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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


slave. And if a beast of burden, or horse, or dog, or any other
animal, injure the property of a neighbour, the owner shall in like
manner pay for the injury.
If any man refuses to be a witness, he who wants him shall summon
him, and he who is summoned shall come to the trial; and if he knows
and is willing to bear witness, let him bear witness, but if he says
he does not know let him swear by the three divinities Zeus, and
Apollo, and Themis, that he does not, and have no more to do with
the cause. And he who is summoned to give witness and does not
answer to his summoner, shall be liable for the harm which ensues
according to law. And if a person calls up as a witness any one who is
acting as a judge, let him give his witness, but he shall not
afterwards vote in the cause. A free woman may give her witness and
plead, if she be more than forty years of age, and may bring an action
if she have no husband; but if her husband be alive she shall only
be allowed to bear witness. A slave of either sex and a child shall be
allowed to give evidence and to plead, but only in cases of murder;
and they must produce sufficient sureties that they will certainly
remain until the trial, in case they should be charged with false
witness. And either of the parties in a cause may bring an
accusation of perjury against witnesses, touching their evidence in
whole or in part, if he asserts that such evidence has been given; but
the accusation must be brought previous to the final decision of the
cause. The magistrates shall preserve the accusations of false
witness, and have them kept under the seal of both parties, and
produce them on the day when the trial for false witness takes
place. If a man be twice convicted of false witness, he shall not be
required, and if thrice, he shall not be allowed to bear witness;
and if he dare to witness after he has been convicted three times, let
any one who pleases inform against him to the magistrates, and let the
magistrates hand him over to the court, and if he be convicted he
shall be punished with death. And in any case in which the evidence is
rightly found to be false, and yet to have given the victory to him
who wins the suit, and more than half the witnesses are condemned, the
decision which was gained by these means shall be a discussion and a
decision as to whether the suit was determined by that false
evidence or and in whichever way the decision may be given, the
previous suit shall be determined accordingly.
There are many noble things in human life, but to most of them
attach evils which are fated to corrupt and spoil them. Is not justice
noble, which has been the civilizer of humanity? How then can the
advocate of justice be other than noble? And yet upon this
profession which is presented to us under the fair name of art has
come an evil reputation. In the first place; we are told that by
ingenious pleas and the help of an advocate the law enables a man to
win a particular cause, whether just or unjust; and the power of
speech which is thereby imparted, are at the service of him sho is
willing to pay for them. Now in our state this so-called art,
whether really an art or only an experience and practice destitute
of any art, ought if possible never to come into existence, or if
existing among us should litten to the request of the legislator and
go away into another land, and not speak contrary to justice. If the
offenders obey we say no more; but those who disobey, the voice of the
law is as follows:-If anyone thinks that he will pervert the power
of justice in the minds of the judges, and unseasonably litigate or
advocate, let any one who likes indict him for malpractices of law and
dishonest advocacy, and let him be judged in the court of select
judges; and if he be convicted, let the court determine whether he may
be supposed to act from a love of money or from contentiousness. And
if he is supposed to act from contentiousness, the court shall fix a
time during which he shall not be allowed to institute or plead a
cause; and if he is supposed to act as be does from love of money,
in case he be a stranger, he shall leave the country, and never return
under penalty of death; but if he be a citizen, he shall die,

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