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Concept of Due Process: Analytical Essay

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What is Due Process and where did it come from? Essentially, due process of law is the legal requirement that a government must respect all of an individual’s lawful rights before taking from them. It prohibits a state from depriving an individual or group of individuals of their privileges by establishing procedural safeguards. Specific elements of due process include the right to a notice of the charges against you, the opportunity to be heard, and the opportunity to defend yourself. When a system of law ignores any of these steps before convicting someone this constitutes a violation of due process and the rule of law. The very concept of due process was originally documented in the magna carta in 1215 which was first referred to as “due course of law” then was provided in the 5th and 14th amendments of the U.S constitution. This view was widely accepted by american courts during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (cato-unbound). The due process clause of the Fifth Amendment applies to the federal government and the Fourteenth Amendment applies to the states. The due process avoids you to be forced to testify against yourself. Due process also means no double jeopardy. It only applies to the government, either state or federal. It is significant to every citizen of the united states because it directly impacts what the government can and can’t do with your rights. There are two types of due process which are procedural due process and substantive due process. Procedural due process requires notice and an opportunity to be heard before life, liberty, or property can be taken. Substantive due process ensures that laws or government actions are reasonable and asks whether or not the government had sufficient justification for infringing on a right.

Where did Trial by Jury come from? The history of trial by jury in England is influential because many English and later British colonies adopted the English common law system in which trial by jury plays an important part. Many traditions, such as the number of members being twelve, originated in England in the 12th century when Henry 11 developed the jury system. Those twelve men were assigned to uncover the facts of the case on their own rather than listen to the arguments in court unlike modern jury (wvaj). The greek system was most likely the first form of juries in England, with it arriving on British shores with the Roman Conquest. By the late 800s, under the leadership of Alfred the Great, trial by a jury of one’s peers became the norm throughout England. William Blackstone, the great historian of English common law, considered the Frankish Inquest, developed in 829 A. D. as the start of the modern jury system. Created by Louis the Pious, the son of Charlemagne, it was a “jury of administrative inquiry.”

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Describe how the Law has changed into Written Law and why that is important. Laws obviously existed before writing however, they weren’t written so there wasn’t a way to rely on them which influenced more chaos. Our founding fathers were mostly the ones who put laws into effect and took over in writing laws such as the bill of rights in the constitution. However, the idea of written laws goes back to mesopotamian culture for the civilization of the greeks and romans. The code of Hammurabi written by king of babylon is often said to be the origin of written laws and a formal legal system to which many look upon on. Writing the laws prevented the same mistakes to be done and or cases and files to be lost. Written laws also allowed the government and society to grow since there are laws for everyone to follow. It must have also helped citizens rely or trust the government more if they knew what the laws were and what rights they had. Not only did it help citizens but it helped the government be more powerful and have dependable enforcement. If the law is not written, then how will the state ever enforce it? That is why written laws are significant to depend upon them and guide us (enotes). The law serves many purposes which include protecting rights and liberties, establishing standards, resolving disputes and maintaining order. Without laws, citizens would be taken advantage of and the government would be unsuccessful.

Describe the evolution of Law and how we got to where we are today. The evolution of law began before history was recorded with laws built up one by one as disputes were settled. The development of rules in society predates both courts and the written law. In america our law system came from great britain. The settlers of the original 13 colonies came from europe and they brought with them their own set of rules and principles to be used in their new society. The english common law was the system of law in England at that time and was quickly adopted throughout the colonies. The early tribes of england each held their own set of rules but this system was later formalized. This then later led to the first law document which was the magna carta that established the principle that everyone is subject to the law.

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