The Rise and Fall of Communal Liability in Ancient Law
21 Pages Posted: 6 May 2004
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.
Keywords: communal liability, tort, ancient law, primitive society, group liability
JEL Classification: K13, K14, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation