Brehon law is the usual term for Ancient Irish native law, as administered in Ireland down to the seventeenth century. It derives its name from the Irish word Breitheamh meaning judge. These ancient Irish laws were in existence for over 1000 years and is viewed as one of the most comprehensive legal systems of its time in Europe. It covered almost all aspects of law from civil to criminal and all aspects of old Irish Society. Although Brehon Law was despised by the English it seemed to be well liked by the Irish people. There are very few cases of defiance towards passed judgments. Even Sir John Davies, the Elizabethan jurist, confesses:
there is no nation or people under the Sunne that doth love equall and indifferent justice better than the Irish; or will rest better satisfied with the execution thereof although it be against themselves, so that they may have the protection and benefit of the law when upon just cause they do desire it.