New Laws

The New Laws (Spanish: Leyes Nuevas), also known as the New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians (Spanish:Leyes y ordenanzas nuevamente hechas por su Majestad para la gobernación de las Indias y buen tratamiento y conservación de los Indios), were issued on November 20, 1542, by King Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (Charles I of Spain) and regard the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Following complaints and calls for reform from individuals such as the Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas, these laws were intended to prevent the exploitation and mistreatment of the indigenous peoples of the Americas by the encomenderos, by strictly limiting their power and dominion over groups of natives.[1] The text of the New Laws has been translated to English.[2]

Blasco Núñez Vela, the first Viceroy of Peru, enforced the New Laws. He was opposed by a revolt of some encomenderos and was killed in 1546 by the landowning faction led by Gonzalo Pizarro. He wanted to maintain a political structure based on the Incan model the Spanish found in place. Although the New Laws were only partly successful, due to the opposition of some colonists, they did result in the liberation of thousands of indigenous workers, who had been held in a state of semi-slavery.

Leyes Nuevas1
Cover of "Leyes Nuevas" of 1542.

Origins

The New Laws were the results of a reform movement in reaction to what were considered to be the less effective, decades-old Leyes de Burgos (Laws of Burgos), issued by King Ferdinand II of Aragon on December 27, 1512. These laws were the first intended to regulate relations between the Spaniards and the recently conquered indigenous peoples of the New World. These are regarded as the first humanitarian laws in the New World. They were not fully implemented because of opposition by some powerful colonists. While some encomenderos opposed the restrictions imposed by the laws as against their interests, others were opposed because they believed the laws institutionalized the system of forced Indian labor. During the reign of King Charles I, the reformers gained strength. A number of Spanish missionaries argued for stricter rules, including Bartolomé de las Casas and Francisco de Vitoria. Their goal was to protect the Indians against forced labor and expropriation, and to preserve their cultures. Some discussions challenged the very legitimacy of the conquest and colonization. Eventually, the reformists influenced the King and his court to pass reforms that came to be known as the New Laws.

Contents

Main points

  • Governors had an obligation to take care of the well-being and preserve the Native Americans (referred to as indians by the law).
  • That there was no motive to enslave them in the future, not by war, nor due to rebellion, nor to ask for a rescue, nor for any reason or in any way.
  • That native Americans currently enslaved must be freed immediately, unless the owner could prove (in Spain, which implied travelling back there) the full juridical legitimacy of such a state.
  • That the 'bad habit' of making Native Americans work as tamames against their will or without fair payment must be ended immediately.
  • That they must not be taken to remote regions to fish for pearls.
  • That only the viceroy had the right to establish encomiendas on Native Americans. The prohibition to establish encomiendas included all Religious orders, hospitals, commonalities and civil servants.
  • That the "distribution"(of people and lands) given to the original conquerors (as a feudal lordship of sorts) should stop immediately after their death, and both land and the native people would become subject to the Crown.[3]

Causes and goals

Some of these laws were redundant. Some established extra protections and rights for Native Americans that native Spaniards did not have themselves. Given the distance from the colonies and the time needed to travel between there and Spain, the Crown was unable to fully monitor compliance with the more ambiguous laws. For instance, slavery was made legal as punishment for certain crimes.

The main examples are the cases of slavery and encomiendas. The new laws included the prohibition of enslavement of the Indians and provided for gradual abolition of the encomienda system in America by forbidding it to be inherited by descendants. The New Laws stated that the natives would be considered free persons, and the encomenderos could no longer demand their labour.

The prohibition against enslaving Indians "in any case, not even crime or war" was a right that did not apply to native Castilians themselves. The enslavement of Native Americans had been declared illegal in Castile in 1501, when Isabella I declared native Americans to be both people and subjects of the Castilian crown, and so subject to the same rights and obligations as any other subject of the queen. Under those regulations, slavery was permitted almost exclusively as a penalty for a serious crime or some exceptional circumstances. Granting extra protection for Native Americans was an attempt by the crown to address its inability to monitor, from Spain, the legitimacy of the claims regarding reasons to enslave a person in the New World, and it acknowledged that false claims could be fabricated to enslave and exploit the native peoples.

