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The Napoleonic Code (, lit. "Code Napoleon"), officially the Civil Code of the French (; simply referred to as ) is the
French
French
civil code A civil code is a codification of private law relating to property law, property, family law, family, and law of obligations, obligations. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure. In some jurisdictions w ...
established under the
French Consulate The Consulate (French: ''Le Consulat'') was the top-level Government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire on 18 May 1804. By extension, the term ''The C ...
in 1804 and still in force, although frequently amended. It was drafted by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on 21 March 1804.Robert B. Holtman, ''The Napoleonic Revolution'' (Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press The Louisiana State University Press (LSU Press) is a university press 200px, The Pitt Building in Cambridge, which used to be the headquarters of Cambridge University Press, and now serves as a conference centre for the Press. A university press is ...
, 1981)
The Code, with its stress on clearly written and accessible law, was a major step in replacing the previous patchwork of
feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society ...
laws. Historian Robert Holtman regards it as one of the few documents that have influenced the whole world. The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil-law
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and infl ...
; it was preceded by the (
Bavaria Bavaria (; German language, German and Bavarian language, Bavarian: ''Bayern'' ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: ''Freistaat Bayern''; ), is a Landlocked country, landlocked Federated state, state (''States of Germany ...

Bavaria
, 1756), the (
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
, 1794), and the ''
West Galician Code The West Galician code (also The civil code of Western Galicia, german: Westgalizisches Gesetzbuch, rarely — ) was a civil code created in the 18th century and introduced in West Galicia, an administrative region of the Habsburg Monarchy Ha ...
'' (
Galicia Galicia may refer to: Geographic regions * Galicia (Spain), a region and autonomous community of northwestern Spain ** Gallaecia, a Roman province ** The post-Roman Kingdom of the Suebi, also called the Kingdom of Gallaecia ** The medieval Kingdom ...
, then part of
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
, 1797). It was, however, the first modern legal code to be adopted with a pan-European scope, and it strongly influenced the law of many of the countries formed during and after the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. The Napoleonic Code influenced developing countries outside Europe, especially in
Latin America Latin America is the portion of the Americas comprising countries and regions where Romance languages—languages that derived from Latin—such as Spanish language in the Americas, Spanish, American Portuguese, Portuguese, and French language, Fr ...

Latin America
and the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
, attempting to modernize and defeudalize their countries through legal reforms.


History

The categories of the Napoleonic Code were not drawn from the earlier French laws, but instead from Justinian's sixth-century codification of
Roman law Roman law is the law, 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 ...
, the ''
Corpus Juris Civilis The ''Corpus Juris'' (or ''Iuris'') ''Civilis'' ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius I ...
'', and within it, the ''Institutes''. The ''Institutes'' divide law into the law of: #persons #things #actions. Similarly, the Napoleonic Code divided law into four sections: #persons #property #acquisition of property #civil procedure (moved into a separate code in 1806).


Prior codification attempts

Before the Napoleonic Code, France did not have a single set of
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
s; law consisted mainly of local customs, which had sometimes been officially compiled in "custumals" (''
coutume Old French law, referred to in French as ''l'Ancien Droit'', was the law of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and early modern mon ...

coutume
s''), notably the '' Custom of Paris''. There were also exemptions, privileges, and special charters granted by the kings or other feudal lords. During the Revolution, the last vestiges of
feudalism Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the disc ...
were abolished. Specifically, as to civil law, the many different bodies of law used in different parts of France were to be replaced by a single legal code. The
Constituent Assembly A constituent assembly (also known as a constitutional convention, constitutional congress, or constitutional assembly) is a body assembled for the purpose of drafting or revising a constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental ...

