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Civil law is a legal system originating in mainland Europe and adopted in much of the world. The civil law system is intellectualized within the framework of
Roman law Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the '' Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor J ...
, and with core principles codified into a referable system, which serves as the primary source of law. The civil law system is often contrasted with the
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omniprese ...
system, which originated in medieval England. Whereas the civil law takes the form of legal codes, the law in common law systems historically came from uncodified case law that arose as a result of judicial decisions, recognising prior court decisions as legally-binding precedent. Historically, a civil law is the group of legal ideas and systems ultimately derived from the '' Corpus Juris Civilis'', but heavily overlain by Napoleonic, Germanic, canonical, feudal, and local practices, as well as doctrinal strains such as
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be deduced and applied independently of positive law (the express enacte ...
, codification, and
legal positivism Legal positivism (as understood in the Anglosphere) is a school of thought of analytical jurisprudence developed largely by legal philosophers during the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. While Bentham and Austin dev ...
. Conceptually, civil law proceeds from abstractions, formulates general principles, and distinguishes substantive rules from procedural rules. It holds case law secondary and subordinate to statutory law. Civil law is often paired with the inquisitorial system, but the terms are not synonymous. There are key differences between a
statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs the legal entities of a city, state, or country by way of consent. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by ...
and a code. The most pronounced features of civil systems are their legal codes, with concise and broadly applicable texts that typically avoid factually specific scenarios. The short articles in a civil law code deal in generalities and stand in contrast with ordinary statutes, which are often very long and very detailed.


Overview


Origin and features

Civil law is sometimes referred to as neo-Roman law, Romano-Germanic law or Continental law. The expression "civil law" is a translation of Latin ''jus civile'', or "citizens' law", which was the late imperial term for its legal system, as opposed to the laws governing conquered peoples ('' jus gentium''); hence, the Justinian Code's title '' Corpus Juris Civilis''. Civil law practitioners, however, traditionally refer to their system in a broad sense as '' jus commune.'' The civil law system is the most widespread system of law in the world, in force in various forms in about 150 countries. It draws heavily from Roman law, arguably the most intricate known legal system before the modern era. In civil law legal systems where codes exist, the primary source of law is the
law code A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a systematic collection of statutes. It is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the cod ...
, a systematic collection of interrelated articles, arranged by subject matter in some pre-specified order. Codes explain the principles of law, rights and entitlements, and how basic legal mechanisms work. The purpose of codification is to provide all citizens with manners and written collection of the laws which apply to them and which judges must follow. Law codes are laws enacted by a
legislature A legislature is an assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. They are often contrasted with the executive and judicial powers of government. Laws enacted by legislatures are usually known ...
, even if they are in general much longer than other laws. Rather than a compendium of statutes or catalog of case law, the code sets out general principles as rules of law. Other major legal systems in the world include
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omniprese ...
, Islamic law, Halakha, and
canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority (church leadership) for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is t ...
. Unlike
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omniprese ...
systems, civil law jurisdictions deal with case law apart from any precedent value. Civil law courts generally decide cases using codal provisions on a case-by-case basis, without reference to other (even superior) judicial decisions. In actual practice, an increasing degree of precedent is creeping into civil law jurisprudence, and is generally seen in many nations' highest courts. While the typical French-speaking supreme court decision is short, concise and devoid of explanation or justification, in Germanic Europe, the supreme courts can and do tend to write more verbose opinions, supported by legal reasoning. A line of similar case decisions, while not precedent ''per se'', constitute '' jurisprudence constante''. While civil law jurisdictions place little reliance on court decisions, they tend to generate a phenomenal number of reported legal opinions. However, this tends to be uncontrolled, since there is no statutory requirement that any case be reported or published in a law report, except for the councils of state and constitutional courts. Except for the highest courts, all publication of legal opinions are unofficial or commercial.


Subcategories

Civil law systems can be divided into: * those where Roman law in some form is still living law but there has been no attempt to create a civil code: Andorra and San Marino * those with uncodified mixed systems in which civil law is an academic source of authority but common law is also influential: Scotland and the Roman-Dutch law countries (
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by of coastline that stretch along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring coun ...
, Zimbabwe,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
and Guyana) * those with codified mixed systems in which civil law is the background law but has its public law heavily influenced by common law: Puerto Rico,
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
,
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is one of the thirte ...
and
Louisiana Louisiana , group=pronunciation (French: ''La Louisiane'') is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 20th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bord ...
* the Scandinavian legal systems, which are of a hybrid character since their background law is a mix of civil law and Scandinavian customary law and they have been partially codified. Likewise, the laws of the Channel Islands ( Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark) mix Norman customary law and
French civil law The Law of France refers to the legal system in the French Republic, which is a civil law legal system primarily based on legal codes and statutes, with case law also playing an important role. The most influential of the French legal codes is t ...
. * those with comprehensive codes that exceed a single civil code, such as France, Germany, Greece, Italy,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally , ''Nihonkoku'') is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, while extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the n ...
, Mexico, Russia, Spain: it is this last category that is normally regarded as typical of civil law systems, and is discussed in the rest of this article.


