The Laws of Hammurabi
Beyond that, however, most scholars today doubt that such monuments, including that of Hammurabi, were even actual law codes as opposed to monuments of royal justice. Bruce Wells's article on "Law and Practice" in Blackwell's Companion to the Ancient Near East elaborates, noting most significantly that despite a reasonably large number of cuneiform texts recording judicial decisions, we have no examples of the law being applied. The stipulations are seen as somewhat random, and occasionally presuppose knowledge of an existing body of law. The purpose of this monument was not to establish law, but to serve as a visual reminder the peace and justice in the land derived from Hammurabi's rule, the same sort of propaganda purpose which ancient monumental building usually served.