Constituent Assembly
, on 5 October 1790, voted for a codification of the laws of France, the Constitution of 1791 promised one, and the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber. Thus, a ''unicameral parliam ...
adopted a unanimous resolution on 4 September 1791, providing that “there shall be a code of civil laws common for the entire realm.” However, it was the
National Convention The National Convention (french: link=no, Convention nationale) was a parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (poli ...
in 1793 which established a special commission headed by Jean-Jacques Régis de Cambacérès to oversee the drafting process. His drafts of 1793 (for which he had been given a one-month deadline), 1794, and 1796 were all rejected by a National Convention and
Directory Directory may refer to: * Directory (computing) In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development ...
more concerned with the turmoil resulting from the various wars and strife with other European powers. The first contained 719 articles and was very revolutionary, but was rejected for being too technical and criticized for not being radical or philosophical enough. The second, with only 297 articles, was rejected for being too brief and was criticized for being a mere manual of morals. The third, expanded to 1,104 articles, was presented under the Directory, a conservative regime, but never even came up for discussion. Another commission, established in 1799, presented that December a fourth scheme drafted in part by Jean-Ignace Jacqueminot (1754–1813). Jacqueminot's draft, the so-called ''loi Jacqueminot'', dealt almost exclusively with persons and emphasized the need to reform the Revolutionary
divorce Divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) is the optional process of terminating a marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people calle ...

divorce
laws, to strengthen parental authority and increase the testator's freedom to dispose of the free portion of his estate. It was, of course, rejected.


Napoleonic reforms

Napoleon set out to reform the French legal system in accordance with the ideas of the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, because the old feudal and royal laws seemed confusing and contradictory. After multiple rejected drafts by other commissions, a fresh start was made after Napoleon came to power in 1799. A commission of four eminent jurists was appointed in 1800, including Louis-Joseph Fauré and chaired by Cambacérès (now Second Consul), and sometimes by the
First Consul The Consulate (French: ''Le Consulat'') was the top-level Government of France from the fall of the French Directory, Directory in the 18 Brumaire, coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the First French Empire, Napoleonic Empi ...
, Napoleon himself. The Code was complete by 1801, after intensive scrutiny by the
Council of State A Council of State is a governmental body in a country, or a subdivision of a country, with a function that varies by jurisdiction. It may be the formal name for the cabinet or it may refer to a non-executive advisory body associated with a head o ...
, but was not published until 21 March 1804. It was promulgated as the "Civil Code of the French" (''Code civil des Français''), but was renamed "the Napoleonic Code" (''Code Napoléon'') from 1807 to 1815, and once again after the
Second French Empire The Second French Empire (; officially the French Empire, ), was the 18-year regime of from 14 January 1852 to 4 September 1870, between the and the , in France. Historians in the 1930s and 1940s often disparaged the Second Empire as a p ...

Second French Empire
. The process developed mainly out of the various customs, but was inspired by Justinian's sixth-century codification of
Roman law Roman law is the law, 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 ...
, the ''
Corpus Iuris Civilis The ''Corpus Juris'' (or ''Iuris'') ''Civilis'' ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence Jurisprudence, or legal theory, is the theoretical study of law. Scholars of jurisprudence s ...
'' and, within that, Justinian's Code (''Codex''). The Napoleonic Code, however, differed from Justinian's in important ways: it incorporated all kinds of earlier rules, not only legislation; it was not a collection of edited extracts, but a comprehensive rewrite; its structure was much more rational; it had no religious content, and it was written in the
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, normally Spoken language, spoken informally rath ...
. The development of the Napoleonic Code was a fundamental change in the nature of the
civil law legal system Civil law is a legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law (legal system), civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal syst ...
, making laws clearer and more accessible. It also superseded the former conflict between royal legislative power and, particularly in the final years before the Revolution, protests by
judge A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In th ...

judge
s representing views and privileges of the social classes to which they belonged. Such conflict led the Revolutionaries to take a negative view of judges making law. This is reflected in the Napoleonic Code provision prohibiting judges from deciding a case by way of introducing a general rule (Article 5), since the creation of general rules is an exercise of
legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure ...
and not of
judicial power The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authori ...
. In theory, there is thus no
case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is calle ...
in France. However, the courts still had to fill in the gaps in the laws and regulations and, indeed, were prohibited from refusing to do so (Article 4). Moreover, both the code and legislation have required judicial interpretation. Thus a vast body of case law has come into existence. There is no rule of ''
stare decisis A precedent is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case A legal case is in a general sense a dispute between opposing parties which may be resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case is typically based ...
''.