Prominent civil codes

A prominent example of a civil law code is the Napoleonic Code (1804), named after French emperor
Napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader wh ...
. The Napoleonic code comprises three components: * the law of persons * property law, and * commercial law. Another prominent civil code is the German Civil Code (''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' or BGB), which went into effect in the German empire in 1900. The German Civil Code is highly influential, inspiring the civil codes in countries such as Japan, South Korea and
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
(1907). It is divided into five parts: # The General Part, covering definitions and concepts, such as personal rights and legal personality. # Obligations, including concepts of debt, sale and contract; # Things ( property law), including immovable and movable property; # Domestic relations ( family law); and # Succession (estate law).


History

Civil law takes as its major inspiration classical
Roman law Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the '' Corpus Juris Civilis'' (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman emperor J ...
(''c''. AD 1–250), and in particular Justinian law (6th century AD), and further expanded and developed in the late
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
under the influence of
canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority (church leadership) for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is t ...
. The Justinian Code's doctrines provided a sophisticated model for contracts, rules of procedure, family law, wills, and a strong monarchical
constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these pr ...
al system. Roman law was received differently in different countries. In some it went into force wholesale by legislative act, i.e., it became positive law, whereas in others it was diffused into society by increasingly influential legal experts and scholars. Roman law continued without interruption in the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire primarily in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinopl ...
until its final fall in the 15th century. However, given the multiple incursions and occupations by Western European powers in the late medieval period, its laws became widely implemented in the West. It was first received in the Holy Roman Empire partly because it was considered imperial law, and it spread in Europe mainly because its students were the only trained lawyers. It became the basis of Scots law, though partly rivaled by received feudal
Norman law Norman law (, , ) refers to the customary law of the Duchy of Normandy which developed between the 10th and 13th centuries and which survives today in the legal systems of Jersey and the other Channel Islands. It grew out of a mingling of Frankish c ...
. In England, it was taught academically at the universities of Oxford and
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 United Kingdom census, the population of Cambridge was 145,700. Cambridge bec ...
, but underlay only probate and
matrimonial Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ...
law insofar as both were inherited from canon law, and maritime law, adapted from ''
lex mercatoria ''Lex mercatoria'' (from the Latin for "merchant law"), often referred to as "the Law Merchant" in English, is the body of commercial law used by merchants throughout Europe during the medieval period. It evolved similar to English common law as ...
'' through the Bordeaux trade. Consequently, neither of the two waves of Roman influence completely dominated in Europe. Roman law was a secondary source that was applied only when local customs and laws were found lacking on a certain subject. However, after a time, even local law came to be interpreted and evaluated primarily on the basis of Roman law, since it was a common European legal tradition of sorts, and thereby in turn influenced the main source of law. Eventually, the work of civilian glossators and commentators led to the development of a common body of law and writing about law, a common legal language, and a common method of teaching and scholarship, all termed the '' jus commune'', or law common to Europe, which consolidated canon law and Roman law, and to some extent, feudal law.


