Nationalities and regions of Spain
Spain is a diverse country integrated by different contrasting entities that show varying economic and social structures, as well as different languages and historical and cultural traditions. According to the current Spanish constitution, the Spanish nation is the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards, composed of nationalities and regions to which the constitution recognizes and guarantees the right to self-government; the term nationalities, or historical nationalities, though never defined indicates territories whose inhabitants have a strong constituted identity, or, more certain autonomous communities whose Statutes of autonomy—their basic institutional legislation—recognizes their historical and cultural identity. In Spanish jurisprudence, the concept nationality appears for the first time in the current constitution, approved in 1978, after much debate in the Spanish Parliament. Although it was explicitly understood that the term made reference to Galicia, the Basque Country and Catalonia, the constitution does not specify any by name.
Between the strong centralist position inherited from Franco's regime and the nationalist position from the Galicians and Catalans, that term came about as a consensus and was applied in their respective Statutes of Autonomy once all nationalities and regions acceded to self-government or autonomy and were constituted as autonomous communities. The term "nationality" is used in reference to Aragon, Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and Andalusia; the rest of the autonomous communities are defined as historical regions of Spain. Asturias, Castile and León are referred to as "historical communities". Navarre is defined as a chartered community in the re-institution of its medieval charters and the Community of Madrid is defined neither as a nationality nor as a region, but as a community created in the nation's interest as the seat of the capital of the nation; the formation of Spain can be viewed as an alliance and progressive union of several peninsular kingdoms, it can be said that the nationalist or regionalist tradition in Spain has its roots in Spanish history.
In fact, no serious attempt was made to centralise the administration until the reforms of the eighteenth century. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Spanish government was centralised and the State did not recognise the nation's regional diversity, it was later during this same century, that as Catalonia and the Basque Country became industrialised and areas where commercial capitalism made swift progress while the rest of the country followed at a much slower pace, nationalistic sentiments began to grow, it was not unusual that some writers of the time would express their concepts of a Catalan or Basque fatherland or nationhood. These two nationalist movements had much in common, in that both arose in areas that enjoyed higher levels of prosperity, were the only areas in the country to develop modern industry, both possessed a linguistic tradition of their own. Both regions rediscovered their histories—Catalonia rediscovered her prowess as a Mediterranean Medieval empire within the Crown of Aragon, the Basque Country focused on the mystery of its origins.
Both areas had enjoyed some type of medieval charters whereby they had exercised either full sovereignty under Spanish crown of the House of Austrian period. However, under the Borbon´s Spanish crown, sovereignty was lost, in times, as it was the case for the Basque Country and Navarre, they had enjoyed fiscal autonomy; the larger economic development occurring in areas overlapping spatially delimited ethnic communities enhanced the regions' own identity.. In the early twentieth century, nationalist discourse in Galicia and the Basque country was infused with racialist elements, whereby these ethnicities were considered distinct from more Semitic and African peoples of the center and south of Spain; as nationalistic sentiments grew, sometimes within conservative ideals and afterwards with the left, their demands for self-government grew, in some sectors, separatism—outright independence—was preferred. The appearance of the so-called peripheral nationalism in the aforementioned regions of Spain occurred in a time where Spain itself as a whole first began to look into its own concept of nationhood, where Spaniards began to study their own nationalism between two competing views, the traditionalist, where religion played a significant role in defining the Spanish nation and traditionally Catholic, monarchical, the liberal view where sovereignty resided in the nation—the people, as opposed to the monarch—and where some advocated for a uniform centralised State while others preferred decentralization and republicanism.
Spain experimented with decentralisation during the First Spanish Republic, but social and political chaos—which had started before the change of regime with a change of monarchical houses—led to its failure. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the two political discourses of Spanish nationalism, the traditional and the liberal, continued to be present and opposing, advocating for different political regimes. However, the appearance of peripheral nationalisms, namely the Basque and Catalan nationalistic movements, produced the unification of many Spanish nationalists as a counter-force, Spanish nationalism became a dialectical struggle between the center and the periphery. During the final stages of the turno pacífico, a
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Spanish transition to democracy
The Spanish transition to democracy, known in Spain as the Transition, or the Spanish transition is a period of modern Spanish history, that started on 20 November 1975, the date of death of Francisco Franco, who had established a military dictatorship after the victory of the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. However, historians disagree on the exact date the transition was completed: some say it ended after the 1977 general election. Others suggest. At its latest, the Transition is said to have ended with the first peaceful transfer of executive power, after the victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party in the 1982 general election. Francisco Franco came to power in 1939, following the Spanish Civil War, ruled as a dictator until his death in 1975. In 1969, he designated Prince Juan Carlos, grandson of Spain's most recent king, Alfonso XIII, as his official successor. For the next six years, Prince Juan Carlos remained in the background during public appearances and seemed ready to follow in Franco's footsteps.