Contents of the Napoleonic Code

The preliminary article of the Code established certain important provisions regarding the
rule of law The rule of law is defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal of the , published by (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a compreh ...

rule of law
. Laws could be applied only if they had been duly promulgated, and then only if they had been published officially (including provisions for publishing delays, given the means of communication available at the time). Thus, no secret laws were authorized. It prohibited '' ex post facto'' laws (i.e. laws that apply to events that occurred before their introduction). The code also prohibited judges from refusing justice on grounds of insufficiency of the law, thereby encouraging them to interpret the law. On the other hand, it prohibited judges from passing general judgements of a legislative value (see above). With regard to family, the Code established the supremacy of the husband over his wife and children, which was the general legal situation in Europe at the time. Women had even fewer rights than children. Divorce by mutual consent was abolished in 1804.


Other French codes of Napoleon's era


Military code

The Draft on Military Code was presented to Napoleon by the Special Commission headed by Pierre Daru in June 1805; however, as the War Against the Third Coalition progressed, the Code was put aside and never implemented.


Criminal code

In 1791, Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau presented a new criminal code to the national Constituent Assembly. He explained that it outlawed only "true crimes", and not "phony offenses created by superstition, feudalism, the tax system, and oyal
despotism Despotism ( el, Δεσποτισμός, ''despotismós'') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, go ...
". He did not list the crimes "created by superstition". The new penal code did not mention
blasphemy Blasphemy is an insult that shows contempt, disrespect, or lack of reverence concerning a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male de ...
,
heresy Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
,
sacrilege Konstantin Makovsky, ''The Bulgarian Martyresses'', 1877. Depicts bashibazouks of the Ottoman Empire violating adherents of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church inside one of its churches. Sacrilege is the violation or injurious treatment of a sacred o ...

sacrilege
,
witchcraft In many cultures, witchcraft traditionally means the use of magic or supernatural powers, usually to harm others. A practitioner is a witch. In medieval and early modern Europe, where the term ''witchcraft'' originated, accused witches were ...

witchcraft
,
incest Incest ( ) is between family members or close . This typically includes sexual activity between people in (blood relations), and sometimes those related by ( or ), adoption, or . The is one of the most widespread of all cultural s, both in ...
or
homosexuality Homosexuality is romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic music, of that era ** Romantic poetry, of that era ** R ...
, which led to these former offences being swiftly decriminalized. In 1810, a new criminal code was issued under Napoleon. As with the Penal Code of 1791, it did not contain provisions for religious crimes, incest or homosexuality.


Code of civil procedure

As the entire legal system was being overhauled, the new code of civil procedure was adopted in 1806.


Commercial code

The commercial code (''code de commerce'') was adopted in 1807. The kernel of the commercial code is th
BOOK III
"Of The Different Modes Of Acquiring Property", of the Napoleonic Code. It is a norm about the contracts and transactions.


Code of criminal instruction

In 1808, a code of criminal instruction (''code d'instruction criminelle'') was published. This code laid out
criminal procedure Criminal procedure is the adjudication Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbitration, arbiter or judge reviews evidence (law), evidence and argumentation, including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants, to come ...
. The ''
parlement A ''parlement'' (), under the French Ancien Régime The '' Storming of the Bastille'' on 14 July 1789, later taken to mark the end of the ''Ancien Régime''; watercolour by Jean-Pierre Houël The Ancien Régime (; ; literally "old rul ...

parlement
'' system, from before the Revolution, had been guilty of much abuse, while the criminal courts established by the Revolution were a complex and ineffective system, subject to many local pressures. The genesis of this code resulted in much debate. The resulting code is the basis of the modern so-called "
inquisitorial system An inquisitorial system is a legal system in which the court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out th ...
" of criminal courts, used in France and many
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
countries, though significantly changed since Bonaparte's day (especially with regard to the expansion of the rights of the defendant). The French Revolution's
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (french: Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789, links=no), set by France's National Constituent Assembly in 1789, is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most ...
declared that suspects were presumed to be innocent until they had been declared guilty by a
court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...

