Codex Vat Traditional Roman law, systemized and interpreted by local jurists, were supplanted by vast tax-collecting bureaucracies in the A.D. 3rd and 4th century. The legal rights of women, children and slaves was strengthened. [Source: World Almanac]

The Roman judicial system distinguished laws from facts. There were indictments, jury trails, prosecutors, defense attorneys and both softhearted and unforgiving judges. Magistrates in Rome were originally called censors.

In most civil and criminal cases, a magistrate defined the dispute, cited the law and referred the problem to a judex, a reputable person in the community. The judex, along with some advisors, listened to the arguments of the attorneys, weighed the evidence and pronounced the sentence.