Law, being a very effective regulator of social relations, develops together with society and the state. Being a legal element of the superstructure, it is not only determined by the level of development of the economic basis, but also is formed under the influence of customs, traditions, religious dogmas, the influence of which on the right is different in different countries, at different periods of development of the same society and state with their long existence . Constantly developing, the right needs periodic systematization, the result of which in certain cases is the adoption of large normative acts (monuments of law), which regulate by their norms a significant range of social relations. Due to their importance, the monuments of law are always of great interest to lawyers. allow on the basis ofanalysis of their norms to study the legal status of the individual in society, to trace the development of the basic institutions of various branches of law(civil, criminal, procedural, marriage-family, etc.). Unfortunately, the monuments of the law of Ancient Egypt have not survived to this day. Therefore, one can judge right only on certain unsystematized normative acts (decrees, decrees, charters of pharaohs), as well as inscriptions on tombs and stelaes of individuals close to Pharaoh, various kinds of teachings and prophecies that have come down to us in small numbers. This does not at all mean that Ancient Egypt did not have a systematized right, since there are references to 42 sacred books in which books 2-13 contain rules defining the powers of the pharaoh and the order of government, and also about the published by Pharaoh Bokkhoris in the VIII century . BC. Code, most of whose norms were devoted to civil law .
Civil law . The main institutions of civil law are individuals, things , obligations , contracts, etc. The face of civil law relations was recognized by both physical and legal persons (temple, nom).
Only a free person was recognized as a physical person , regardless of his position (vizier, nomarch, chief rower, judge , scribe, etc.) and occupation (official, priest, warrior, trader, plowman, etc.). But the amount of civil authority of an individual was different depending on whether the person belonged to the ruling elite or to the rest of the free population, whether he was in the service of the pharaoh (birdwatchers, dyers, anglers, etc.) or not. If a person was in the service of the pharaoh, having received from him for his work, raw materials, tools, land and other property, he did not have the right to freely dispose of not only such property, but also the results of his work. He only owned and used them in view of their intended purpose.
Unfortunately, the sources of the law of Ancient Egypt do not allow to say definitely about the age of civil capacity , to widely disclose the scope of the legal capacity of an individual depending on sex (male or female) and on the physical condition of the person (healthy, crazy, blind, deaf, etc.) . But it can be argued that a woman (a town-dweller, kushiteka, wife, daughter) could be a person of civil legal relations, as evidenced by documents from the archives of the shepherd of the House of Amenhotep III (pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty, 1408-1372 BC).
In contrast to the institution in question, sources of the law of Ancient Egypt more widely covered various aspects of another important institution of civil law – property. Objects of property could be as things (house, land, boat, weapons, tools, grain, etc.), and slave, cattle, poultry, fish. At the same time, any encroachment on property was punished taking into account the ownership of the property (palace, temple, private), of a specific object (house, slave, hay, money, ship, etc.), the legal status of persons of civil legal relations, and other circumstances relating to the offenses .
The right of Ancient Egypt knew various ways of acquiring property ( inheritance , donation, will, contract, military extraction) and various forms of property (palace, temple, community and private). Thus, in the order of Pharaoh Thutmose III (circa 1483-1450 BC) on the official duties of the supreme dignitary, it was stated that the supreme dignitary would be delivered all the wills and he would seal them. This shows that the will as one of the ways of acquiring property was applied in practice very widely, it was formalized in writing and kept by the highest official. About the gift and military extraction as a means of acquiring property, it is in the inscription made on the stele under the Pharaoh of the XVIII Tutankhamon dynasty (about 1354-1345 BC).
It records that Tutankhamun filled the services of the temples with slaves and slaves in the form of a gift from the extraction of His Majesty.
Civil-law contracts , as a rule, consisted in writing, in the presence of a large number of witnesses , which could be free people, regardless of the position, occupation and sex, and necessarily in the presence of the scribe, the latter made an appropriate entry and signed it with his signature. At the same time, the parties to the treaty swore an oath, passing the contents of the treaty and expressing their consent.
In the law of Ancient Egypt, the principle of full compensation for harm caused to property is clearly carried out, regardless of whether a criminal or civil offense has been committed. By virtue of this there were two kinds of obligations: from causing harm and from the contract.
Thus, despite a limited number of sources that have survived to this day, it is seen that civil relations in Ancient Egypt had a fairly wide application and the main civil law institutions in one form or another have received legal support.