Once in power as King of Spain, however, he facilitated the development of a constitutional monarchy as his father, Don Juan de Borbón, had advocated since 1946. The transition was an ambitious plan that counted on ample support both outside of Spain. Western governments, headed by the United States, now favoured a Spanish constitutional monarchy, as did many Spanish and international liberal capitalists; the transition proved challenging, as the spectre of the Civil War still haunted Spain. Francoists on the far right enjoyed considerable support within the Spanish Army, people of the left distrusted a king who owed his position to Franco; the realisation of the democratic project required that the leftist opposition restrain its own most radical elements from provocation, that the army refrain from intervening in the political process on behalf of Francoist elements within the existing government. King Juan Carlos I began his reign as head of state without leaving the confines of Franco's legal system.
As such, he swore fidelity to the Principles of the Movimiento Nacional, the political system of the Franco era. Only in his speech before the Cortes did he indicate his support for a transformation of the Spanish political system; the King did not appoint a new prime minister, leaving in place the incumbent head of government under Franco, Carlos Arias Navarro. Arias Navarro had not planned a reform of the Francoist regime, he believed political changes should be limited: he would give the parliament, the Cortes Españolas, the task of "updating our laws and institutions the way Franco would have wanted."The reform programme adopted by the government was the one proposed by Manuel Fraga, rejecting Antonio Garrigues' plan to elect a constituent assembly. Fraga's programme aimed to achieve a "liberal democracy", "comparable to rest of Western European countries" through a "gradual and controlled process", through a series of reforms of the pseudo-constitutional Fundamental Laws of the Realm; this is why his proposal was dubbed as a "reform in the continuity", his support came from those who defended a Francoist sociological model.
In order for reform to succeed, it had to earn the support of the hardcore Francoist faction known as the Búnker, which had a major presence in the Cortes and the National Council of the Movement, the two institutions that would have to approve the reforms of the Fundamental Laws. It had to garner support within the Armed Forces and in the Spanish Labour Organisation. Besides, it needed to please the democratic opposition to Francoism; the approach towards the dissenters was that they would not be part of the reform process, but would be allowed to participate in politics more with the exception of the Communist Party. This conservative reform was inspired by the historical period of the semi-democratic Bourbonic Restoration, it was criticised for not taking into account the social and political circumstances of the time; the project coalesced into a proposal to reform three of the Fundamental Laws, but the exact changes would be determined by a mixed commission of the Government and the National Council of the Movement, as proposed by Torcuato Fernández-Miranda and Adolfo Suárez.
The creation of the commission meant that Fraga and the reformists lost control of much of the legislative direction of the country. So, the new Law of Assembly was passed by the Francoist Cortes on 25 May 1976, allowing public demonstration with government authorization. On the same day the Law of Political Associations was approved, supported by Suárez, who affirmed in parliamentary session that "if Spain is plural, the Cortes cannot afford to deny it". Suárez's intervention in favor of this reform shocked many, including J
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is a U. S. business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp; the newspaper is published in online. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, Charles Bergstresser; the Wall Street Journal is one of the largest newspapers in the United States by circulation, with a circulation of about 2.475 million copies as of June 2018, compared with USA Today's 1.7 million. The Journal publishes the luxury news and lifestyle magazine WSJ, launched as a quarterly but expanded to 12 issues as of 2014. An online version was launched in 1996, accessible only to subscribers since it began; the newspaper is notable for its award-winning news coverage, has won 37 Pulitzer Prizes. The editorial pages of the Journal are conservative in their position. The"Journal" editorial board has promoted fringe views on the science of climate change, acid rain, ozone depletion, as well as on the health harms of second-hand smoke and asbestos.