The introduction and corruption of the encomienda system is now considered to have been an alternative for outright slavery and a Castilian institution that did not work properly in America. The encomienda was a system that interchanged a person's work for military protection by a higher authority. It had been part of the Castilian legal system since the Reconquista. Given the limited size of the Crown's army, this system allowed nobles or warlords to trade protection for the labor of persons under their purview. It was a way to aid in ensuring the safety of the population of the border areas during the repopulation of the no-mans-land between Castile and the southern Muslim areas. It either required either the consent of both parts or the direct intervention of the king, who was responsible for setting reasonable conditions for the parties and to intervene (militarily if required) in case of abuses.[4]

in America, however, colonists used encomiendas to create conditions similar to slavery in areas that did not require such protection. Authorities other than the king claimed the right to assign encomiendas and assigned the most unpleasant or dangerous jobs to the Natives.

The New Laws established more specific regulations or stipulated the conditions under the Crown's authority:

  • The natives were required only to pay tribute to the encomenderos; if they worked, they were to be paid wages in exchange for their labor.
  • The laws prohibited using indigenous people to work in the mines (where many had died) unless it was absolutely necessary, and then under the same working conditions as Spanish mine workers.
  • Indians were to be taxed fairly and treated well.
  • Public officials or clergy with encomienda grants were ordered to return them immediately to the Crown.
  • Encomienda grants would not be passed on via inheritance, but would be cancelled at the death of the individual encomendero.

Effect of the New Laws

The King promulgated the New Laws in 1542. In addition to regulating encomienda and treatment of Indians, they reorganized the overseas colonial administration. Several General Captainships were established, such as the Kingdom of Guatemala, to create another level of Crown authority in the colony.

Resistance in Peru

When the New Laws were passed, every European man holding an encomienda in Peru learned that this grant of labor could be confiscated if he was guilty of having taken part in the civil disturbances of Francisco Pizarro and Almagro. As a result, privileged Spanish colonists were disturbed about implementing the New Laws. In Peru Gonzalo Pizarro led a revolt of protesting encomenderos; they took to arms to "maintain their rights by force" for control of Indian lands and labor.

The Supreme Court of Peru invited Pizarro to take control of the government after his forces reached Lima from Bolivia. Pizarro took over Lima and Quito (now in Ecuador). Viceroy Blasco Núñez Vela, who had attempted to impose the decrees, was overthrown. Pizarro and his army killed Núñez Vela in 1546. Pizarro's power stretched from Peru north to Panama. Charles I and the court became alarmed, and were convinced that the immediate abolition of the encomienda system would bring economic ruin to the colonies. To deal with the revolt, Charles I sent Pedro de la Gasca to the colony; a bishop and diplomat, he did not command an army but was given full powers to rule and negotiate a settlement with Pizarro and his followers. However, Pizarro declared Peru as independent from the King. La Gasca provisionally suspended the New Laws. Pizarro was later captured and executed, accused of being a "traitor to the King."

Level of compliance

Although in New Spain (now Mexico), the initial reaction of encomenderos was noncompliance, they did not organize a rebellion as in Peru. New Spain's first viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, prudently refrained from enforcing the parts of the New Laws most objectionable to the encomenderos, and avoided rebellion.[5] Over time, the encomenderos complied with most aspects of the laws. Most already maintained a horse and arms in case of Indian rebellion, and had established a residence in a Spanish settlement. They hired priests to minister to the Indians whose labor was granted to them. While they were not allowed to retain their encomiendas in perpetuity, they were permitted to bequeath the properties and labor once. They allowed Indians to fulfill obligations by payment of tribute, often in produce. The dramatic declines in Indian population due to epidemic disease, however, resulted in economic losses for the encomenderos. [6]

Legacy

In 1545, the Crown revoked the rule stating that the encomienda properties could not be inherited. By strengthening the power of the encomenderos, the encomienda system was made secure. While the New Laws were partly successful, they did result in the liberation of thousands of indigenous workers from enforced servitude.

Most of the ordinances of the New Laws were later incorporated into the general corpus of the Laws of the Indies. In some cases they were superseded by newer laws. A weaker version of the New Laws was issued in 1552.

