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Similarly, traditional Chinese law gave way to westernisation towards the final years of the Qing Dynasty in the form of six private law codes based mainly on the Japanese model of German law.

Today Taiwanese law retains the closest affinity to the codifications from that period, because of the split between Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists, who fled there, and Mao Zedong's communists who won control of the mainland in 1949.

Latin legal maxims (called brocards) were compiled for guidance.

In medieval England, royal courts developed a body of precedent which later became the common law.

Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, and is still used in some religious communities.

In contrast to English common law, which consists of enormous tomes of case law, codes in small books are easy to export and easy for judges to apply.

However, today there are signs that civil and common law are converging.

The most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, and has since been fully transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian, German, and French.

The Old Testament dates back to 1280 BC and takes the form of moral imperatives as recommendations for a good society.