To start with the history and later developments of law, we need to understand the basic meaning of law. Law is a system of rules and regulations which a particular country or community or a society recognizes to regulate the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of sanctions which means penalties. Law is a procedure a better working of the country and provides us with the correct guidance to a civilised behaviour. Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state for their own welfare. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislatureor by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally incommon law jurisdictions.


There are no minutes details of any kind of geographic society or catacombs to show us, origin of law without any ambiguity. We don’t have any specific proves to show the exact area of its inception.The earliest writings of law were destroyed during the Dark Ages, so the concept of crime and punishment and where it all began starts in the year 500 AD. It was governed mostly by superstition and local laws and stayed pretty much the same up thru the year 1000 AD. After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, common law started to develop and helped standardise law and justice. Until then the legal system among the early English or Anglo-Saxons and everywhere else in Europe during that time, was decentralised.The history of law links closely to the development ofcivilization.

Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000BC, contained a civil code that was probably broken into twelve books. It was based on the concept ofMa'at, characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality. By the 22nd century BC, the ancient Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammuhad formulated the first law code, which consisted ofcasuistic statements. Around 1760 BC, King Hammurabi further developed Babylonian law, by codifying and inscribing it in stone. Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon asstelae, for the entire public to see; this became known as the Codex Hammurabi. 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 history of law is the history of our race, and the embodiment of its experience. It is the most unerring monument of its wisdom and of its frequent want of wisdom. There never has existed, and it is entirely safe to say that there never will exist, on this planet any organization of human society, any tribe or nation however rude, any aggregation of men however savage, that has not been more or less controlled by some recognized form of law.

Whether we accept the fashionable, but in this regard wholly unsupported and irrational theory of evolution that would develop civilization from barbarism, barbarism from savagery, and the existence of savage men from a simian ancestry, or whether we adopt the more reasonable theory, sustained by the uniform tenor of all history, that barbarism and savagery are merely lapses from a primordial civilization, we find man at all times and under all circumstances, so far as we are informed by the records which he has left, living in society and regulating his conduct and transacting his affairs in subordination to some rules of law, more or less fixed, and recognized by him to be binding upon him, even though he has oftentimes been in rebellion against some of their provisions.

The origin of law were to be sought in compact and dense, a similar compact would suffice to abrogate it; and if it depended on the force of the majority, the wrongfulness of disobedience to its behests would depend entirely upon its discovery and manifestation to the world. Law has been the necessity of nature and has been highly binding upon people.


Law should aim at justice. Laws should be the objective expressions of the nature of reality rather than merely the subjective prejudices or whims of some person, group of people, or society as a whole. Natural law is objective since it is inherent in the nature of the entity to which it relates. The content of natural law is accessible to human reason. Each man has a natural right to survive, flourish, and pursue his own happiness; no other man or group of men should attempt to deprive him of a chosen value or action through the initiation or threat of force. Historically, socially emergent ideas of legal principles, often times in accord with the nature of reality, occurred prior to their adoption by political authorities.

The evolution of law began before history was recorded with laws built up one by one as disputes were settled. In fact, the development of rules in society predates both courts and the written law. For thousands of years, customary and private legal systems alone ordered human activities. The power of customary law is found in the fact that it is reflected in the conduct of people toward one another. The further a society moves away from customary and private law systems, the greater the need for laws coercively enforced by the state.

The law is essentially discovered, not made. Law is a systemic discovery process involving the historical experiences of successive generations. Law reflects and embodies the experiences of all men who have ever lived. Law is a natural outcome of people living and working together. If people are to live among others, there must be a way to resolve the inevitable disputes. Law can be seen as the activity of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules.

Law In India

India maintains a hybrid legal system with a mixture of civil, common law and customary, Islamic ethics, or religious law within the legal framework inherited from the colonial era and various legislation first introduced by the British are still in effect in modified forms today. Making this enormous and manifold took a long time. Indian is basically a system according to which India is regulated and managed. Indian law has a gigantic role of customs and traditions in making India establish as what we call as Personal Law. An example of personal law could be the laws related to marriages in different religions. Divorces under Muslim law are known as Talaq and has many ways of pursuing it.

Ancient India represented a distinct tradition of law, and had a historically independent school of legal theory and practice. The Dharmashastras and Dharamasutras played an important role. The Arthashastra, dating from 400 BC and the Manusmriti, from 100 AD, were influential treatises in India, texts that were considered authoritative legal guidance. Manu's central philosophy was tolerance and pluralism, and was cited across Southeast Asia.

With the beginning of the sultanate period and establishment of the Mughal dynasty in the 17th century played a major role by establishing some Turkish law in India.

With the advent of the British Raj, there was a break in tradition, and Hindu and Muslim law were abolished in favour of British common law. As a result, the present judicial system of the country derives largely from the British system and has few a laws taken from the British legal system. Our Constitution is a 'Bag of Borrowing' which basically , means that in forming a basic framework for the legal democractic system in India, many concepts are borrowed from the constitution of other countries like USA, Germany, Australia, Russia, Canada etc. Our government is federal and the powers provided for the governance of the country are subjudicated into three main government bodies; Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. As like natural laws occur without any human force human rights are equally esssential for a peaceful state to exist. Hence India follows the regulations under United Nations for Human Rights. India is democratic hence follows the main tag line of democracy i.e For the People, By the People and With the People.

An insight to the Indian legal system is inherited in the Indian Constitution includes democracy, rule of law, supremacy of law, fraternity, justice, equality, freedom, uniform citizenship, fundamental rights, development of harmonious surroundings etc.

Law in India has evolved from religious prescription to the current constitution a land legal system we have today, traversing through secular legal systems and the common law.



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Surmistha Sharma  •  1y  •  Reply
Nicely written. ...great thanks for all informations about our law.keep it up dear, bless you.
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Nandini Rao  •  1y  •  Reply
Now that is some law I was not aware at all thank you I just became an indian
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Harish Chahar  •  1y  •  Reply
Amazingly written. Concise and informative.
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Vasu Sharma  •  1y  •  Reply
Very nice and thank you for enhancing my basic knowledge. It is very much helpful to clear the basics.
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Diya Sharma  •  1y  •  Reply
This definitely has boosted my knowledge about law