La evolución del Derecho, como modo para regular la vida diaria, un aporte desde la perspectiva ecuatoriana

AutorDominique Unda Mateus
CargoCoordinadora (investigadores en formación) GIDE-PUCE,
137Revista Facultad de Jurisprudencia RFJ No.5 Junio 2019
La evolución del Derecho, como modo
para regular la vida diaria, un aporte desde
la perspectiva ecuatoriana
The Evolution of the Law, as a Mode for Regulating
Everyday Life, from an Ecuadorian Perspective
Dominique Unda Mateus
Coordinadora (investigadores en formación) GIDE-PUCE y autora corresponsal
Artículo Original (Miscelánea)
RFJ, No. 5, 2019, pp. 137-174, ISSN 2588-0837
RESUME N: el presente documento se refiere a la evolución del Dere-
cho como herramienta de reg ulación de la vida social dura nte las dis-
tintas époc as históricas, en las civilizaciones mesopotá mica, griega,
altomedieval, el inc anato, y la de Roma, y sus sucesoras en e l Derecho:
la Recepción medieval y moder na, y la contemporánea. El objetivo
principal es reconocer los motivos que desencadenan su ca mbio de
perspectiva y, a partir de dicho análisis, detal lar su proceso de trans-
formación en la histori a, teniendo en cuenta que, las diversas formas
de hacer y entender al Derecho, han afectado los factores sociales,
económicos e institucionales. La principal motivación para esta in-
vestigación, es ref lexionar e identificar concepciones relevantes e n la
Historia que se manifiestan en el modo de producir y ejercitar el De-
recho, y que en los momentos primitivos se relaciona n con la exten-
sión religiosa, ha sta la legitimación de las clases sociales. Fi nalmente,
aunque el Derecho se caracteriza por una n aturaleza en cierto modo
cambiante, solo cabe comprenderlo como realidad histórica, conse-
cuencia de un pasado que, hoy más que nunca, lo vincula de modo
muy simila r en el mundo globalizado, a las concepciones que, desde
Roma, se des arrollaron en el oc cidente europeo.
PALABRAS CLAVE: historia de la ley, reglas socia les, sociedad, siste-
ma legal, civilizaciones.
AB STR ACT: this doc ument refers to Law’s evolution as a tool for
regulating social li fe during the different historica l ages—in the
Mesopotamia n, Greek, Early Medieval and Inca times, and Roman
138Revista Facultad de Jurisprudencia RFJ No.5 Junio 2019
civilizations, and their successors in Law: of the medieval, modern
and contemporary receptions. Recognizi ng the reasons that trigger the
change of perspective is this an alysis’s main objective and, from said
analysis, detailing its historica l transformation process, considering
that the var ious ways of doing and understandin g the law have affected
the social, economic and institutional factors. This research’s main
motivation is to reflect and identify relevant Hi storical concepts that
are manifested in the way of producing a nd exercising Law, and that in
primitive moments are related to religious extension, and even to the
legitimiz ation of social classe s. Finally, although Law is c haracterized by
a somewhat chang ing nature, it can only be understood a s a historical
reality, a consequence of a past th at, more than ever, links it in a sim ilar
way in the globalized world—to concepts that, from Rome, were
developed in Western Europe.
KEY WORDS: history of Law, social rules, society, legal system,
The doctrine hesitates when it tries to define the law76; there is no
univocal defi nition, and it is coherent th at the concept of law evolves
as it develops within the social and global reality. In that sense, it is
important to know how the l aw has been created and adapted to soc iety’s
different realit ies. Its object and the interests t hat spawned it in the past
are those which have in fluenced its cur rent aspect. The evolution of
law in societies deserves to be studied, given t hat its formulation and
understandi ng are interrelated with the very f unctioning of society.
This paper’s objective is to des cribe, in a synt hetic way, the conception of
law in its socia l context, at different historica l moments of civilizations,
from both a general and a specific focus. A nd, in a more detailed way,
analyze its evolution, understand the rea son that giving rise to the
change of its perspective, and establish a general definition using the
conceptualizations obtained through each civilization (Botha, 1962).
76 This paper is part of the GIDE-PUCE Project No. 5, “Legal Systems, Efficiency and Jus-
tice,” an international research initiative on legal historical content which also includes
junior researchers from the GIDE-PUCE Research Group under the supervision of
University of Americas (UDLA) Professor Jesús María Navalpotro Sánchez-Peinado.
139Revista Facultad de Jurisprudencia RFJ No.5 Junio 2019
The study of thi s problem is motivated by the interest in expa nding the
knowledge of those who are involved in the field of law, thus cre ating
conceptualizations that encompass the approach of jurisprudence, in
its origin al sense of doctrine, in societ y.
The first sec tion of the document describes the law i n antiquity, most
alien to our speci fically legal cu lture, and specif ically in Mesopotam ia,
where it was understood as a way of regulating hu man life out of the
divine wi ll, often writ ten; and in which respect for the mandates of
the king acquired particular relevance, as well as the determination
of behavioral regulation mechanisms that prevented conf licts from
arising within soc iety, or, where appropriate, could be resolved with
precision and ease. Therefore, in the face of conflict s, the type of
punishment was based on the law of reta liation: ‘’An eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth.’’
The second section deals with law in Greece, where it is consolidated
as a custom, and stages can be distinguished in its evolution, out of
the rules with customar y character, which were considered to be
revealed by the gods to the monarch . Democracy existed than ks to an
institut ional system in which the as semblies and councils pa rticipated
in the decisions of a ll citizens.
The third section of the document describes features of Roman l aw,
which in its begi nnings was understood as a cluster of traditional
customs transmitted oral ly and then in writing, dur ing the var ious
stages of its civilization: monarchy, republic and the different phases
of empire. The norms in Rome, created by different sources, were
ordered and established in juridical bodies, in order to maintain the
political and so cial balance and stabil ity.
The fourth sect ion deals wit h the law in the Inca empire, or incanato,
in South America prior to its incorporation into the western cultural
space. Regarding the data that ca n be used to speak of primitive
law, in regard to religion, upon which the customary rules of socia l
coexistence depended. The I nca was an absolute mona rch, chosen by
a divinit y that gave him the power to dictate laws and impa rt justice.
In the fift h section we speak of Law temporarily in a very unequal
historical epoch--the Midd le Ages, in which two major moments
can be distinguished: before and after the reception of the Com mon
Law. The insecurit y of the times and the instability caused by the

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