Criminal and procedural law . Since the codified normative acts of Ancient Egypt have not reached our days, it is not possible to make a thorough study of all the institutions of this branch of law. Mention of individual provisions of criminal law and some specific norms of it are contained in scattered sources of Egyptian law, which allow only briefly to disclose individual criminal law institutions on the basis of their analysis and features of the historical era to make suggestions.
Taking into account the level of development of civilization in general, including the law, in the criminal law of Ancient Egypt there was no concept of crime , its term and the name of the types of crimes. The crime was understood as any act or omission that violated the legal norm , for example, insurrection, murder, non-payment of a debt or tax, delays in the consideration of cases in court, etc., i.e. no distinction was made between a criminal and civil offense. But an analysis of the content of various sources of law allows us to assert that already distinguish particularly dangerous and all other offenses. Particularly dangerous offenses included state crimes (insurgency, insurrection, treason), misdemeanors of military and civilians, certain property offenses (tax evasion, theft of palace or temple property and servants), crimes against the person, for example, murder. As a rule, such offenses were punishable by deathor, at best, complete confiscation of the property of the perpetrator and the transformation of him and all members of his family into slaves. Thus, from the content of the teachings of King Ahtoi Uahar to his son Merihara (XXII century BC), it is clear that incitement to insurrection entailed the death penalty not only of the immediate instigator, but also of his supporters. The king, instructing his son, wrote: “A harmful person is an instigator. Destroy him, kill him … erase his name, destroy his supporters “and then add:” God knows the rebel and punishes his sins with blood. ”
Based on the available sources of law of Ancient Egypt, using the modern terminology of criminal law, we can distinguish the following types of crimes: state crimes, official crimes, crimes against the person, crimes against property. KI Batyr in his textbook gives a different list of types of crime: encroachment on the state system, crimes of a religious nature, crimes against the person, property crimes, crimes against honor and dignity. OA Omelchenko generally leaves the consideration of this issue, confining himself to one phrase: “The main category of cases of nomovyh courts were financial and tax.” Thus, the quantitative composition of the types of crimes in the absence of archival sources and in the presence of different points of view is currently debatable.
State crimes included: rebellion, insurrection, rebellion and granting shelter to the “enemies of the tsar” regardless of who participated in it (military, priests, free Egyptian commoners, Egyptian subordinate peoples or slaves). This type of crime was considered the most dangerous and was punishable by the death penalty.
Acting crimes included the act or omission of any official (vizier, judge, stablesman, agent of the royal palace, etc.), who violated not only the rule of law , but also the king’s instruction. Thus, the illegal removal of any person from the temple by an official in order of requisition or from the district to the district; wrongful refusal of the judge to examine the complaint, delays or violation of the law in deciding the case on the merits, etc.
Among crimes against the person the most widespread were murder, infliction of bodily injuries, insult. Property crimes included robbery, robbery, theft, damage to someone else’s property.
Since, as a rule, all offenses were considered in courts, then, of course, the composition of the offense was taken into account, and not just its appearance. However, in sources, due to the weak development of the law as a whole of that era and its legislative machinery, many aspects of the corpus delicti are not reflected at all. Such elements of the corpus delicti as the subject, object and objective side of the legislator, although in a general form, but pointed out, he did not even mention the subjective side. It can only be assumed that, when considering certain cases in court, it was found out whether the person was intentionally or unintentionally committed a crime. Referring to the subject of the offense, the law sometimes indicated his gender (man or woman), social status (grandee, slave, commoner, person, son of a person, a city dweller, etc.), official position (supreme dignitary, judge, priest, treasurer of the tsar , scribe of royal documents, etc.) and, less often, his property status (the poor, owner of jewelry, owner of wealth, strong, i.e. propertied person). However, neither the age of the subject nor his physical condition (healthy, crazy, deaf, blind) is mentioned in the sources.
With regard to the reflection in the sources of the objective side of the offense, the legislator most often confined himself to indicating the action (killed, stole, withdrawn, violated, took away) or inaction of the subject (he did not review the case in court, did not pay, did not comply), but did not say anything about how to take action , relapse (repetition) and even sometimes about the consequences of the offense.
Corresponding to the types of crimes considered by the legislator, a certain system of punishments was developed on the basis of traditions, customs, laws and instructions of the tsar, judicial practice . At the same time, the main goal of the whole system of punishments was intimidation, although its purpose, like compensation for damage, is clearly traced. In addition to these punishment goals, there were goals such as retribution, replenishment of the treasury, general and private warning.
