In Verrem: The Case That Changed the Course of Jurisprudential History

Authors: André M Santamaria Published date: 15-07-2015 Status: Under Review

This paper addresses a frequent omission in the contemporary discussion of Natural Law Theory; it is often the case that when addressing it, academics and jurists focus on Fuller or Dworkin, and sometimes progress as far back as Aquinas, but seldom are the true roots of Natural Law Theory pursued. This paper offers the story of Marcus Tullius Cicero, expounding upon the great Roman lawyer’s role in the trajectory and development of Natural Law Theory (which is arguably the foundation for the existence of all Western democracies and Republics). This paper argues that Cicero’s victory in the trial known as In Verrem changed the course of jurisprudential history due to the rise of the Cicero as a result of said victory, which permitted him to significantly influence Roman republican jurisprudence. Germaine to this paper’s conclusion is the illustration of a nexus between modern Natural Law incarnations and the postulations of Cicero. In order to demonstrate that Cicero should be credited with the crafting of the first Natural Law Theory (in the systemic sense of the word theory), this discussion also incorporates an effort to identify similitude, or a cause-effect relationship, between Cicero’s Natural Law Theory and its more modern forms. Keywords: Jurisprudence, Legal History, Natural Law Theory, Roman Jurisprudence.

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