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The Institution of the Witness in Legal Practice in Ancient Mesopotamia
The Institution of the Witness in Legal Practice in Ancient Mesopotamia

Author(s): Paweł Kociszewski
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Stosowanych Nauk Społecznych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego

Summary/Abstract: The institution of a witness in the process of application of the law in Ancient Mesopotamia played a substantial role. Witnesses appeared in private legal documents and in court documents, which both in their content and function had a public character. They included people who were present at or participated in situations that had legal consequences. The witness’s testimony was the most popular and most credible evidence in a case. These were mostly men, although there were many women, too, and sometimes even slaves. It is possible that there were two categories of witnesses. This paper will characterize the institution of the witness in the practice of law in Mesopotamia and try to answer the question whether the institution of the witness plays the same function in contemporary Middle East Islamic law.

  • Issue Year: 7/2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 249-257
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English