See also

Further reading

  • Kenneth J. Andrien, Andean Worlds, 2001
  • Joseph Pérez. Historia de España ISBN 84-8432-091-X
  • Crow, John A. (1992). The Epic of Latin America. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07723-2.
  • "Laws of the Indies". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  • "Pizarro, Gonzalo." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 6 Nov. 2008 <http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9060257>.
  • "New Laws" <http://www.isitlegalto.com/new-laws/>.

References

  1. ^ García Icazbalceta, Joaquín "Colección de documentos para la historia de México" "Leyes y ordenanzas" (Dada en la ciudad de Barcelona, a veinte días del mes de Noviembre, año del nacimiento de nuestro Salvador Jesucristo de mill e quinientos e cuarenta y dos años) y addenda 4 de junio de 1543; 26 de junio de 1543; 26 de mayo de 1544 text on Internet Cervantes Virtual
  2. ^ Spain. The New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians. New York: AMS Press, 1971. ISBN 0-404-06159-1 Facsimile edition of a London, Chiswick Press, 1893 edition by Henry Stevens and Fred W. Lucas.
  3. ^ Suárez Romero. LA SITUACIÓN JURÍDICA DEL INDIO DURANTE LA CONQUISTA ESPAÑOLA EN AMÉRICA. REVISTA DE LA FACULTAD DE DERECHO DE MÉXICO TOMO LXVIII, Núm. 270 (Enero-Abril 2018)
  4. ^ Alberto Pérez Amador Adam: "De legitimatione imperii Indiae Occidentalis. La vindicación de la Empresa Americana en el discurso jurídico y teológico de las letras de los Siglos de Oro en España y los virreinatos americanos." Madrid / Frankfurt: Iberoamericana / Vervuert 201
  5. ^ Mark A. Burkholder, "New Laws of 1542" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 4, p. 177. New York: Charles Scribner's and Sons, 1996.
  6. ^ James Lockhart and Stuart B. Schwartz, Early Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press 1983, pp. 94-95.
Bartolomé de las Casas

Bartolomé de las Casas (Spanish: [baɾtoloˈme ðe las ˈkasas] (listen); c. 1484 – 18 July 1566) was a 16th-century Spanish colonist who acted as a historian and social reformer before becoming a Dominican friar. He was appointed as the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians". His extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies. He described the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the indigenous peoples.Arriving as one of the first Spanish (and European) settlers in the Americas, Las Casas initially participated in, but eventually felt compelled to oppose the abuses committed by colonists against the Native Americans. As a result, in 1515 he gave up his Indian slaves and encomienda, and advocated, before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on behalf of rights for the natives. In his early writings, he advocated the use of African slaves instead of Natives in the West Indian colonies. In the 20th century, he has been criticized for being among the founders of the Atlantic slave trade. Later in life, he retracted this position, as he regarded both forms of slavery as equally wrong. In 1522, he tried to launch a new kind of peaceful colonialism on the coast of Venezuela, but this venture failed. Las Casas entered the Dominican Order and became a friar, leaving public life for a decade. He traveled to Central America, acting as a missionary among the Maya of Guatemala and participating in debates among colonial churchmen about how best to bring the natives to the Christian faith.

Traveling back to Spain to recruit more missionaries, he continued lobbying for the abolition of the encomienda, gaining an important victory by the passage of the New Laws in 1542. He was appointed Bishop of Chiapas, but served only for a short time before he was forced to return to Spain because of resistance to the New Laws by the encomenderos, and conflicts with Spanish settlers because of his pro-Indian policies and activist religious stance. He served in the Spanish court for the remainder of his life; there he held great influence over Indies-related issues. In 1550, he participated in the Valladolid debate, in which Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that the Indians were less than human and required Spanish masters in order to become civilized. Las Casas maintained that they were fully human and that forcefully subjugating them was unjustifiable.

Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the colonial abuse of indigenous peoples, especially by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. Unlike other priests who sought to destroy the indigenous peoples' native books and writings, he strictly opposed this action. Although he failed to save the indigenous peoples of the Western Indies, his efforts did result in improvement of the legal status of the natives, and in an increased colonial focus on the ethics of colonialism. Las Casas is often considered to be one of the first advocates for a universal conception of human dignity (later human rights).

