The patriarchal society during the existence of the Law of Hammurabi is said to pave the way for new social norms that elevates the roles of women through dowry (Vincent, 1904, p. 745). Due to the expensiveness of being married, adultery is investigated through specific qualifications and broader logical applications. Adultery can result to the death of the offender, but it can also result to the forfeit of the dowry paid for by the man involved in the case (Vincent, 1904, p. 745).
Unlike the notion of retaliation on physical injuries and bearing false witness, the Law of Hammurabi rules out a more stratified judicial process on adultery and other marriage related offenses. Conclusion: The Underlying Logics In terms of physical injury the Law of Hammurabi has the most retaliatory prescription of obtaining justice. Even if the act of restoring justice in the aspect of the Law of Hammurabi is dominantly consequential according to the act of the crime itself, it is still sanctioned by a limitation- the caste system.
In the Law of Ur- Nammu physical injuries are compensated for in terms of financial sanctions from the offenders. However, it should be noted that in the Law of Ur- Nammu physical injuries are only prescribed to be compensated through low financial value as compared to other crimes. And lastly, the Law of Eshnunna prescribes similar sanctions to that prescribed by the Law of Ur-Nammu. In handling cases that involve adultery, the Law of Ur- Nammu shows the least specified body of laws and sanctions. The low economic valuation prescribed as sanctions in the Law of Ur-Nammu shows the low value put on this type of offenses.
On the other hand, the Law of Eshnunna and the Law of Hammurabi both show the elevation of the importance of women in society as a whole. The dowry system imminent in the Law of Eshnunna shows the slow but surely upward reposition of women in society. This was almost perfected in the Law of Hammurabi through its prescription of the need to have thorough investigation on the factors involved in the events that adultery occurred. Lastly, the cases regarding social obligations through the bearing of false witness are best addressed through the Law of Ur- Nammu.
This is said not because the Law of Ur- Nammu has the perfect judicial system to battle against this type of crime. Instead, the Law of Ur- Nammu is said to be highly commendable for addressing this crime because this is the only part of the Law of Ur- Nammu that is most pronounced and specific. The developments regarding social justice even in the oldest set of laws among the three are enough to make it vivid. However, the Law of Hammurabi still prescribes retaliation in its attempt to discourage those who are still seeing this crime as plausible.
In line with this, this paper would like to disclaim that it only assumes that the Law of Eshnunna does not have distinct laws and sanctions that govern this type of crime as today; which means that this assumption can be repudiated upon the deciphering of the laws that pertain to this type of crime. Taking a close look on these sets of laws, underlying logics can be arrived at to further qualify the distinctions between these laws. These underlying logics can even give a chance to glimpse on what is the world like during those times that such laws come into existence.
As for the Law of Ur- Nammu the underlying logic of social obligation is the best assumable generalization. It can even be inferred that the Law of Ur- Nammu may have existed during times where communities are still struggling to be structured as civilizations; these struggles may have contribute to the strong inclination of this set of laws to have a more specialized set of laws regarding social obligations as seen through the crime of bearing false witness. As for the Law of Eshnunna the underlying logic of a notion of compensatory justice can be best generalized.
The economic and punitive compensations used by the Law of Eshnunna prove that it attempts to compensate for the crimes in its time. Compensation as a hint of future societal modernization can also be inferred in this set of laws. Lastly, the Law of Hammurabi can be best explained through its distinct logic of lex talionis. Justice can be best arrived at through retaliation. In a way the Law of Hammurabi is highly restorative in the sense that the crime is also put upon the offender. It can even be linked to the formulation of the Golden Rule, “do not to others, what you do not want others to do to you”.