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How a 3,800-year-old stone tablet helped create modern legal systems

'Innocent until proven guilty' isn't that new of a concept.

justice system

Kind of looks like the Matrix code...

The modern justice system is certainly not without its flaws, however most can agree that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is one that (when not abused) stands as the foundation of what fair due process looks like. This principle, it turns out, isn’t so modern at all. It can actually be traced all the way back to nearly 3,800 years ago.

historyLady Justice, the image of impartial fairness. Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

English barrister Sir William Garrow is known for coining the "innocent until proven guilty" phrase between the 18th and 19th century, after insisting that evidence be provided by accusers and thoroughly tested in court. But this notion, as radical as it seemed at the time, can, in fact, be credited to an ancient Babylonian king who ruled Mesopotamia.

During his reign from 1792 to 1750 B.C., Hammurabi left behind a legacy of accomplishments as a ruler and a diplomat. His most influential contribution was a series of 282 laws and regulations that were painstakingly compiled after he sent legal experts throughout his kingdom to gather existing laws, then adapted or eliminated them in order to create a universal system.

Those laws were inscribed on a large, seven-foot stone monument, and they were known as the Code of Hammurabi.



The Code of Hammurabi was extensive and included rules and penalties pertaining to economic, family, criminal and civil law. On top of the stone sits a carving of the king receiving the laws from Shamash, the Mesopotamian god of justice and equity, implying that the laws are divinely ordained.

history channel

Nothing says official like a picture of you next to a god.

en.wikipedia.org


Historians only know of one earlier recorded law collection, created just 300 years before Hammurabi, and it was much less detailed by comparison. As Dawn McCormack, associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, explains, this was most likely due to the growing group of different peoples conquered during Hammurabi’s reign. “As the population diversified, the law codes adapted to meet the new circumstances.”


Some of the laws in the Code of Hammurabi might be seen as barbaric by today's standards, with punishments being the removal of the guilty party’s tongue, hands, breasts, eye or ear. On the other hand, many laws were quite progressive. Kelly-Anne Diamond, an assistant teaching professor of history at Villanova University, told History, the code provides the first recorded alimony payment law.

Diamond also notes that Mesopotamians “put a lot of emphasis on getting to the truth of a case,” and therefore mandated the use of witnesses, oral testimony and written evidence to prove guilt. They also established having individuals swear they were telling the truth by oath. “Oaths were particularly effective because of the people's profound belief that the gods would punish them if they lied under oath,” she explained.

Presuming innocence in today’s legal system has had its fair share of negative impact on victims, primarily in sexual harassment cases, not to mention the heavy use of media coverage for court cases of public figures, which can certainly sway public opinion. Still, the fact that evidence-based, fair and impartial justice has been a goal throughout history offers an encouraging outlook for humanity as a whole. Perhaps it’s an ideal that will never fully be achieved, but the fact that people continue to pursue integrity is something worth noting.

Angelina Jordan blew everyone away with her version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody."


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Unique Vintage is making fashion more fun and inclusive, one killer look at a time

Unique Vintage blends classic designs with contemporary sensibilities, making vintage-inspired fashion for every body.

Everyone loves the timeless allure of vintage fashion. But let’s face it: vintage fashion doesn’t love everyone back. The golden eras of style we so admire were not exactly known for their diversity or size inclusivity, so the silhouettes and sizes of retro fashion leave a lot of people feeling left out. But are you ready for some good news? One LA-based brand called Unique Vintage has set about rewriting fashion history by recreating vintage styles to fit the modern world. With a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, this company is making sure that anyone can rock their favorite vintage looks. If you’re looking for a fashion brand that actually celebrates the things that make us unique, you need to keep reading.

What is Unique Vintage?

In the heart of LA, at the dawn of the new millennium, Katie Echeverry’s love of vintage fashion set her on a course to change the fashion industry forever. Fueled by her passion for the elegance of bygone eras and the thrill of thrift store treasure hunts, Katie opened her own online vintage store, Unique Vintage. However, what Katie noticed was that there were tons of people who loved vintage clothing who could never actually wear. And it was this gap in the vintage fashion market that led her to turn Unique Vintage from an online vintage store to a fullblown vintage-inspired fashion label. Today, Unique Vintage has blossomed into an iconic brand that transforms nostalgia for the past into the fashion statements of the present.

But Unique Vintage isn’t just revered for its style. This company is committed to making diversity and inclusivity the norm in fashion. Their goal is to create classic looks for every body, celebrating our individuality and making everyone feel fabulous. To that end, they partner with a variety of charitable organizations that support women’s rights, animal welfare, and LGBTQ+ communities.

Ready to take a look at what Unique Vintage has to offer? Then lets dive in.

The Western Collection

The bold Western Collection gives you the timeless allure of country and western fashion, updated for the modern world. This collection is a celebration of classic Western aesthetics, reimagined for today's fashion-forward individual. From bold print dresses that capture the vibrant essence of frontier towns, to metallic cowboy boots that look like a sunset over the Vegas strip, each piece is meticulously designed to make a statement.

The Western Collection is where nostalgia meets contemporary style, offering a range of sizes to ensure that everyone can find their perfect fit and embrace their adventurous spirit. Whether you're getting dressed up for a girls night out, or you just like to look amazing when you go to the grocery store, these pieces are designed to turn heads.

Unique Vintage x Barbie

Born in 2017, the Unique Vintage x Barbie collaboration reimagines Barbie’s iconic styles for today's diverse and fashion-forward audience. Unique Vintage has meticulously crafted a collection that transcends time, bringing the nostalgic charm of Barbie's wardrobe into the present day with pieces that celebrate every body type.

From chic pencil dresses to playful A-line skirts, each item in the collection is an homage Barbie’s classic style, updated to ensure that everyone can find their perfect fit and feel fabulous.By blending Barbie's classic appeal with Unique Vintage's inclusive sizing, this collaboration invites everyone to experience the joy of dressing like a true fashion icon.

The Prom Collection

If you’ve got a special occasion coming up and you want to make a statement, the Unique Vintage Prom Collection offers a wide array of styles that cater to every taste. From the timeless elegance of the 1950s, to the bold glamor of the 1980s, and everything in between, this collection proves that classic styles never truly go out of fashion.

Each dress in this collection is a masterpiece specifically designed to make you feel like a prom queen. If you love the intricate details of vintage dresses, but have a hard time finding ones that fit—or that you can actually afford—Unique Vintage can make your dreams come true.

Vintage Inspired Fashion For Every Body

Thanks to Unique Vintage, gone are the days of rummaging through thrift stores, only to face the disappointment of not finding the right size, style, or price. Now everybody can experience the joy and nostalgia of vintage fashion—without even leaving the house. Whether you're in love with the flapper dresses of the roaring '20s, the swing skirts of the '50s, or the bold prints of the '70s, Unique Vintage offers a meticulously curated collection that spans the decades. Shop by clothing category, or by your favorite era, and find the classic looks you want while supporting a company that champions diversity, body positivity, and ethical practices.

So, why wait? With Unique Vintage, every purchase contributes to a broader movement towards a more inclusive and conscious fashion industry. If you’ve always loved vintage fashion, but have never been able to make it work for you, go check out the growing Unique Vintage community on social media for some fashion inspiration. Then check out Unique Vintage online and start building the vintage-inspired wardrobe of your dreams.

via Tod Perry

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