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13 Principles of Business Law Txt

13 Principles of Business Law Txt

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Published by: yssuf on May 18, 2011
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01/04/2015

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In the early days, after the Saxon conquest of England in the 5th to 7th centuries, there was
no law in the modern sense. The tribal chiefs, aided by the experienced "elders" of the
community, were the depositories and guardians of the ancient customary law or "custom",
and enforced the observance of such customs or usages dealing with religion, morality and
sanitation by applying sanctions of various kinds. At a later stage, from the 9th century
onwards, the Saxon kings began to put many of the old customs into writing. Such
compilations are generally referred to collectively as the laws of the Anglo-Saxons.
Although occasionally such collections refer to changes made by a powerful king (and this
gives a hint as to the future of law), they were promulgated as existing laws confined to pre-
existing customs. New laws were exceptional, although the conversion to Christianity
naturally introduced fresh concepts issuing from divine revelations. Such codifications were
not classified: criminal law, civil law, ecclesiastical law, procedure, public law, etc. but were all
intermingled.
The Danish invaders brought a second element into English law, and the great legislator,
King Cnut, crystallised this Scandinavian importation in the laws of the Danelaw, a district
north-east of Watling Street where the Danes lived under their old Norse customs.
By the middle of the 11th century, the time of the Norman Conquest, the local customary
laws had crystallised into the laws of Mercia, the laws of Wessex and the laws of the
Danelaw
, all separate districts of England. Note that there was no law common to the whole
land. The laws were scattered on all sides: in counties or shires, hundreds (divisions of a
shire) and boroughs (towns) there was material ready to be transferred into a single system
of law by a centralising agency. This material was largely made up of customs administered
by the freemen of the district in the local courts of the county or shire, the hundred and the
borough.

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