By John Sassoon

Provocatively juxtaposes written legislation from 4000 years in the past with contemporary.

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But he will surely detect that the fault lies not with our judges but with the relationship, by now traditional, between our courts and the law. Perhaps, later, he may be persuaded to reflect on this himself. Much is made of the fact that none of the ancient court records refers to any single written law, and the blanket inference is made that what we hold to be the rule of law, that is the rule of written law, was unknown in the ancient world. The case of Sur-DUB . UMBISAG makes it clear that the ancient courts were well aware of what the written laws said and in fact their judgements were generally in conformity with them.

As long as you live; and when you die, we shall support your son Zakkur . . just as we shall have been doing for you while you were alive . . L. Ginsberg. The translator has noted that Tapmut had been married to Meshullam but, at the time of his death, was still his slave, as was their daughter. He left this document formally freeing both of them. Tapmut carried a brand marking her as his property; it is not stated whether, on gaining her freedom, she would (or could) have the brand removed. 57 ANCIENT LAWS AND MODERN PROBLEMS to be paid.

This is one court record:1 Ninkuzu, daughter of Sur-Nanse, a servant of Atu the diviner, appeared before the court and declared: ‘By the King’s name, this is the position: Within two days I shall produce witnesses that Nasaba, a son of Atu, has freed me. ’ Because on the appointed day as per her oath by the King’s name Ninkuzu did not produce witnesses to her having been freed, the maidservant was assigned to the heirs of Atu. Lu-uruka was the bailiff. Lu-digira, Sur-Istarana and Lu-digira were the judges.

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