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  • Print publication year: 1994
  • Online publication date: March 2008

13 - The constitution and public criminal law

from PART II
The lack of any unequivocal concept of constitution among the Romans raises a problem, namely what to include under that head. The offences committed by Gabinius and contemplated by Lepidus, were in fact violations of the Lex Cornelia maiestatis and the Lex Iulia repetundarum; a cluster of offences aimed at preventing magistrates or the Senate from carrying out their duties were dealt with by the leges de vi. This chapter discusses such offences entitled ius publicum. In practice, ius publicum includes constitutional, administrative and criminal law. It can even include sacral law. The main feature of Roman public law is the establishment of a series of permanent courts with a field mainly concerned with crime. The most primitive and arguably the most tenacious was the domestic power of the pater familias. A consequence of the appearance of quaestiones perpetuae is a decline in the significance of the repetundae court.
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