Battle for trade

Battle for trade (Polish: Bitwa o handel; also translated as trade battle or battle over trade) refers to the early period of communist takeover of Poland (1946–49) when new laws and regulations succeeded in significantly decreasing the size of the private sector in Polish trade, in order to facilitate the transformation of Polish economy from capitalism to Soviet communism's planned economy. The private shops were nationalized or closed, and government-owned chains (Państwowe Domy Handlowe) and cooperatives were created to replace them; this was however inefficient as more shops were closed than opened and led to lasting difficulties for Polish people in obtaining consumer goods.

The 'battle' began when Polish communist Hilary Minc proposed and succeeded in passing a series of reforms during the 1947 Polish Workers Party congress accompanying the Three-Year Plan. On 13–14 April the 1947 congress of the Polish Workers Party accepted that direction.On 2 June 1947 new laws were passed to help the government in the 'battle':

on fighting high prices and excessive profit in trade (maximum prices were introduced by Biuro Cen (Prices Bureau), and owners of shops where prices were found higher than maximum were subject to a high fine and five years of imprisonment when found by a special commission (The Special Commission for Counteracting Profiteering and Abuses — Komisja Specjalna do Walki ze Spekulacją i Nadużyciami))

new fines or surtaxes (domiary) were levied on the private sector, applicable when government officials found that the private business was generating higher revenues than declared

on citizens tax commissions and social controllers (Społeczne Komitety Kontroli Cen, Public Committees of Price Control)

on concessions to run trade and building enterprises

private shops were banned in centers of large cities

private shops were banned from trading certain goods

merchants' organizations were disbandedThis new legislation allowed the government to accuse many shopkeepers of sabotage, imprison them and nationalise their enterprises. The name itself, 'battle for trade', was introduced by Polish communist propaganda, to denote the importance and urgency of the fight against 'capitalist speculators and saboteurs'.The number of private retail shops fell from 150,000–185,000 in 1946 (numbers vary) through 131,000 in 1947 to 58,000–70,000 in 1949. Wholesale stores fell from 3300 to 1100. By 1953 only 7% of shops in Poland remained in private hands (about 14,000 in 1955); 75% of craftsmen's workshops were closed or nationalized (to 80,000).Since many fewer government-run shops were opened, it marked the beginning of the shortage economy, as people found it increasingly difficult to find a shop with items of everyday use.All Polish businesses that employed more than 50 staff were nationalized in 1948.

Captaincies of the Spanish Empire

Captaincies (Spanish: capitanías) were military and administrative divisions in colonial Spanish America and the Spanish Philippines, established in areas under risk of foreign invasion or Indian attack. They could consist of just one province, or group several together. These captaincies general should be distinguished from the ones given to almost all of the conquistadores, which was based on an older tradition. During the Reconquista, the term "captain general" and similar ones had been used for the official in charge of all the troops in a given district. This office was transferred to America during the conquest and was usually granted along with the hereditary governorship to the adelantado in the patent issued by the Crown. This established a precedent that was recognized by the New Laws of 1542, but ultimately the crown eliminated all hereditary governorships in its overseas possessions.

With the establishment of appointed governors, who served only for a few years, captaincies were created in the areas where the crown deemed them necessary. The new captaincies general were governed by what was also called a captain general, and it is this title alone that is usually used by historians. The title of captain general itself is a high military rank of general officer grade, equivalent to the rank of Field Marshal, as well as, and a gubernatorial title. However, in practice this was a person who held two distinct offices: one military, which granted him command of the regional forces (the "captaincy general" proper), and another civilian, which included the presidency of the audiencia, if there was one in the provincial capital, (the governorship). The specific powers of any governor-captain general varied by time and place and were specified in the decrees establishing the captaincy general. The institution of the captaincy general predated the viceroyalty, but was incorporated into the latter when the viceroyalties were established in the mid-16th century.