Codification

An important common characteristic of civil law, aside from its origins in Roman law, is the comprehensive codification of received Roman law, i.e., its inclusion in civil codes. The earliest codification known is the Code of Hammurabi, written in ancient Babylon during the 18th century BC. However, this, and many of the codes that followed, were mainly lists of civil and criminal wrongs and their punishments. The codification typical of modern civilian systems did not first appear until the Justinian Code. Germanic codes appeared over the 6th and 7th centuries to clearly delineate the law in force for Germanic privileged classes versus their Roman subjects and regulate those laws according to folk-right. Under feudal law, a number of private custumals were compiled, first under the Norman empire (''Très ancien coutumier'', 1200–1245), then elsewhere, to record the manorial—and later regional—customs, court decisions, and the legal principles underpinning them. Custumals were commissioned by lords who presided as lay judges over manorial courts in order to inform themselves about the court process. The use of custumals from influential towns soon became commonplace over large areas. In keeping with this, certain monarchs consolidated their kingdoms by attempting to compile custumals that would serve as the law of the land for their realms, as when Charles VII of France in 1454 commissioned an official custumal of Crown law. Two prominent examples include the ''Coutume de Paris'' (written 1510; revised 1580), which served as the basis for the Napoleonic Code, and the '' Sachsenspiegel'' (c. 1220) of the bishoprics of Magdeburg and
Halberstadt Halberstadt ( Eastphalian: ''Halverstidde'') is a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, the capital of Harz district. Located north of the Harz mountain range, it is known for its old town center that was greatly destroyed by Allied bomb ...
which was used in northern Germany, Poland, and the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas, lb, déi Niddereg Lännereien) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, is a coastal lowland region in N ...
. The concept of codification was further developed during the 17th and 18th centuries AD, as an expression of both
natural law Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be deduced and applied independently of positive law (the express enacte ...
and the ideas of the Enlightenment. The political ideals of that era was expressed by the concepts of democracy, protection of
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
and the rule of law. Those ideals required certainty of law, recorded, uniform law. So, the mix of Roman law and customary and local law gave way to law codification. Also, the notion of a nation-state implied recorded law that would be applicable to that state. There was also a reaction to law codification. The proponents of codification regarded it as conducive to certainty, unity and systematic recording of the law; whereas its opponents claimed that codification would result in the ossification of the law. In the end, despite whatever resistance to codification, the codification of Continental European private laws moved forward. Codifications were completed by Denmark (1687), Sweden (1734), Prussia (1794), France (1804), and
Austria Austria, , bar, Östareich officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, the most populous ...
(1811). The French codes were imported into areas conquered by Napoleon and later adopted with modifications in Poland ( Duchy of Warsaw/ Congress Poland; Kodeks cywilny 1806/1825), Louisiana (1807), Canton of Vaud (Switzerland; 1819), the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Netherl ...
(1838),
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian: , , ), officially the Republic of Serbia ( Serbian: , , ), is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Basin and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hu ...
(1844), Italy and Romania (1865), Portugal (1867) and Spain (1888).
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated betwee ...
(1900), and
Switzerland ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are installed in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel ...
(1912) adopted their own codifications. These codifications were in turn imported into colonies at one time or another by most of these countries. The Swiss version was adopted in Brazil (1916) and Turkey (1926). In theory, codes conceptualized in the civil law system should go beyond the compilation of discrete statutes, and instead state the law in a coherent, and comprehensive piece of legislation, sometimes introducing major reforms or starting anew. In this regard, civil law codes are more similar to the Restatements of the Law, the Uniform Commercial Code (which drew from European inspirations), and the Model Penal Code in the United States. In the United States, U.S. states began codification with New York's 1850 Field Code (laying down civil procedure rules and inspired by European and Louisiana codes). Other examples include California's codes (1872), and the federal
revised statutes Revised Statutes is a term used in some common law jurisdictions for a collection of statutes that have been revised to incorporate amendments, repeals and consolidations. It is not a change to the law, but designed to make the body of statutes m ...
(1874) and the current United States Code (1926), which are closer to compilations of statute than to systematic expositions of law akin to civil law codes. For the legal system of Japan, beginning in the Meiji Era, European legal systems—especially the civil law of Germany and France—were the primary models for emulation. In China, the German Civil Code was introduced in the later years of the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty ( ), officially the Great Qing,, was a Manchu-led imperial dynasty of China and the last orthodox dynasty in Chinese history. It emerged from the Later Jin dynasty founded by the Jianzhou Jurchens, a Tungusic-speak ...
, emulating Japan. In addition, it formed the basis of the law of the Republic of China, which remains in force in Taiwan. Furthermore, Korea, Taiwan, and Manchuria, former Japanese colonies, have been strongly influenced by the Japanese legal system. Some authors consider civil law the foundation for socialist law used in communist countries, which in this view would basically be civil law with the addition of Marxist-Leninist ideals. Even if this is so, civil law was generally the legal system in place before the rise of socialist law, and some Eastern European countries reverted to the pre-socialist civil law following the fall of socialism, while others continued using a socialist legal systems.