The principles by which the court was guided when imposing punishments were the class nature, plurality, legality and responsibility of family members for the crime committed by the head of the family. The last principle of the punishment is well revealed in the decree of Nubhaper-Ra Antef in the case of a priest who “sheltered the enemy”. It says: “Let him be banished from the temple … and let him be deprived of his office in the temple from son to son, from heir to heir … let people, property and his lands be donated to my father Mine.”
As can be seen from the sources, the kings of Ancient Egypt sought to limit lynch mob, which, apparently, was still quite often used in practice, and to strengthen the principle of legality when dealing with cases in courts. So, if an official committed a property crime, according to the decree of the tsar of the XIXth dynasty of Seti I (about 1312-1298 BC), the perpetrator should not be “killed while being set on a stake, but that he was convicted by any court any city where they (the victims ) will complain. ” And if the judge “zavolokitil” such a thing, the law will be applied against him by inflicting 100 blows to him, and he will be removed from his post and given to farmers. But if the judge in the judicial presence “creates untruth against the righteous, then it will be imputed to him as a crime worthy of death.”
The first place in terms of severity in the penal system was the death penalty, which was used, as a rule, for especially dangerous offenses and in two forms (simple and qualified), but the legislator very rarely specifies the concrete form of the death penalty, but such a qualified form as the imprisonment to the stake, repeatedly mentioned to them.
In the right of Ancient Egypt, corporal punishment was widely practiced, which could be carried out in various ways: beating (100 or 200 strokes) or causing ragged wounds.
Pursuing the main goal of punishment – intimidation, the principle of multiple punishments was widely used in the definition of punishments, according to which different types of punishments and their various forms were simultaneously applied to the same person for the same offense. And in this connection, the property type of punishment in its various forms (full confiscation of property or compensation for damage) was most often used as an additional punishment, rather than the main punishment (capital punishment, corporal punishment, dismissal). Thus, for the unlawful detention of a ship belonging to the royal palace, the latter was threatened with punishment “by inflicting 200 blows and 5 torn wounds on him and the work of the ship from him for every day will be recovered … and he will be given to the House of the Menmaatr”.
In addition to the types of punishments reviewed, the deprivation of office, the abrupt change in social status (to farmers, to place in “any herd or granite quarries” and much less often deprivation of liberty – imprisonment) were widely used. Thus, in the decree of King Neferirkar (5th dynasty, XXV century BC) it was stated that “every dignitary, the administrator of the tsar’s property, the guard who will do contrary to what I ordered, or was given to the court chamber, , arable land, people, all property under it, and it will be placed in a herd. ”
As it was already mentioned, all offenses should be considered in the court presence, where the judges appointed by the tsar were sitting among the “eloquent, good-willed, able to judge, listening to the king’s speeches and the laws of the court chamber” of the upper class. Consequently, the judges carried out the examination of cases, guided not only by previous and current laws, but also by the instructions of the tsar.
Due to the shortage of the sources of the ancient Egypt law that have survived to the present day, it is not possible to fully consider the procedural law by isolating the stages of the process that took place at that time. But as for his first stage – the initiation of the case , it began with a complaint that the scribe recorded in the book (on non-payment of tax, violation of law by the official, about theft or non-payment of debt, etc.). At the same time, as noted earlier, no distinction was made between criminal and civil offenses, and, consequently, the trial process was not divided into the criminal process and the civil process .
From the contents of the Prescription of the official duties of the supreme dignitary (Vizier of the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries BC), it is seen that the process was collegial, for, in addition to the Vizier, “there were” grandees, the head of the reception hall, the head of the reception, next to the Vizier he is the scribes of the supreme dignitary. ” At the same time it was pointed out that before the supreme dignitary “forty leather scrolls” (with laws) will be laid out, ie, The vizier was obliged during the consideration of the case to be guided by laws, which, unfortunately, did not survive to this day.
The hearing of cases in court began in strict order, which was not allowed to be violated. This is how it was said in the said Instruction: “One will speak after the other, after every person standing against him. They will listen one by one, not allowing the last to be heard first before they come first. If the one who comes is the first to say: “There is no one next to me who should be listened to,” then he will be seized by the trusted supreme dignitary. ” Apparently, the plaintiff was first heard, then the defendant and after that – witnesses of both sides. The testimony of witnesses was a very significant kind of evidence, since their absence from one of the parties resulted in the detention of a person who, apparently, was considered to be guilty and subjected to appropriate punishment. The kinds of evidence on the cases before the court were not only testimonies, but also written, material evidence and evidence.
Such stages of the judicial process as the passing of a verdict (decision), its appeal and execution, certainly took place, but it is impossible to consider their content and the procedure for implementation because of the lack of the necessary sources of law.