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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Law and Justice in the Courts of Classical Athens

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ISBN13: 9780521857598
ISBN: 0521857597
Published: April 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £64.99

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Adriaan Lanni draws on contemporary legal thinking to present a new model of the legal system of classical Athens. She analyzes the Athenians' preference in most cases for ad hoc, discretionary decision-making, as opposed to what moderns would call the rule of law. Lanni argues that the Athenians consciously employed different approaches to legal decision-making in different types of courts.

The varied approaches to legal process stems from a deep tension in Athenian practice and thinking, between the demand for flexibility of legal interpretation consistent with the exercise of democratic power by ordinary Athenian jurors; and the demand for consistency and predictability in legal interpretation expected by litigants and necessary to permit citizens to conform their conduct to the law. Lanni presents classical Athens as a case study of a successful legal system that, by modern standards, had an extraordinarily individualized and discretionary approach to justice

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Legal History
1. Introduction
2. Athens and its legal system
3. Relevance in the popular courts
4. The homicide courts
5. Legal insecurity in Athens
6. Maritime cases
7. Conclusions.