Justice for All

History of Law: The Tang Code

The Tang Code was a penal set of rules that was established and used during the Tang Dynasty in China. The Code fused the Legalist and Confucian interpretations of law and it was composed of 12 sections containing more than 500 articles. Supplemented by civil statutes and regulations, it became the basis for later dynastic codes not only in China but in East Asia as well. Considered as one of the supreme achievements of traditional Chinese law, the Tang Code is also the earliest Chinese Code to have been transmitted to the present in its entire form.

The Tang code took its roots in the code of the Northern Zhou dynasty, which was itself based on the earlier codes of the Cao-Wei and Western Jin. With the goal to soften the character of the earlier laws and reduce physical punishments, and in order to conciliate social tensions in the newly pacified Tang territories, the Code was created in AD 624 at the request of Emperor Gaozu of Tang. It contained more than 500 articles divided into twelve large sections

As a general idea The offence in the code modulated according to the degree of social relation determined the final penalty which could range from flagellation using a rattan and bastinado with a bamboo stick, to penal labor and death by strangulation or decapitation. The local magistrate acted in the Tang code as examiner and sometimes as investigator, but his final role in legal cases was to establish the appropriate penalty for the offense that had been committed.

Judges Around the World and their Robes

This chart shows use of capital punishment or the death penalty around the world.

This chart shows use of capital punishment or the death penalty around the world.

European Union Law Institutions

Explained simply there are 3 main institutions involved in EU legislation:

  • the European Parliament, which represents the EU’s citizens and is directly elected by them;

  • the Council of the European Union, which represents the governments of the individual member countries. The Presidencyof the Council is shared by the member states on a rotating basis.

  • the European Commission, which represents the interests of the Union as a whole.

Together, these three institutions produce through the Ordinary Legislative Procedure the policies and laws that apply throughout the EU. In principle, the Commission proposes new laws, and the Parliament and Council adopt them. The Commission and the member countries then implement them, and the Commission ensures that the laws are properly applied and implemented.

Nobel Peace Prize


The Norwegian Nobel Committee has received 278 candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. 47 of these are organizations. 278 is the highest number of candidates ever. The previous record was 259 from 2013. 278 is the highest number of candidates ever.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2013
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
"for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2012
European Union (EU)
"for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2011
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman
"for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work"
The Nobel Peace Prize 2010
Liu Xiaobo
"for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2009
Barack H. Obama
"for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2008
Martti Ahtisaari
"for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2007
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.
"for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2006
Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank
"for their efforts to create economic and social development from below"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2005
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei
"for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2004
Wangari Muta Maathai
"for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2003
Shirin Ebadi
"for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2002
Jimmy Carter
"for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2001
United Nations (U.N.) and Kofi Annan
"for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world"

The Nobel Peace Prize 2000
Kim Dae-jung
"for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular"

Most Beautiful Government Buildings Worldwide

History of Law: Lex Mercatoria

Lex mercatoria is anotion that comes from the Latin for and mean “merchant law”. It represents the body of commercial law used by merchants in Europe during the medieval period. This Law evolved as a system of custom and practice, which was enforced through a system of merchant courts along the main trade routes. It functioned as the international law of commerce and emphasized the contractual freedom and alienability of property, while avoiding legal technicalities and deciding cases ex aequo et bono. A distinct feature was the reliance by merchants on a legal system developed and administered by them.

Lex mercatoria was initially a body of rules and principles laid down by merchants to regulate their dealings. It consisted of rules and customs general to merchants and traders in Europe, with some local differences. It originated from the need for quick and effective jurisdiction, administered by specialized courts. The guiding spirit of the merchant law was that it ought to derive from commercial practice, respond to the needs of the merchants, and be comprehensible and acceptable to the merchants who submitted to it. International commercial law today owes some of its fundamental principles to the lex mercatoria. This includes choice of arbitration institutions, procedures, applicable law and arbitrators, and the goal to reflect customs, usage and good practice among the parties.

Lex mercatoria provided quick and effective justice. This was possible through informal proceedings, with liberal procedural rules. This important law rendered proportionate judgments over the merchants’ disputes, through concepts of fair price, good commerce, and equity. Judges were chosen according to their commercial background and practical knowledge and gradually, a professional judiciary developed through the merchant judges. Their skills and status would however still rely upon practical understanding of merchant practice. These characteristics serve as significant measures in the appointment of international commercial arbitrators today.

Strange Military Parade Uniforms

Unusual and Funny Lawsuits

Here is a collection of most unusual and humorous lawsuits and related incidents, that happened in various countries:

  • A German bank robber was arrested after a teller realized the robber was hard of hearing and tripped an alarm. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the robber is now suing the bank for exploiting his disability.
  • In Japan, a court has ordered the organizers of the Nagano Winter Olympics to pay damages for mental anguish to a spectator who missed an event because of heavy traffic.
  • A woman in Israel is suing a TV station and its weatherman for $1,000 after he predicted a sunny day and it rained. The woman claims the forecast caused her to leave home lightly dressed. As a result, she caught the flu, missed 4 days of work, spent $38 on medication and suffered stress.
  • A woman driving a car collided with a man who was riding a snowmobile. The man died at the scene. Since his snowmobile had suddenly cut in front of her, police said she was free of blame. She sued the man’s widow for the grave and crippling psychological injuries she suffered from watching the man die.
  • A woman went to her friend’s house and asked for a haircut. Unhappy with her new look, she claimed her friend had willfully, intentionally and maliciously cut her hair without her consent … and sued him for $75,000.
  • A surfer sued another surfer for “taking his wave.” The case was ultimately dismissed because they were unable to put a price on “pain and suffering” endured by watching someone ride the wave that was “intended for you.”
  • A man who had purchased a BMW took his new car to a detailing shop for a fancier look and discovered that the car had been partly repainted before it was sold, due to damage done by acid rain. The man was awarded $4,000 in compensatory damages, and $4 Million in punitive damages. The court upheld the verdict, but cut the punitive damages to $2 million.
  • A jury awarded $178,000 in damages to a woman who sued her former fiance’ for breaking their seven-week engagement. The breakdown: $93,000 for pain & suffering; $60,000 for loss of income from her legal practice, and $25,000 for psychiatric counseling expenses.
  • A man bought a house. He later claimed it was haunted .. and sued the former owner seeking to undo the sale and collect damages.

International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA)

An international non-governmental organization established as a result of a special meeting held at the UN Office in Vienna on 19–20 April 2006. The headquarters of IAACA are in Beijing, China. The main objective of the organization is to promote the effective implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 30 December 2003, and to assist anti-corruption authorities in the world in fighting against corruption.

During the informal consultations on the establishment of an international association of anti-corruption authorities at UN Office in Vienna in April 2006, representatives of anti-corruption authorities from Argentina, Azerbaijan, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Namibia, Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom and United States of America, as well as the leaders of the UNODC, agreed on the draft statute of the IAACA.

Currently the IAACA has more than 300 organizational members which cover nearly all law enforcement for national institutions and bodies entrusted with the task of fighting against corruption and more than 2000 individual members, including prosecutors, investigators and experts with experience in anti-corruption research or practice.