court
. A concern of Bonaparte's was the possibility of arbitrary arrest, or excessive remand (imprisonment prior to a trial). Bonaparte remarked that care should be taken to preserve personal freedoms, especially when the case was before the Imperial Court: "these courts would have a great strength, they should be prohibited from abusing this situation against weak citizens without connections." However, remand still was the usual procedure for defendants suspected of serious crimes such as murder. The possibility of lengthy remand periods was one reason why the Napoleonic Code was criticized for its ''de facto''
presumption of guilt A presumption of guilt is any presumption within the criminal justice system that a person is guilty of a crime, for example a presumption that a suspect is guilty unless or until proven to be innocent. Such a presumption may legitimately aris ...
, particularly in
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or 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. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most-us ...
countries. Another reason was the combination of magistrate and prosecutor in one position. However, the legal proceedings did not have ''
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
'' presumption of guilt; for instance, the juror's oath explicitly required that the jury not betray the interests of the defendants and not ignore the means of defense. The rules governing court proceedings, by today's standards, gave significant power to the prosecution; however, criminal justice in European countries in those days tended to side with repression. For instance, it was only in 1836 that prisoners charged with a
felony A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousnessSeriousness (noun; adjective: ''serious'') is an attitude of gravity Gravity (), or gravitation, is a list of natural phenomena, natural phenomenon by which all things with m ...
were given a formal
right to counsel Right to counsel means a defendant has a right to have the assistance of counsel (i.e., lawyer A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney at lawAttorney at law or attorney-at-law, usually abbreviated in ever ...
, in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
. In comparison, article 294 of the Napoleonic Code of Criminal Procedure allowed the defendant to have a lawyer before the Court of Assizes (judging felonies), and mandated the court to appoint a lawyer for the defendant if the defendant did not have one (failure to do so rendered the proceedings null). Whether or not the
Cour d'assises A French ''cour d'assises'', or Assize Court, is a Criminal law, criminal trial court with original jurisdiction, original and Appellate jurisdiction, appellate limited jurisdiction to hear cases involving defendants accused of felonies, i.e. ''cri ...
, whose task was to judge severe crimes, were to operate with a
jury A jury is a sworn body of people (the jurors) convened to render an impartial Impartiality (also called evenhandedness or fair-mindedness) is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objectivity (philosophy), objective ...

jury
was a topic of considerable controversy. Bonaparte supported jury trials (or petit jury), and they were finally adopted. On the other hand, Bonaparte was opposed to the
indictment An indictment ( ) is a criminal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In jurisdictions that use the concept of felony, felonies, the most serious criminal offence is a felony; jurisdictions that do not use the felonies concept often use th ...
jury ("
grand jury A grand jury is a —a group of s—empowered by law to conduct , investigate potential , and determine whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may physical evidence or a person to testify. A grand jury is separate from the s, ...
" of
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or 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. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most-us ...
countries), and preferred to give this task to the criminal division of the
Court of Appeal An appellate court, commonly called an ''appeals court'', ''court of appeals'' (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the Engl ...
s. Some special courts were created to judge criminals who could intimidate the jury.


The French codes in the 21st century

The French codes, now more than 60 in number, are frequently amended, as well as judicially re-interpreted. Therefore, for over a century all of the codes in force have been documented in the annually revised editions published by
DallozDalloz is a French publisher that specializes in legal matters and is France's main legal publisher. It was founded by Désiré Dalloz and his brother Armand in 1845. Dalloz was acquired by Groupe de La Cite in 1989. CEP acquired almost complete ...
(Paris). These editions consist of thorough
annotation An annotation is extra information associated with a particular point in a document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of develop ...

annotation
s, with references to other codes, relevant
statute A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...

statute
s, judicial decisions (even if unpublished), and international instruments. The "small (''petit'')" version of the Civil Code in this form is nearly 3,000 pages, available in print and online. Additional material, including scholarly articles, is added in the larger "expert (''expert'')" version and the still larger "mega (''méga'')" version, both of which are available in print and on searchable
CD-ROM A CD-ROM (, compact disc read-only memory) is a pre-pressed optical compact disc The compact disc (CD) is a digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital ...