The first products of Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of the Journal, were brief news bulletins, nicknamed "flimsies", hand-delivered throughout the day to traders at the stock exchange in the early 1880s. They were aggregated in a printed daily summary called the Customers' Afternoon Letter. Reporters Charles Dow, Edward Jones, Charles Bergstresser converted this into The Wall Street Journal, published for the first time on July 8, 1889, began delivery of the Dow Jones News Service via telegraph. In 1896, The "Dow Jones Industrial Average" was launched, it was the first of several indices of bond prices on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1899, the Journal's Review & Outlook column, which still runs today, appeared for the first time written by Charles Dow. Journalist Clarence Barron purchased control of the company for US$130,000 in 1902. Barron and his predecessors were credited with creating an atmosphere of fearless, independent financial reporting—a novelty in the early days of business journalism.
In 1921, Barron's, the United States's premier financial weekly, was founded. Barron died in 1928, a year before Black Tuesday, the stock market crash that affected the Great Depression in the United States. Barron's descendants, the Bancroft family, would continue to control the company until 2007; the Journal took its modern shape and prominence in the 1940s, a time of industrial expansion for the United States and its financial institutions in New York. Bernard Kilgore was named managing editor of the paper in 1941, company CEO in 1945 compiling a 25-year career as the head of the Journal. Kilgore was the architect of the paper's iconic front-page design, with its "What's News" digest, its national distribution strategy, which brought the paper's circulation from 33,000 in 1941 to 1.1 million at the time of Kilgore's death in 1967. Under Kilgore, in 1947, the paper won its first Pulitzer Prize for William Henry Grimes's editorials. In 1967, Dow Jones Newswires began a major expansion outside of the United States that put journalists in every major financial center in Europe, Latin America and Africa.
In 1970, Dow Jones bought the Ottaway newspaper chain, which at the time comprised nine dailies and three Sunday newspapers. The name was changed to "Dow Jones Local Media Group".1971 to 1997 brought about a series of launches and joint ventures, including "Factiva", The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Wall Street Journal Europe, the WSJ.com website, Dow Jones Indexes, MarketWatch, "WSJ Weekend Edition". In 2007, News Corp. acquired Dow Jones. WSJ. A luxury lifestyle magazine, was launched in 2008. A complement to the print newspaper, The Wall Street Journal Online, was launched in 1996 and has allowed access only by subscription from the beginning. In 2003, Dow Jones began to integrate reporting of the Journal's print and online subscribers together in Audit Bureau of Circulations statements. In 2007, it was believed to be the largest paid-subscription news site on the Web, with 980,000 paid subscribers. Since online subscribership has fallen, due in part to rising subscription costs, was reported at 400,000 in March 2010.
In May 2008, an annual subscription to the online edition of The Wall Street Journal cost $119 for those who do not have subscriptions to the print edition. By June 2013, the monthly cost for a subscription to the online edition was $22.99, or $275.88 annually, excluding introductory offers. On November 30, 2004, Oasys Mobile and The Wall Street Journal released an app that would allow users to access content from the Wall Street Journal Online via their mobile phones. Many of The Wall Street Journal news stories are available through free online newspapers that subscribe to the Dow Jones syndicate. Pulitzer Prize–winning stories from 1995 are available free on the Pulitzer web site. In September 2005, the Journal launched a weekend edition, delivered to all subscribers, which marked a return to Saturday publication after a lapse of some 50 years; the move was designed in part to attract more consumer advertising. In 2005, the Journal reported a readership profile of about 60 percent top management, an average income of $191,000, an average household net worth of $2.1 million, an average age of 55.
In 2007, the Journal launched a worldwide expansion of its website to include major foreign-language editions. The p
Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area. Devolution differs from federalism in that the devolved powers of the subnational authority may be temporary and are reversible residing with the central government. Thus, the state remains de jure unitary. Legislation creating devolved parliaments or assemblies can be repealed or amended by central government in the same way as any statute. In federal systems, by contrast, sub-unit government is guaranteed in the constitution, so the powers of the sub-units cannot be withdrawn unilaterally by the central government; the sub-units therefore have a lower degree of protection under devolution than under federalism. Australia is a federation, it has two territories with less power than states. The Australian Capital Territory refused self-government in a 1978 referendum, but was given limited self-government by a House of Assembly from 1979, a Legislative Assembly with wider powers in 1988.
