Napoleonic Code


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Related to Napoleonic Code: Napoleon Bonaparte, Concordat of 1801

Napoleonic Code

The first modern organized body of law governing France, also known as the Code Napoleon or Code Civil, enacted by Napoléon I in 1804.

In 1800, Napoléon I appointed a commission of four persons to undertake the task of compiling the Napoleonic Code. Their efforts, along with those of J. J. Cambacérès, were instrumental in the preparation of the final draft. The Napoleonic Code assimilated the private law of France, which was the law governing transactions and relationships between individuals. The Code, which is regarded by some commentators as the first modern counterpart to Roman Law, is currently in effect in France in an amended form.

The Napoleonic Code is a revised version of the Roman law or Civil Law, which predominated in Europe, with numerous French modifications, some of which were based on the Germanic law that had been in effect in northern France. The code draws upon the Institutes of the Roman Corpus Juris Civilis for its categories of the civil law: property rights, such as licenses; the acquisition of property, such as trusts; and personal status, such as legitimacy of birth.

Napoléon applied the code to the territories he governed—namely, some of the German states, the low countries, and northern Italy. It was extremely influential in Spain and, eventually, in Latin America as well as in all other European nations except England, where the Common Law prevailed. It was the harbinger, in France and abroad, of codifications of other areas of law, such as Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Commercial Law. The Napoleonic Code served as the prototype for subsequent codes during the nineteenth century in twenty-four countries; the province of Québec and the state of Louisiana have derived a substantial portion of their laws from it. Napoléon also promulgated four other codes: the Code of Civil Procedure (1807), the Commercial Code (1808), the Code of Criminal Procedure (1811), and the Penal Code (1811).

Napoleonic Code

the name given to the French Civil Code. It brought together existing rules and implemented many of the new ideas of revolution. The provisions are brief and require judicial interpretation according to its spirit. Its structure is based on its civilian heritage and very broadly follows Justinian's Institutes (see CORPUS JURIS CIVILIS). The influence of the Code came from its implementation across Napoleon's sphere of influence including parts of Italy and Germany. The Code was a successful export, especially to the Americas. Its influence was weakened only when the German Civil Code (BGB) began to be copied by newer systems.
References in periodicals archive ?
Stanley, like some poster-boy for estate planning, then says, "Blanche, under the Napoleonic code, a man has got to take an interest in his wife's affairs--and I mean, especially now that she's going to have a baby.
Is there a conflict between rabbinical law and the Napoleonic code with regard to polygamy, divorce, mixed marriages?
Early in 1875 Mitsukuri Rinsho [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1846-97), a young Justice Ministry official who had just completed translating the French Napoleonic Code, began to collect information to write a report on Egypt's legal system.
He then explores the ethical foundations of the law from Aristotle and Plato to the US Constitution, touching upon Augustine, Aquinas, Kant, Rousseau, Bentham, Milton Friedman, John Rawls, Roman Law, the Magna Carta, and the Napoleonic code along the way.
and the Napoleonic code, the notion of a private sphere to which women were confined was not an operative one.
His social reforms included the Napoleonic Code, a judicial system that is still the basis of French law.
Ten years later, in 1999, Boris completed his one-volume treatise on the Commerce Clause--the treatise modestly called (at the instance of the publisher, not the author) Bittker on the Regulation of Interstate and Foreign Commerce, a title adroitly conveying the writer's proprietary interest in the subject matter and placing the work on a very select reserve shelf of legal tomes alongside such older works as the Napoleonic Code and Newton's Laws.
All of this emphasizes the importance of the Napoleonic Code in setting back women's causes and strengthening the sexual double standard, challenging those who would see developments during the French Revolution as the judicial realization of a slow degradation of women's status over the course of the eighteenth century.
It's ironic that having demonstrated the virtues of the capitalistic system, American policy makers are now trying to recreate the governance regime of the Napoleonic Code that our ancestors fled.
In the original Napoleonic Code, a man could ask to be divorced from his wife if she committed adultery, but the adultery of the husband was not a sufficient motive unless he had kept his concubine in the family home.
The Napoleonic Code leans more toward "Where there's smoke, there's fire" than "Innocent until proven guilty.
The Napoleonic code followed by several European countries became an obstacle in the way of equality of rights between women and men until the middle of the twentieth century.