CD-ROM
. By this stage, it has been suggested, the Civil Code has become "less a book than a database". The sheer number of codes, together with digitisation, led the Commission supérieure de codification to reflect in its annual report for 2011: :The Commission observes that the age of drawing up new codes is probably reaching its end. The aim of a nearly complete codification of the law is no longer pursued, for three reasons: firstly, the technical developments by which texts are provided in non-physical form offer to users modes of access that are comparable in many ways to those available through a code; secondly, the creation of new codes encounters a kind of law of diminishing returns in that, the more progress that is made in the development of new codes, the trickier it becomes to determine in which code particular provisions should be located; and, finally, it is clear that certain kinds of provision ..are unsuitable for codification, since codification makes sense only when it involves provisions that possess sufficient generality. A year later, the Commission recommended that, after its current codification projects were completed, there should not be any further codes; an additional reason was government delay in publishing reforms that the Commission had completed. The government responded encouragingly in March 2013, but the Commission complains that this has not been followed through; in particular, that the government has abandoned its plan for a public service code (''code général de la fonction publique'').


Codes in other countries

Even though the Napoleonic Code was not the first civil code and did not represent the whole of his empire, it was one of the most influential. It was adopted in many countries occupied by the French during the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, and thus formed the basis of the private law systems of
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
(and their former colonies), and
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
(1808–1946). In the German regions on the west bank of the Rhine ( Rhenish Palatinate and
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
n
Rhine Province The Rhine Province (german: Rheinprovinz), also known as Rhenish Prussia (''Rheinpreußen'') or synonymous with the Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'' ...
), the former
Duchy of Berg Berg was a state—originally a county, later a duchy—in the Rhineland of Germany. Its capital was Düsseldorf. It existed as a distinct political entity from the early 12th to the 19th centuries. The name of the county lives on in the modern ge ...
and the
Grand Duchy of Baden The Grand Duchy of Baden (german: Großherzogtum Baden) was a state in the southwest German Empire on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918. It came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subse ...
, the Napoleonic Code was in use until the introduction of the
Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch The ''Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch'' (, lit.: 'Civil Law Book'), abbreviated BGB, is the civil code of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languag ...
in 1900 as the first common civil code for the entire
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
. A number of factors have been shown by Arvind and Stirton to have had a determinative role in the decision by the German states to receive the Code, including territorial concerns, Napoleonic control and influence, the strength of central state institutions, a feudal economy and society, rule by
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...

liberal
( enlightened despotic) rulers, nativism (local patriotism) among the governing elites, and popular
anti-French sentiment Anti-French sentiment (Francophobia or Gallophobia) is fear or contempt of France, the French people, the French government or the Francophonie (set of political entities that use French as an official language or whose French-speaking population is ...
. A civil code with strong Napoleonic influences was also adopted in 1864 in
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
, and remained in force until 2011. The Code was also adopted in Egypt as part of the system of mixed courts introduced in Egypt after the fall of Khedive Ismail. The Code was translated into Arabic from the French by Youssef Wahba Pasha between 1881 and 1883. Other codes with some influence in their own right were the Swiss Civil Code, Swiss, Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, German, and Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, Austrian codes, but even therein some influence of the French code can be felt, as the Napoleonic Code is considered the first successful codification. Thus, the civil law systems of the countries of modern continental Europe, with the exception of Russia and the Scandinavia, Scandinavian countries have, to different degrees, been influenced by the Napoleonic Code. The legal systems of the United Kingdom other than Scotland, as well as Ireland and the Commonwealth, are derived from English common law rather than from Roman roots. Scots law, though also a civil law system, is uncodified; it was strongly influenced by Roman-Dutch law, Roman-Dutch legal thought, and after the Act of Union 1707, by English law. The term "Napoleonic Code" is also used to refer to legal codes of other jurisdictions that are influenced by the ''French Code Napoléon'', especially the ''Civil Code of Lower Canada'' (replaced in 1994 by the ''Civil Code of Quebec''), mainly derived from the ''Coutume de Paris'', which the British continued to use in Canada following the Treaty of Paris (1763), 1763 Treaty of Paris. Most of the laws in Latin American countries are also heavily based on the Napoleonic Code, e.g. the Civil Code (Chile), Chilean Civil Code and the Puerto Rican Civil Code. In the United States, the legal system is largely based on English common law. But the state of Louisiana is unique in having a strong influence from Napoleonic Code and Spanish legal traditions on its Law of Louisiana, civil code. Spanish and French colonial forces quarreled over Louisiana during most of the 1700s, with Spain ultimately ceding the territory to France in 1800, which in turn sold the territory to the United States in 1803. The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, 10th Amendment to the US Constitution grants states control of laws not specifically given to the Federal government, so Louisiana's legal system retains many French elements. Examples of the practical legal differences between Louisiana and the other states include the bar exam and legal standards of practice for attorneys in Louisiana being significantly different from other states; Louisiana being the only American state to practice forced heirship of a deceased person's estate; and some of Louisiana's laws clashing with the Uniform Commercial Code practiced by the other 49 states.Engber, Daniel
Is Louisiana Under Napoleonic Code?
Slate.com, retrieved 11 September 2014