The Northern Territory of Australia refused statehood in a 1998 referendum. The rejection was a surprise to both the Northern Territory governments. Territory legislation can be disallowed by the Commonwealth Parliament in Canberra, with one notable example being the NT's short lived voluntary euthanasia legislation. Although Canada is a federal state, a large portion of its land mass in the north is under the legislative jurisdiction of the federal government; this has been the case since 1870. In 1870 the Rupert’s Land and North-Western Territory Order effected the admission of Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory to Canada, pursuant to section 146 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Rupert’s Land Act, 1868; the Manitoba Act, 1870, which created Manitoba out of part of Rupert’s Land designated the remaining territories the Northwest Territories, over which Parliament was to exercise full legislative authority under the Constitution Act, 1871. Since the 1970s, the federal government has been transferring its decision-making powers to northern governments.
This means greater local control and accountability by northerners for decisions central to the future of the territories. Yukon was carved from the Northwest Territories in 1898 but it remained a federal territory. Subsequently, in 1905, the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created from the Northwest Territories. Other portions of Rupert's Land were added to the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, extending the provinces northward from their previous narrow band around the St. Lawrence and lower Great Lakes; the District of Ungava was a regional administrative district of Canada's Northwest Territories from 1895 to 1912. The continental areas of said district were transferred by the Parliament of Canada with the adoption of the Quebec Boundary Extension Act, 1898 and the Quebec Boundaries Extension Act, 1912; the status of the interior of Labrador, believed part of Ungava was settled in 1927 by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which ruled in favour of Newfoundland.
In 1999, the federal government created Nunavut pursuant to a land claim agreement reached with Inuit, the indigenous people of Canada’s Eastern Arctic. The offshore islands to the west and north of Quebec remained part of the Northwest Territories until the creation of Nunavut in 1999. Since that time, the federal government has devolved legislative jurisdiction to the territories. Enabling the territories to become more self-sufficient and prosperous and to play a stronger role in the Canadian federation is considered a key component to development in Canada’s North. Among the three territories, devolution is most advanced in Yukon; the Northwest Territories was governed from Ottawa from 1870 until the 1970s, except for the brief period between 1898 and 1905 when it was governed by an elected assembly. The Carrothers Commission was established in April 1963 by the government of Lester B. Pearson to examine the development of government in the NWT, it conducted surveys of opinion in the NWT in 1965 and 1966 and reported in 1966.
Major recommendations included that the seat of government of the territories should be located in the territories. Yellowknife was selected as the territorial capital as a result. Transfer of many responsibilities from the federal government to that of the territories was recommended and carried out; this included responsibility for education, small business, public works, social services and local government. Since the report, the transfer of the government of Northwest Territories has taken over responsibilities for several other programs and services including the delivery of health care, social services, administration of airports, forestry management; the legislative jurisdiction of the territorial legislature is set out in section 16 of the Northwest Territories Act. Now, the government of Canada is negotiating the transfer of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development's remaining provincial-type responsibilities in the NWT; these include the legislative powers and responsibilities for land and resources associated with the department's Northern Affairs Program with respect to: Powers to develop, conserve and regulate of surface and subsurface natural resources in the NWT for mining and minerals administration, water management, land management and environmental management.
A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity, determine how that entity is to be governed. When these principles are written down into a single document or set of legal documents, those documents may be said to embody a written constitution; some constitutions are uncodified, but written in numerous fundamental Acts of a legislature, court cases or treaties. Constitutions concern different levels of organizations, from sovereign countries to companies and unincorporated associations. A treaty which establishes an international organization is its constitution, in that it would define how that organization is constituted. Within states, a constitution defines the principles upon which the state is based, the procedure in which laws are made and by whom; some constitutions codified constitutions act as limiters of state power, by establishing lines which a state's rulers cannot cross, such as fundamental rights.
The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any country in the world, containing 444 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments, with 146,385 words in its English-language version. The Constitution of Monaco is the shortest written constitution, containing 10 chapters with 97 articles, a total of 3,814 words; the term constitution comes through French from the Latin word constitutio, used for regulations and orders, such as the imperial enactments. The term was used in canon law for an important determination a decree issued by the Pope, now referred to as an apostolic constitution; every modern written constitution confers specific powers to an organization or institutional entity, established upon the primary condition that it abide by the said constitution's limitations. According to Scott Gordon, a political organization is constitutional to the extent that it "contain institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the citizenry, including those that may be in the minority".
