As the evolution of justice and human rights rolls along like a snowball going downhill, it is important to recognize the role of cultural diffusion in the process. For those that may not remember, cultural diffusion is the process by which cultural elements are transferred from one culture to another through migration and interaction, and adopted in some form by another contemporary or future culture. Examples of this today would be things like the prominence of yoga for Americans-a cultural practice developed in Asia, then diffused into the United States and Europe.
The presence of cultural diffusion is evident in all three sets of laws studied thus far: Hammurabi's Code, the Mosaic Law, and the Laws of Manu. Each one possesses some aspects of the laws of previous societies. We see the lex talonius concept run from Hammurabi to Mosaic law, then the religious influences and concepts present in the Mosaic law filter (in some ways) to the Laws of Manu. In each of these law codes, it becomes evident that those creating a justice system rely upon previous institutions for guidance, then adopt those laws they see as most relevant to their own society for their law code. Sprinkle in some new ideas and concepts unique to their society, and the "snowball" continues to roll down that hill. New laws are initiated, and history is forever altered.
Important also in today's discussion is the influence of religion we see in both the Mosaic law and the Laws of Manu. Both invoke a higher power and the concept of morality into the law code so that people not only do things for the purpose of avoiding punishment by those in power, but also to receive some higher reward after death. Thus initiates two different ways in which to implement justice: punishment and reward. In both cases, people are encourage to act appropriately, but with religion's influence, not only will people act appropriately, they are quite likely to pass on those values to their children. As such, we can see why the majority of people in the world cite "The Bible" as the source of "an eye for an eye."
Most importantly, with each successive society we study, you should see the presence of a variety of other laws and cultures filter into their concepts of justice. As we get closer to the modern era, what we're seeing is the gradual accumulation of laws, customs, and cultures meld together to form the next society. The United States today, in regard to its laws, is in many ways simply a collection of the historical experiences of its predecessors. We see, even today, elements of all three law codes we've studied thus far, and as we continue through history examining laws and concepts of justice, it will become obvious that throughout time, this concept of justice continues to evolve in a manner that leads us to our modern world.