional evidence to back advocate's claims. The jurists would then have to unanimously agree on a verdict and any penalties at the conclusion of a criminal trial. A majority of jurists would need to agree in a civil trial.

    Right now in the US, a single judge presides, but only to keep order. The jury takes no active part, although I did see one recent trial (Arizona vs Jodi Arias) where the jury could submit written questions to the defendant. In criminal trials without a jury, the judge gives the verdict and penalty, but otherwise usually only acts to keep order.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
  21. Sep 13, 2014 #20

    SteamKing

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    I think you are missing the fact that a lot of the trial decisions made by the judge are done so outside of the courtroom. The judge in a trial isn't just a majordomo, who is there to keep the two lawyers from slugging one another. There are usually issues dealing with admissibility of evidence or other matters of trial procedure which the judge must decide and rule on outside the presence of the jury. By the time a case has reached the courtroom stage, a lot of work has already been done preparing for the trial, work in which the judge must participate. Once the arguments have concluded, the judge must also instruct the jury in matters of the law, so that the jury can take the facts of the case as presented, apply the law, and then decide on a verdict.
     
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