Law form a historical perspective


The legal profession is not a technical professional that involves form filling.

The professional also involves a calling.

The Bible, in the Book of Deuteronomy (16:19-20), states:

Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.

The phenomenon of professional lawyers began to be common in Ancient Greece but reached a more advanced stage of development in Rome. As is well known, Rome was a Republic for more than 400 years until Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon and rebelled against the authority of the Senate, thus paving the way for the Roman Empire.

The great lawyers in Rome were more prominent during the period of the Republic, since then the freedom of speech was naturally greater and they could speak in public and in the forum, while those who were members of the Senate could also do so in the Senate.

We should mention two of the greatest lawyers who operated in the period of the Roman Republic:

One, Lucius Crassus, was active in the second-first centuries BCE and was regarded as a brilliant orator.

The most famous lawyer in the Roman Republic, Cicero, is an outstanding example of what the legal profession can and should represent.

Cicero was a member of the Senate during the stormy period of the Catiline Conspiracy, during the twilight years of the Roman Republic.

Cicero fought his whole life against corruption and even succeeded in frustrating the Catiline Conspiracy that was intended to overthrow the Republic. His speeches in the Roman Senate have become famous and have been preserved by history. Cicero was assassinated at the age of 63 in the year 43 BCE, by agents of Mark Antony, a year after the assassination of Julius Caesar.

Another famous lawyer in history was Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was born into a poor family and taught himself each day to read and write at the age of seven.

After he studied law, he prospered as an attorney and began a political career that led to his election as president of the United States.

Lincoln fought all his life for justice and human rights and brought about the emancipation of slaves in the United States.

This struggle led to his death at the hand of an assassin.

Another fighter for justice in history was the French writer Émile Zola. When he became aware of the terrible injustice that occurred in the Dreyfus case, he wrote his famous article (J’accuse), which ultimately led to Dreyfus’s exoneration.

In concluding this brief survey, we should mention the Nuremberg trials in 1946, in which Nazi war criminals were put on trial and the principles of the laws of war and genocide were determined.