Differentiation from other major legal systems

The table below contains essential disparities (and in some cases similarities) between the world's four major legal systems.Neubauer, David W., and Stephen S. Meinhold.'' Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Politics in the United States.'' Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth, 2007, p. 28. Civil law is primarily contrasted with
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omniprese ...
, which is the legal system developed first in England, and later among
English-speaking Speakers of English are also known as Anglophones, and the countries where English is natively spoken by the majority of the population are termed the ''Anglosphere''. Over two billion people speak English , making English the largest language ...
peoples of the world. Despite their differences, the two systems are quite similar from a historical point of view. Both evolved in much the same way, though at different paces. The Roman law underlying civil law developed mainly from customary law that was refined with case law and legislation. Canon law further refined court procedure. Similarly, English law developed from Anglo-Saxon customary law, Danelaw and
Norman law Norman law (, , ) refers to the customary law of the Duchy of Normandy which developed between the 10th and 13th centuries and which survives today in the legal systems of Jersey and the other Channel Islands. It grew out of a mingling of Frankish c ...
, further refined by case law and legislation. The differences are * Roman law had crystallized many of its principles and mechanisms in the form of the Justinian Code, which drew from case law, scholarly commentary, and senatorial statutes * Civilian case law has persuasive authority, not binding authority as under common law Codification, however, is by no means a defining characteristic of a civil law system. For example, the statutes that govern the civil law systems of Sweden and other Nordic countries and the Roman-Dutch countries are not grouped into larger, expansive codes like those in French and German law.


Subgroups

The term ''civil law'' comes from English legal scholarship and is used in English-speaking countries to lump together all legal systems of the ''jus commune'' tradition. However, legal comparativists and economists promoting the legal origins theory prefer to subdivide civil law jurisdictions into distinct groups: * Napoleonic: France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Chile, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, other
CPLP The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Portuguese: ''Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa''; abbreviated as the CPLP), also known as the Lusophone Commonwealth (''Comunidade Lusófona''), is an international organization and poli ...
countries, Macau, former Portuguese colonies in India ( Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli), Malta, Romania, and most of the Arab world (e.g. Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, etc.) when Islamic law is not used. Former colonies include Quebec (Canada) and Louisiana (U.S.). ** The Chilean Code is an original work of jurist and legislator Andrés Bello. Traditionally, the Napoleonic Code has been considered the main source of inspiration for the Chilean Code. However, this is true only with regard to the
law of obligation The law of obligations is one branch of private law under the civil law (legal system), civil law legal system and so-called "mixed" legal systems. It is the body of rules that organizes and regulates the rights and duties arising between individua ...
s and the law of things (except for the principle of abstraction), while it is not true at all in the matters of family and successions. This code was integrally adopted by Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Panama and Venezuela (although only for one year). According to other Latin American experts of its time, like
Augusto Teixeira de Freitas Augusto Teixeira de Freitas (1816–1883) was a prominent Brazilian jurist whose prolific writings inspired all South American private law codifications. After studies at Olinda and São Paulo, Teixeira de Freitas practiced law as an advocate an ...
(author of the "Esboço de um Código Civil para o Brasil") or Dalmacio Vélez Sársfield (main author of the Argentinian Civil Code), it is the most important legal accomplishments of Latin America. ** Cameroon, a former colony of both France and United Kingdom, is bi-juridical/mixed * Germanistic: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Latvia, Estonia, Roman-Dutch, Czech Republic, Russia, Lithuania, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Ukraine, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand ** South Africa, a former colony of the Netherlands and later the United Kingdom, was heavily influenced by English colonists and therefore is bi-juridical/mixed. * Nordic: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden * Chinese (except Hong Kong and Macau) is a mixture of civil law and socialist law. Presently, Chinese laws absorb some features of common law system, especially those related to commercial and international transactions. Hong Kong, although part of China, uses common law. The Basic Law of Hong Kong ensures the use and status of common law in Hong Kong. Macau continues to have a Portuguese legal system of civil law. However, some of these legal systems are often and more correctly said to be of hybrid nature: Napoleonic to Germanistic influence: The Italian civil code of 1942 replaced the original one of 1865, introducing German elements as a result of its
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
Axis alliance. This approach has been imitated by other countries, including Portugal (1966), the Netherlands (1992), Brazil (2002) and Argentina (2014). Most of them have innovations introduced by the Italian legislation, including the unification of the civil and commercial codes. Germanistic to Napoleonic influence: The Swiss civil code is considered mainly influenced by the German civil code and partly influenced by the French civil code. The civil code of the Republic of Turkey is a slightly modified version of the Swiss code, adopted in 1926 during Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's presidency as part of the government's progressive reforms and secularization. Some systems of civil law do not fit neatly into this typology, however. Polish law developed as a mixture of French and German civil law in the 19th century. After the reunification of Poland in 1918, five legal systems (French Napoleonic Code from the Duchy of Warsaw, German BGB from Western Poland, Austrian ABGB from Southern Poland, Russian law from Eastern Poland, and Hungarian law from Spisz and Orawa) were merged into one. Similarly, Dutch law, while originally codified in the Napoleonic tradition, has been heavily altered under influence from the Dutch native tradition of Roman-Dutch law (still in effect in its former colonies).
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to ...
's civil law tradition borrowed heavily from Roman-Dutch law. Swiss law is categorized as Germanistic, but it has been heavily influenced by the Napoleonic tradition, with some indigenous elements added in as well. Louisiana private law is primarily a Napoleonic system.
Louisiana Louisiana , group=pronunciation (French: ''La Louisiane'') is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 20th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bord ...
is the only U.S. state whose private civil law is based heavily on the
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, which originated in France, and its various dialects and accents ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Franc ...
and Spanish codes, as opposed to English
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omniprese ...
. In Louisiana, private law was codified into the Louisiana Civil Code. Current Louisiana law has converged considerably with American law, especially in its public law, judicial system, and adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code (except for Article 2) and certain legal devices of American common law. In fact, any innovation, whether private or public, has been decidedly common law in origin.
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is one of the thirte ...
law, whose private law is also of French civil origin, has developed along the same lines, adapting in the same way as Louisiana to the public law and judicial system of Canadian common law. By contrast, Quebec private law has innovated mainly from civil sources. To a lesser extent, other states formerly part of the Spanish Empire, such as Texas and California, have also retained aspects of Spanish civil law into their legal system, for example community property. The legal system of Puerto Rico exhibits similarities to that of Louisiana: a civil code whose interpretations rely on both the civil and common law systems. Because Puerto Rico's Civil Code is based on the Spanish Civil Code of 1889, available jurisprudence has tended to rely on common law innovations due to the code's age and in many cases, obsolete nature. Several Islamic countries have civil law systems that contain elements of Islamic law. As an example, the Egyptian Civil Code of 1810 that developed in the early 19th century—which remains in force in Egypt is the basis for the civil law in many countries of the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, اَلْعَالَمُ الْعَرَبِيُّ '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, refers to a vast group of countries, mainly located in Western A ...
where the civil law is used— is based on the Napoleonic Code, but its primary author Abd El-Razzak El-Sanhuri attempted to integrate principles and features of Islamic law in deference to the unique circumstances of Egyptian society.
Japanese Civil Code The law of Japan refers to legal system in Japan, which is primarily based on legal codes and statutes, with precedents also playing an important role. Japan has a civil law legal system with six legal codes, which were greatly influenced by Ger ...
is considered a mixture drawing roughly 60% from the German civil code, roughly 30% from the French civil code, 8% from Japanese customary law, and 2% from English law.和仁陽「岡松参太郎 – 法比較と学理との未完の綜合 – 」『法学教室』No.183 p. 79 Regarding the latter, the code borrows the doctrine of ultra vires and the precedent of Hadley v Baxendale from English common law system.