In fiction

* The "Code Napoleon" is mentioned in E. M. Forster's posthumously-published novel ''Maurice (novel), Maurice'' (1971), with reference to France being a safe haven for gay men or, as Maurice puts it, "unspeakable(s) of the Oscar Wilde type." * The Napoleonic Code is mentioned by Stanley Kowalski in ''A Streetcar Named Desire'' by Tennessee Williams, in an effort to ensure he could benefit from any inheritance his wife Stella might share with her sister Blanche DuBois. * "Nobody owns the land between the levee and the river. It is the property of all the people. That's the Napoleonic Code. You lease it from the people, represented by the Port Authority or the Levee Board. That's the Municipal Code," explains Tubby Dubonnet (referring to New Orleans, LA) in ''Lucky Man'', a 2013 novel by Tony Dunbar.


References

;Notes * G. Levasseur, "Napoléon et l’élaboration des codes répressifs" in ''Mélanges en hommage à Jean Imbert'' (Paris, PUF, 1989) p. 371
''Code Pénal'' and ''Code d'Instruction Criminelle'' - Original French Texts and other old legislation


Further reading

* Crabb, John H., trans. ''The French Civil Code'', revised ed. (as amended to 1 July 1994). Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co.; Deventer, The Netherlands: Kluwer Law and Taxation, 1995. * Fairgrieve, Duncan, ed. ''The Influence of the French Civil Code on the Common Law and Beyond''. London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 2007. * Fisher, H. A. L. "The Codes", in ''Cambridge Modern History'', ed. A. W. Ward (1906). Vol. IX, pp. 148–79. An old standard scholarly summary
online free
* Halperin, Jean-Louis. ''The French Civil Code''. Trans. Tony Weir. London: Routledge, 2006. * Josselin, Jean-Michel, and Alain Marciano. "The Making of the French Civil Code: An Economic Interpretation". ''European Journal of Law and Economics'' 14.3 (2002): 193-203.
online
* Lobingier, Charles Summer. "Napoleon and His Code". ''Harvard Law Rev.'' 32 (1918): 114+
online
* Lydorf, Claudia (2012)
Romance Legal FamilyEGO - European History Online
Mainz
Institute of European History
retrieved: March 25, 2021
pdf
. * Schwartz, Bernard, ed. ''The Code Napoleon and the common-law world: the sesquicentennial lectures delivered at the Law Center of New York University, December 13–15, 1954'' (The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 1998). 438 pp. * Smithers, William W. "The Code Napoléon". ''American Law Register'' (1901): 127-147. . * Tunc, André. "Grand Outlines of the Code Napoleon". ''Tulane Law Review'' 29 (1954): 431+. * Tunc, André. "Husband and Wife Under French Law: Past, Present, Future". ''University of Pennsylvania Law Review'' 104 (1955): 1064
online


External links

* :fr:Code civil (France), Code Napoléon in French Wikipedia
English translation of the original text
*


Current French Text: Légifrance"The 'Other' Little Red Book"
Interview with legal historian Jean-Louis Halpérin in ''France Magazine''. {{DEFAULTSORT:Napoleonic Code 1804 in law 1804 establishments in France Civil codes French law Napoleon