Dispute Settlement & Punishment
Small scale Society and the Origin of Law
Hunting and gathering societies
- Smaller societies, lots of individuals shared beliefs and values,
- Cooperation and closely nit.
- Had obligations, right and privileges that they shared.
- Patterns of behavior that maintain the social cohesion.
- Wanted to maintain harmony, in order to survive.
- They are very small and communal. No need for centralized
structure for decision making. Through discussion. Relied on
mechanisms to keep peace in order.
Need for self-restraint
- Lifelong interactions with one another. Depend on one other for
- If there was conflict it was dealt with quickly. They had to
control their hostility, greed and envy.
- There were effective punishments for those who went their own
Absence of surplus, stratification and the state
- No one had things that the other didn’t. Everyone shared. Surplus: no
extra good of food
- . Everyone is equal. No influence in the society. Determined by the
community members and could be taken away. It was a matter of
wisdom. Society has developed and become more complex. Mutual independence
of the group starts to fall apart. When they stopped moving around and
started farming they noticed Inequality. And when they started to see
- They start collecting goods. Soon after private property becomes one of
the ways society started to define itself.
- Some members could generate more private property, food, than others.
- People started feeling more entitled with what they grew themselves.
Did not want to share anymore.
- Structural inequality: Inequality that gets built into the structure of
society. comes from people having property, surplus
- Very quickly this society became bigger and bigger and those who had
nothing lost more and more. Conflict was more likely to occur between
the haves and have-nots.
As societies changed, so did the types of disputes that occurred.
▪ Surplus goods and private property allowed for theft as well as
compensation for offences.
▪ Contracts and wills emerged. Requiring and increasingly complex body
of Civil law: Addresses conflicts between people
▪ The creation of chiefdoms and later, states paved the way for offenses
such as treason and slander. (against the Crown.)
Centralization of Power
• England transformed from feudalism to a modern capitalist industrial
society. Feudalism: a central farm owned by a landlord and small land
holdings for a class of farm labourers.
• When lords consolidated power in England, they developed a body of
law to deal with disputes.
2 • Kings started to create the state. Informal king’s courts. Judges. Making
the laws of the time.
Centralization of power and the development of Common Law
The development of law is the protection of property.
1400-1600: Early law is also based in the idea of sin. The church was the
main source of law.
As we move into a more secular society. More of an allegiance to the
dollar rather than church.
As kings start to consolidate power, they start to replace the feudal lords.
They start to develop common law. Conflict between the people gets
understood as conflict against the King.
The Rise of the Merchant Class
The merchant class helped the Crown consolidate power. In exchange for
legislation and enforcement that favoured merchants.
- Merchants provided money to the crown in exchange for land and safe
Emergence of a Modern Criminal Justice System
The state became the dominant instrument of settling disputes. Backed up
by police and military.
• Laws, created by the state, became the principal means of regulating
human activity and ensuring social order
• Property, commerce, real estate, labor. Started to be regulated by
written down laws. Beginning of the emergence of modern criminal
• Social organization, sanitation.
3 Enemy of the Victim
o Civil Law
o Conflicts between private parties.
o Negligence causing harm to others.
o Monterey solution.
Enemy of Society
o Criminal Law
o Conflicts between persons and society.
o Criminal Negligence.
o Punitive solutions/sanctions.
Moving from civil to criminal – sanction state violence. Can start to use
violence in terms of punishment, imprisonment.
Origins of Policing
- Most societies were self-policed until the 1600s
- Industrial revolution is other way in where society becomes more
complex. People moved from farms into the city and started working at
- Policing starts to develop. To maintain social order and control working
- Tied to capitalism, u