Some systems of law are represented as divinely sanctioned, others are recognised as made by humans. The administration of justice is often in the hands of a learned elite, trained for the purpose, but sometimes (as in ancient Greece) the responsibility lies with ordinary citizens. Taking examples from early law codes (Hammurabi), anthropological reports (the Lozi), China, Greece, and Islam, this chapter discusses the variety in systems of law, what they cover, their relationship to morality, their provenance, source of legitimacy and claims to objectivity, and under what circumstances (if any) they are subject to change and innovation.
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