Some captaincies general, such as Guatemala, Chile and Venezuela were eventually split off from their viceroyalties for better-administration purposes. Although under the nominal jurisdiction of their viceroys, governors-captains general were virtually independent, because the law granted them special military functions and given the considerable distance of their districts from the viceregal capital, they were authorized to deal directly with the King and the Council of the Indies, in Madrid. The institution was later revived as part of the Bourbon Reforms. Captaincies general were first introduced into Spain beginning in 1713 during the War of the Spanish Succession. After the losses of the Seven Years' War, the Bourbon kings established new ones in many American regions, which had not had them before. Along with the new governors-captains general, the Bourbons introduced the Intendant, to handle civilian and military expenses.

Crypto-anarchism

Crypto-anarchism (or crypto-anarchy) is a form of anarchy accomplished through computer technology. Crypto-anarchists employ cryptographic software to evade persecution and harassment while sending and receiving information over computer networks, in an effort to protect their privacy, their political freedom, and their economic freedom.

By using cryptographic software, the association between the identity of a certain user or organization and the pseudonym they use is made difficult to find, unless the user reveals the association. It is difficult to say which country's laws will be ignored, as even the location of a certain participant is unknown. However, participants may in theory voluntarily create new laws using smart contracts or, if the user is pseudonymous, depend on online reputation.

Elections in India

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed under the Constitution of India, which defines the power distribution between the union, or central, government and the states.

The President of India is the ceremonial head of state, who is elected indirectly for a five-year term by an electoral college comprising members of national and state legislatures.The Prime Minister of India is the head of government and exercises most executive power. Appointed by the president, the prime minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance having a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament.

Encomienda

Encomienda (Spanish pronunciation: [eŋkoˈmjenda]) was a Spanish labor system. It rewarded conquerors with the labor of particular groups of subject people. It was first established in Spain following the Christian conquest of Muslim territories. It was applied on a much larger scale during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Philippines. Conquered peoples were considered vassals of the Spanish monarch. The Crown awarded an encomienda as a grant to a particular individual. In the conquest era of the sixteenth century, the grants were considered to be a monopoly on the labor of particular groups of Indians (indigenous peoples), held in perpetuity by the grant holder, called the encomendero, and his descendants.Encomiendas devolved from their original Iberian form into a form of "communal" slavery. In the encomienda, the Spanish Crown granted a person a specified number of natives from a specific community, but did not dictate which individuals in the community would have to provide their labor. Indigenous leaders were charged with mobilizing the assessed tribute and labor. In turn, encomenderos were to ensure that the encomienda natives were given instruction in the Christian faith and Spanish language, and protect them from warring tribes or pirates; they had to suppress rebellion against Spaniards, and maintain infrastructure. In return, the natives would provide tributes in the form of metals, maize, wheat, pork, or other agricultural products.

With the ouster of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish crown sent a royal governor, Fray Nicolás de Ovando, who established the formal encomienda system. In many cases natives were forced to do hard labor and subjected to extreme punishment and death if they resisted. However, Queen Isabella I of Castile forbade Indian slavery and deemed the indigenous to be "free vassals of the crown". Various versions of the Leyes de Indias or Laws of the Indies from 1512 onwards attempted to regulate the interactions between the settlers and natives. Both natives and Spaniards appealed to the Real Audiencias for relief under the encomienda system.

Encomiendas had often been characterized by the geographical displacement of the enslaved and breakup of communities and family units, but in Mexico, the encomienda ruled the free vassals of the crown through existing community hierarchies, and the natives were allowed to keep in touch with their families and homes.The abolition of the Encomienda in 1542 marks the first major movement towards the abolition of slavery in the Western world.

Florida Legislature

The Florida Legislature is the Legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Legislature is composed of 160 State Legislators (120 in the House and 40 in the Senate). The primary purpose of the Legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. The Legislature meets in the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.

House of Commons

The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada and historically was the name of the lower houses of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain, Kingdom of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Southern Ireland. Roughly equivalent bodies in other countries which were once part of the British Empire include the United States House of Representatives, the Australian House of Representatives, the New Zealand House of Representatives, and India's Lok Sabha.