Activities of officials within an organization or polity that fall within the constitutional or statutory authority of those officials are termed "within power". For example, a students' union may be prohibited as an organization from engaging in activities not concerning students. An example from the constitutional law of sovereign states would be a provincial parliament in a federal state trying to legislate in an area that the constitution allocates to the federal parliament, such as ratifying a treaty. Action that appears to be beyond power may be judicially reviewed and, if found to be beyond power, must cease. Legislation, found to be beyond power will be "invalid" and of no force. In this context, "within power", intra vires, "authorized" and "valid" have the same meaning. In most but not all modern states the constitution has supremacy over ordinary statutory law, it was never "law" though, if it had been a statute or statutory provision, it might have been adopted according to the procedures for adopting legislation.
Sometimes the problem is not that a statute is unconstitutional, but the application of it is, on a particular occasion, a court may decide that while there are ways it could be applied that are constitutional, that instance was not allowed or legitimate. In such a case, only the application may be ruled unconstitutional; the remedy for such violations have been petitions for common law writs, such as quo warranto. Excavations in modern-day Iraq by Ernest de Sarzec in 1877 found evidence of the earliest known code of justice, issued by the Sumerian king Urukagina of Lagash ca 2300 BC; the earliest prototype for a law of government, this document itself has not yet been discovered. For example, it is known that it relieved tax for widows and orphans, protected the poor from the usury of the rich. After that, many governments ruled by special codes of written laws; the oldest such document still known to exist seems to be the Code of Ur-Nammu of Ur. Some of the better-known ancient law codes include the code of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin, the code of Hammurabi of Babylonia, the Hittite code, the Assyrian code and Mosaic law.
In 621 BC, a scribe named. In 594 BC, the ruler of Athens, created the new Solonian Constitution, it eased the burden of the workers, determined that membership of the ruling class was to be based on wealth, rather than by birth. Cleisthenes again
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process; the formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law.
Religious laws played a significant role in settling of secular matters, is still used in some religious communities. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most used religious law, is used as the primary legal system in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia; the adjudication of the law is divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct, considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law deals with the resolution of lawsuits between individuals and/or organizations. Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, economic analysis and sociology. Law raises important and complex issues concerning equality and justice. Numerous definitions of law have been put forward over the centuries; the Third New International Dictionary from Merriam-Webster defines law as: "Law is a binding custom or practice of a community. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner's in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: "A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, complex mode of regulating human conduct.
At the same time, it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are of great importance." There have been several attempts to produce "a universally acceptable definition of law". In 1972, one source indicated. McCoubrey and White said that the question "what is law?" has no simple answer. Glanville Williams said that the meaning of the word "law" depends on the context in which that word is used, he said that, for example, "early customary law" and "municipal law" were contexts where the word "law" had two different and irreconcilable meanings. Thurman Arnold said that it is obvious that it is impossible to define the word "law" and that it is equally obvious that the struggle to define that word should not be abandoned, it is possible to take the view that there is no need to define the word "law". The history of law links to the development of civilization. Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000 BC, contained a civil code, broken into twelve books.
It was based on the concept of Ma'at, characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality. By the 22nd century BC, the ancient Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu had formulated the first law code, which consisted of casuistic statements. Around 1760 BC, King Hammurabi further developed Babylonian law, by codifying and inscribing it in stone. Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; the most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, has since been transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian and French. The Old Testament dates back to 1280 BC and takes the form of moral imperatives as recommendations for a good society; the small Greek city-state, ancient Athens, from about the 8th century BC was the first society to be based on broad inclusion of its citizenry, excluding women and the slave class. However, Athens had no legal science or single word for "law", relying instead on the three-way distinction between divine law, human decree and custom.
Yet Ancient Greek law contained major constitutional innovations in the development of democracy. Roman law was influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were sophisticated. Over the centuries between the rise and decline of the Roman Empire, law was adapted to cope with the changing social situations and underwent major codification under Theodosius II and Justinian I. Although codes were replaced by custom and case law during the Dark Ages, Roman law was rediscovered around the 11th century when medieval legal scholars began to research Roman codes and adapt their concepts. Latin legal maxims were compiled for guidance. In medieval England, royal