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In what way did Hammurabi's code embody concepts of “actus reus”/“mens rea”  and for what reasons?  Hammurabi’s code is considered the... |

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Hammurabi's code applies to this question in several extremely interesting ways. Its most important characteristic in this context is that despite the retributive nature of its punishments, it is still fundamentally a moral code, linking legislation to morality, justice, and piety rather than a simple matter of regulating revenge. The introductory sections show the king as a human dispenser of divine justice, protecting the widow and ophan from the depredations of the ruthless, and, like the judges, accountable to the gods for fair dealing.

The notion that a crime consists in an accompanying mental act or intention is less fully developed in Babylonian than modern law, but still shows up in, for example, laws of agency. Although an agent is normally liable for the value of the principal's good, he is not so liable in the case of robbery or extortion, in other words those cases where he was not intending to defraud the principal nor failing to exercise due diligence. This establishes the prinicple that to commit a crime (1) there must be a law (nullem crimem sine lege) and (2) one must deliberately and intentionally violate that law.

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