See also

* Civil law notary * International Roman Law Moot Court * List of national legal systems * Rule according to higher law * Tort


References


Bibliography

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Scots Law and the Road to the New Ius Commune
" ''Electronic Journal of Comparative Law'' 4, no. 4 (December 2000). * Moreno Navarrete, M. A
''The Concept of Civil Law. Historical Dimension''.
Revista de Derecho Actual, vol. III, 2017. * John Henry Merryman & Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo. ''The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America'', 4th edn. Stanford University Press, 2018. * Moustaira, Elina N. ''Comparative Law: University Courses (in Greek)'', Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, Athens, 2004, *


External links


A collection of Roman Law resources maintained by professor Ernest Metzger

''The Roman Law Library'' by Professor Yves Lassard and Alexandr Koptev

A Primer on the Civil Law System
from the Federal Judicial Center
Brasil Law Articles in English

A Civil Law to Common Law Dictionary
by
N. Stephan Kinsella Norman Stephan Kinsella (; born 1965) is an American intellectual property lawyer, author, and deontological anarcho-capitalist. His legal works have been published by Oxford University Press, Oceana Publications, Mises InstituteQuid Pro Books ...
, ''Louisiana Law Review'' (1994)
Brehon Law (King Ollamh Fodhla)

''The Concept of Civil Law. Historical Dimension''.
Moreno Navarrete, Miguel Ángel {{DEFAULTSORT:Civil Law (Legal System) de:Rechtskreis#Kontinentaleuropäischer Rechtskreis ka:კონტინენტური ევროპის სამართალი