In the UK and Canada, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the nominally upper house of parliament. The leader of the majority party in the House of Commons by convention becomes the prime minister. Since 2010 the House of Commons of the United Kingdom has had 650 elected members, and since 2015 the House of Commons of Canada has had 338 members. The Commons' functions are to consider through debate new laws and changes to existing ones, authorise taxes, and provide scrutiny of the policy and expenditure of the Government. It has the power to give a Government a vote of no confidence.

Judiciary

The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch or court system) is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in a country, or an international community. The first legal systems of the world were set up to prevent citizens to settle conflicts without violence.The judiciary mainly interprets and applies the law, but can in some systems create law.

LGBT rights in Nepal

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Nepal are among the most progressive in Asia. The Nepalese Constitution recognizes LGBT rights as fundamental rights. Nepal's current LGBT laws are some of the most tolerant in Asia and expand upon a multitude of rights for LGBT Nepalese.The Nepalese Government, following the monarchy that ended in 2007, legalized homosexuality across the country in 2007 along with the introduction of several new laws. These new laws explicitly include protections on the basis of sexual orientation. The new Nepalese Constitution, approved by the Constituent Assembly on 16 September 2015, includes several provisions pertaining to the rights of LGBT people. These are the right to have their preferred gender display on their identity cards, a prohibition on discrimination on any ground including sex or sexual orientation by the State, a prohibition on discrimination on any ground, including sex or sexual orientation by anyone, eligibility for special protections that may be provided by law, substitution of gender-neutral terms for the previous "male", "female", "son", and "daughter", and the right of access to state process and public services for gender and sexual minorities.

Based on a ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal in late 2007, the Government was also looking into legalising same-sex marriage. According to several sources, the new Constitution was expected to include it. Although the Constitution does explicitly include that "marginalized" communities are to be granted equal rights under the law and also mentions that LGBT people in Nepal particularly fall under that marginalized group, it appears to not address the legalization of same-sex marriage explicitly.Despite these supportive laws and provisions, LGBT people still face societal discrimination in Nepal and there is significant pressure to conform and to marry a partner of the opposite sex.

Law of Estonia

According to the Constitution of Estonia (Estonian: Põhiseadus), the supreme power of the state is vested in the people. The people exercise their supreme power of the state on the elections of the Riigikogu through citizens who have the right to vote. The supreme judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court or Riigikohus, with 17 justices. The Chief Justice is appointed by the parliament for nine years on nomination by the president.

The official Head of State is the President of Estonia, who gives assent to the laws passed by Riigikogu, also having the right of sending them back and proposing new laws. The president, however, does not use these rights very often, having a largely ceremonial role. He or she is elected by Riigikogu, with two-thirds of the votes required. If the candidate does not gain the number of votes required, the right to elect the president goes over to an electoral body, consisting of the 101 members of Riigikogu and representatives from local councils. As other spheres, Estonian law-making has been successfully integrated with the Information Age.

Law of Vietnam

Law of Vietnam is based on communist legal theory and French civil law. In 1981 major reforms were made to the judicial and legal system.

New laws introduced since:

Penal Code 1912

Law of the Netherlands

The Netherlands uses civil law. Its laws are written and the application of customary law is exceptional. The role of case law is small in theory, although in practice it is impossible to understand the law in many fields without also taking into account the relevant case law. The Dutch system of law is based on the French Civil Code with influences from Roman Law and traditional Dutch customary law. The new civil law books (which went into force in 1992) were heavily influenced by the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch.

The primary law-making body is formed by the Dutch parliament in cooperation with the government. When operating jointly to create laws they are commonly referred to as the legislature (Dutch: wetgever). The power to make new laws can be delegated to lower governments or specific organs of the State, but only for a prescribed purpose. A trend in recent years has been for parliament and the government to create "framework laws" and delegate the creation of detailed rules to ministers or lower governments. (e.g. a province or municipality)

The Ministry of Security and Justice is the main institution when it comes to Dutch law.

Laws of the Indies

The Laws of the Indies (Spanish: Leyes de las Indias) are the entire body of laws issued by the Spanish Crown for the American and the Philippine possessions of its empire. They regulated social, political, religious, and economic life in these areas. The laws are composed of myriad decrees issued over the centuries and the important laws of the 16th century, which attempted to regulate the interactions between the settlers and natives, such as the Laws of Burgos (1512) and the New Laws (1542).

