TABLE XI Marriages should not take place between plebeians and patricians.
TABLE XII If a slave shall have committed theft or done damage with his master’s knowledge, the action for damages is in the slave’s name.
Whatever the people had last ordained should be held as binding by law.
EXCERPT FROM JUSTINIAN’S CODE The following are the precepts of the Law: to live honestly, not to injure another, and to give to each one that which belongs to him.
There are two branches of this study, namely, public and private. Public Law is that which concerns the administration of the Roman government; Private law relates to the interest of individuals…It is composed of precepts of Natural Law, of those of the Law of Nations, and of those of the Civil Law.
Natural Law is that which nature has taught to all animals, for this law is not peculiar to the human race, but applies to all creatures which originate in the air, or the earth, and in the sea…
The Civil Law and the Law of Nations are divided as follows. All peoples that are governed by laws and customs make use of the law which is partly peculiar to themselves and partly pertaining to all men; for what each people has established for itself is peculiar to that State, and is styled the Civil Law; being, as it were, the especial law of that individual commonwealth. But the law which natural reason has established among all mankind and which is equally observed among all peoples, is called the Law of Nations, as being that which all nations make use of. The Roman people also employ a law which is in part peculiar them, and in part common to all men…Our Law, which We make use of, is either written or unwritten, just as among the Greeks written and unwritten laws exist. The written law consists of the Statues,…the Decrees of the Senate, the Decisions of the Emperors, the Orders of the Magistrates and the Answers of Jurisconsults…
The Answers of Jurisconsults are the decisions and opinions of persons upon whom has been conferred authority to establish laws; for it was decided in ancient times that the laws should be publicly interpreted by those to whom the right to answer had been granted by the Emperor, and who were called jurisconsults, and the unanimous decisions and opinions of the latter had such force that…a judge was not permitted to deviate from what they had determined.
The unwritten law is that which usage has confirmed, for customs long observed and sanctioned by the consent of those who employ them, resemble law.