The Rise and Fall of Communal Liability in Ancient Law
University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna
University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for Law and Economics (ACLE); Tinbergen Institute
International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 489-505, December 2004
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 03-44
In ancient societies, rules of communal responsibility permitted the imposition of retaliatory sanctions on a wrongdoer's clan. These rules followed the collective ownership structure of early communities. Over time, notions of personal responsibility emerged, terminating the transfer of responsibility from one member to the whole clan. This paper intends to provide an economic explanation for this transition.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: communal liability, tort, ancient law, primitive society, group liability
JEL Classification: K13, K14, K42Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 6, 2004
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