Throughout the 400 years of Spanish presence in these parts of the world, the laws were compiled several times, most notably in 1680 under Charles II in the Recopilación de las Leyes de los Reinos de las Indias (Compilation of the Laws of the Kingdoms of the Indies). This became considered the classic collection of the laws, although later laws superseded parts of it, and other compilations were issued.

Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The primary purpose of the Legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. The Legislature meets in the Capitol building in Lansing.

Michigan Senate

The Michigan Senate is the upper house of the Legislature of the U.S. State of Michigan. Along with the House of Representatives, it composes the Michigan Legislature. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the Legislature and how it is to be constituted. The primary purpose of the Legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws.

The Michigan Senate is composed of 38 members, each elected from a single-member district with a population of between approximately 212,400 to 263,500 residents. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures, provided by the federal decennial census. Senators' terms begin immediately upon their election. As of 2018, Republicans hold the majority in the State Senate with twenty-two seats; Democrats hold the minority with sixteen seats. The Senate chamber is located in the State Capitol building.

Overseas France

Overseas France (French: France d'outre-mer) consists of all the French-administered territories outside the European continent, mostly relics of the French colonial empire. These territories have varying legal status and different levels of autonomy, although all (except those with no permanent inhabitants) have representation in both France's National Assembly and Senate, which together make up the French Parliament. Their citizens have French nationality and vote for the president of France. They have the right to vote in elections to the European Parliament (French citizens living overseas currently vote in the Overseas constituency). Overseas France includes island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, French Guiana on the South American continent, and several periantarctic islands as well as a claim in Antarctica.

Almost all inhabited French administrative divisions outside Europe are classified as either overseas regions or overseas collectivities; these statuses are very different from one another from a legal and administrative standpoint. Overseas regions have exactly the same status as mainland France's regions. The French constitution provides that, in general, French laws and regulations (France's civil code, penal code, administrative law, social laws, tax laws, etc.) apply to French overseas regions the same as in mainland France, but can be adapted as needed to suit the region's particular needs. Hence, the local administrations of French overseas regions cannot themselves pass new laws, whereas the overseas collectivities are empowered to make their own laws, except in certain areas reserved to the French national government (such as defense, international relations, trade and currency, and judicial and administrative law). The overseas collectivities are governed by local elected assemblies and by the French Parliament and French government, with a cabinet member, the Minister of Overseas France, in charge of issues related to the overseas territories. (New Caledonia is neither an overseas region nor an overseas collectivity; it has a sui generis status, in keeping with the Nouméa Accord.)

Overseas France covers a land area of 119,396 km2 (46,099 sq mi) and accounts for 18.0% of the French Republic's land territory. It has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 9,825,538 km2 (3,793,661 sq mi) and accounts for 96.7% of the EEZ of the French Republic (excluding the district of Adélie Land, part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, where the French sovereignty is effective de jure by French law, but where the French exclusive claim on this part of Antarctica is frozen by a mandatory international cooperation since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959).

Shelter (charity)

Shelter is a registered charity that campaigns to end homelessness and bad housing in England and Scotland. It gives advice, information and advocacy to people in need, and tackles the root causes of bad housing by lobbying government and local authorities for new laws and policies to improve the lives of homeless and badly housed people. It works in partnership with Shelter Cymru in Wales and the Housing Rights Service in Northern Ireland. The charity was founded in 1966 and raised 60.9 million pounds in 2016/17.

Shelter helps people in housing need by providing advice and practical assistance, and fights for better investment in housing and for laws and policies to improve the lives of homeless and badly housed people.

Sydney gang rapes

The Sydney gang rapes were a series of gang rape attacks committed by a group of up to fourteen Lebanese Australian youths led by Bilal Skaf against Anglo-Celtic Australian women and teenage girls, as young as 14, in Sydney Australia in 2000. The crimes, described as ethnically motivated hate crimes by officials and commentators, were covered extensively by the news media, and prompted the passing of new laws. The nine men convicted of the gang rapes were sentenced to a total of more than 240 years in jail. According to court transcripts Judge Michael Finnane described the rapes as events that "you hear about or read about only in the context of wartime atrocities".

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