The laws now enforced throughout the world are almost all modelled on systems developed in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During two hundred years of colonial rule, Europeans exported their laws everywhere they could. But not quite as revolutionary as we may think, they weren't filling a void: in many places, they displaced traditions that were already ancient when Vasco Da Gama first arrived in India. Even the Romans were inspired by earlier precedents.
Fernanda Pirie, Professor of the Anthropology of Law at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford and author of ‘The Rule of Laws: A 4,000-Year Quest to Order the World,’ joins Dan on the podcast. They discuss where it all began, and what law has been and done over the course of human history.