Code of Hammurabi

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Full Title or Meme

The Code of Hammurabi was codified over 3700 years ago, but can still teach today.


  • The ACM ethics code of conduct provides for no penalty for failure to follow the code more severe that expulsion from the ACM.
  • All profession organizations have penalties for failure to follow their code that effect their ability to work in the field, which seems to imply computer engineering is not a professional organization.
  • Such provision for responsibly for safe construction in societies go back in recorded history to this Code of Hammurabi.

Laws Applicable to Security and Reliability

229. If a builder build a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.

230. If it kill the son of the owner, the son of that builder shall be put to death.

231. If it kill a slave of the owner, then he shall pay slave for slave to the owner of the house.

232. If it ruin goods, he shall make compensation for all that has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means.

233. If a builder build a house for someone, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.