Ernest de Sarzec (1832-1901), a French archaeologist credited for discovering proof of the Sumerian civilization made the excavations in modern-day Iraq. In 1877, evidence of earliest code of justice was found by Sarzec, issued by the Sumerian king Urukagina of Lagash ca 2300 BC. Perhaps the earliest prototype for a law of government, this document itself has not yet been discovered. Nevertheless, it allowed some rights to his citizens, for instance, it relieved tax for widows and orphans and protected the poor from the usury of the rich. Many governments ruled by special codes of written laws after that. The oldest such document still known to exist seems to be the Code of Ur-Nammu of Ur ...view middle of the document...
They operated under a series of laws that were added from time to time, but Roman law was never reorganised into a single code until the Codex Theodosianus (AD 438) later in the Eastern Empire the Codex Justinianis (534) was highly influential throughout Europe. This was followed by the Ecloga of Leo III the Isaurian (740) and the Basilica of Basil I (878).
In 604, Japan's Seventeen-article constitution was written and reportedly by Prince Shōtoku. It focuses more on social morality than institutions of government per se and remains a notable early attempt at a government constitution as it was influenced by Buddhist teachings.
In Saudi Arabia, the prophet of Islam, Muhammad drafted the Constitution of Medina that guarantees basic rights to religions and reinforces a judiciary process regarding the rules of warfare, tax and civil disputes.
For Iroquois nation, the Gayanashagowa, or ‘oral’ constitution has been estimated to date between 1090 and 1150, it is also thought by some to have given a partial inspiration for the US Constitution.
In England, declaration of the Charter of Liberties by Henry I in 1100 bound the king in his treatment of the clergy and the nobility. In 1215, it was then extended and refined by the English barony when they constrained King John to sign Magna Carta. Article 39, of the Magna Carta read:
No free man shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or deprived of his property, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor shall we go against him or send against him, unless by legal judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land.
This is the most important article of the Magna Carta related to "habeas corpus", provided that the king was forbidden to imprison, outlaw, exile or kill anyone at a whim. This provision had led to the system of Constitutional Monarchy, with further reforms shifting the balance of power from the monarchy and nobility to the...