Development of Positive Law


After the fall of the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the Christian church became a major lawmaking and law enforcement body. Cano law was designed to regulate human behavior and peoples social, economic and political live as well.
To enforce its laws against those who disagreed with it, the Church created the Inquisition and examined those who suspected of breaking church laws. Many people were cleared of wrongdoing, but others were punished, frequently with death. One of the best known trials was that of the scientists Galileo who had denied the Church doctrine that the Sun circled the Earth but under pressure he changed his mind. The society of the Middle Age was rigidly structured and laws of kingdoms could not conflict with those of the church.
England had its own laws based on custom and tradition. Judges appointed by the King moved from one place to another to administer local laws. As a time passed local laws gave way to judge’s interpretations which were accepted in more than one area. Eventually, the decisions of the judges modified by later decisions were accepted as the body of English common law.
In France, under the reign of Napoleon a civil code was enacted in 1804. It has had a great influence on the legal systems of most European countries and Latin America. The Code was made necessary by the diversity and confusion of laws that had developed in France during the Middle Ages. For the first time in history law based on common sense was free of all past prejudices and inequities. All citizens were recognized as equal and all class privileges were done away with. The Code was introduced in most European countries after the Napoleonic conquests. It was also voluntarily adopted in such countries as Haiti, Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Columbia, Louisiana.
The influence of the Napoleonic code was somewhat diminished by the introduction of the German Civil Code and the Swiss Civil Code.