Žmogaus gyvybė kaip teisinė vertybė ir jos apsauga romėnų teisėje.
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Right to life is an essential natural right protected and defended by law. The aim of this publication is to discuss the main issues regarding human right to life and its protection in the Roman law. Article deals with the problems of beginning and end of the human life and legal capacity in Rome, elements of legal protection of slaves and family members subject to pater familias life as well as the principle crimes attempting to human life. First of all, the right to life as well as the right to liberty were held to be the institutes of natural law (ius naturale) meanwhile institutes that provided possibility to withdraw those rights (e. g. patria potestas that in the most ancient époque included right to decide on subject person’s right to life) are derived from the branches of positive law—civil (ius civile) and law of nations (ius gentium). Such attitude of the Roman jurisprudence had a solid impact on recognizing right of life to be an inherent law of every person, deriving immediately from the human nature and not conferred by the society and the state. Human life in Rome was not treated as an absolute right—it greatly depended on the social and legal position of the person. On the other hand, history of the Roman law confirms the increasing perception of the value of human life and the assignment of the law and the state to defend a right to life by providing effective legal remedies. The beginning of human life and legal capacity was related to the birth but already Roman law provided possibility to acquire property rights for the nasciturus. The Roman law established criteria according to which it was decided if the child has been born alive. Such criteria were movement of the body, cry of the newborn child as well as the function of breathing. On the other hand, not only death meant the end of legal capacity—the loss of liberty was treated as civil death. An important achievement of Roman law is an attempt to limit the ius vitae ac necis that belonged to owner of slaves and father of the family. Speaking about the father of family, ius vitae ac necis meant the implementation of jurisdiction in the family. The member of family could be sentenced to death only having the assent of the agnates court (iudicium domesticum). The changing attitude towards human life as well had an influence to the modifications in the execution of court decisions—civil liability becomes relative only to the debtor‘s property and not to his person. Authors of the article as well describe the criminal offences that attempt the human life. First of all, the legal liability for the homicide; the principal and qualified cases of this crime.
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