Judicial Decision-Making: Judges and Arbitrators

Sophie Démare‐Lafont

in The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557301
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Judicial Decision-Making: Judges and Arbitrators


This article examines judicial decision-making in ancient Mesopotamia. It explains that the Mesopotamian perception of justice combined the notions of stability and straightness and it was intended to reproduce cosmic order in the terrestrial world. It describes various people who served as judges and arbitrators. It discusses the individual stages and elements of a trial at court and argues that despite its apparent adversarial nature, Mesopotamian judicial practice was in essence conciliatory.

Keywords: judicial decision-making; ancient Mesopotamia; justice; judges; arbitrators; trial; judicial practices

Article.  11191 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Law

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