The first use of democracy as a governmental system is attributed to the fifth-century Greeks, and was introduced by Cleisthenes, the Athenian ruler at the time. Though this is the popular origin of democracy, there are indications of democratic values in earlier societies.
The system put in place by Cleisthenes consisted of the "ekklesia," the "boule" and the "dikesteria." These three groups were separate entities with different purposes. The ekklesia wrote laws and foreign policy, and the boule was a representative council made up of members of the Athenian tribes. The dikesteria was the citizens' court, where cases were presented before a group of jurors. This system only lasted in Athens for two years.