Napoleonic Code

The Napoleonic Code (French: Code Napoléon; officially Code civil des Français, referred to as (le) Code civil) is the French civil code established under Napoleon I in 1804.[1]

It was drafted by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on 21 March 1804.[2] The Code, with its stress on clearly written and accessible law, was a major step in replacing the previous patchwork of feudal laws. Historian Robert Holtman regards it as one of the few documents that have influenced the whole world.[2]

The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system; it was preceded by the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis (Bavaria, 1756), the Allgemeines Landrecht (Prussia, 1794), and the West Galician Code (Galicia, then part of 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.[2] The Napoleonic Code influenced developing countries outside Europe, especially in the Middle East, attempting to modernize their countries through legal reforms.[3]

Speyer (DerHexer) 2010-12-19 051
The Napoleonic Code in the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer
Napoleonic Code or Code Napoléon
Code Civil 1804
First page of the 1804 original edition.
Original titleCode civil des Français
Code Napoléon
Date effective21 March 1804 (frequently amended)


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, the Corpus Juris Civilis and within it, the Institutes.[4] The Institutes divide law into the law of:

  1. persons
  2. things
  3. actions.

Similarly, the Napoleonic Code divided law into four sections:

  1. persons
  2. property
  3. acquisition of property
  4. civil procedure (moved into a separate code in 1806).

Napoleonic reforms

Napoleon set out to reform the French legal system in accordance with the ideas of the French Revolution, because the old feudal and royal laws seemed confusing and contradictory. Before the Napoleonic Code, France did not have a single set of laws; law consisted mainly of local customs, which had sometimes been officially compiled in "customals" (coutumes), 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 were abolished.

Specifically, as to civil law, the many different bodies of law used in different parts of France were replaced by a single legal code. Jean-Jacques Régis de Cambacérès led this drafting process. His drafts of 1793 (for which he had been given a one-month deadline), 1794, and 1799, however, were adopted only piecemeal by a National Convention more concerned about the turmoil resulting from the various wars and strife with other European powers.

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 Faure and chaired by Cambacérès (now Second Consul), and sometimes by the First Consul, Napoleon himself. The Code was complete by 1801, after intensive scrutiny by the Council of State, 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 process developed mainly out of the various customals, but was inspired by Justinian’s sixth-century codification of Roman law, the Corpus Iuris Civilis 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.

The development of the Napoleonic Code was a fundamental change in the nature of the civil law system, 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 judges 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 and not of judicial power. In theory, there is thus no case law 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 (binding precedent) in French law, but decisions by important courts have become more or less equivalent to case law (see jurisprudence constante).

Contents of the Napoleonic Code

The preliminary article of the Code established certain important provisions regarding the 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 judgments of a legislative value (see above).

With regard to family, the Code established the supremacy of the man over the wife and children, which was the general legal situation in Europe at the time.[5] A woman was given fewer rights than a minor. Divorce by mutual consent was abolished in 1804.[6]

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.[7] He explained that it outlawed only "true crimes", and not "phony offenses created by superstition, feudalism, the tax system, and [royal] despotism".[8] He did not list the crimes "created by superstition". The new penal code did not mention blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege, witchcraft or homosexuality, 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 or homosexuality.

Code of civil procedure

As the entire legal system was being overhauled, the code of civil procedure was adopted in 1806. This had to do with the legal system, specifically how judges were corresponding over different regions of France.

Commercial code

The commercial code (code de commerce) was adopted in 1807.[9] The kernel of the commercial code is the 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. The 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" of criminal courts, used in France and many civil law 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 declared that suspects were presumed to be innocent until they had been declared guilty by a 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, particularly in common law countries. Another reason was the combination of magistrate and prosecutor in one position.[10] However, the legal proceedings did not have de jure 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 were given a formal right to counsel, in England. 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, whose task was to judge severe crimes, were to operate with a 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 jury ("grand jury" of common law countries), and preferred to give this task to the criminal division of the Court of Appeals. Some special courts were created to judge of criminals who could intimidate the jury.

Bonaparte also insisted that the courts judging civil and criminal cases should be the same, if only to give them more prestige.

The French codes in the 21st century

The French codes, now more than 60 in number,[11] 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 Dalloz (Paris).[12] These editions consist of thorough annotations, with references to other codes, relevant statutes, 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. By this stage, it has been suggested, the Civil Code has become "less a book than a database".[13]

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.[14]

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.[15] 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).[16]

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, and thus formed the basis of the private law systems of Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal (and their former colonies), and Poland (1808–1946). In the German regions on the west bank of the Rhine (Rhenish Palatinate and Prussian Rhine Province), the former Duchy of Berg and the Grand Duchy of Baden, the Napoleonic Code was in use until the introduction of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch in 1900 as the first common civil code for the entire German Empire.[17]

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 (enlightened despotism) rulers, nativism (local patriotism) among the governing elites, and popular anti-French sentiment.[17]

A civil code with strong Napoleonic influences was also adopted in 1864 in Romania, and remained in force until 2011.[18] 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, German, and 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 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 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 in 1763. Most of the laws in Latin American countries are also heavily based on the Napoleonic Code, e.g. the Chilean Civil Code and the Puerto Rican Civil Code.[19]

In the United States, whose legal system is largely based on English common law, the state of Louisiana is unique in having a strong influence from Napoleonic Code and Spanish legal traditions on its 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).[20] 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.[21]

In fiction


  1. ^ Code civil des français: édition originale et seule officielle. Paris: L'Impremerie de la République. XII. 1804. Retrieved November 28, 2016 – via Gallica.
  2. ^ a b c Robert B. Holtman, The Napoleonic Revolution (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981)
  3. ^ Mohamed A.M. Ismail (2016). Globalization and New International Public Works Agreements in Developing Countries: An Analytical Perspective. Routledge. p. 19. ISBN 9781317127031 – via Google Books. All civil codes of Arab Middle Eastern states are based on Napoleonic Codes and were influenced by Egyptian legislation
  4. ^ Iain Stewart (2012). "Mors Codicis: End of the Age of Codification?". Tulane European & Civil Law Forum. 27: 17 at 23–24.
  5. ^ Smith, Bonnie (2006). "Gender". Gale Virtual Reference Library. Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved 17 Feb 2016.
  6. ^ "The Code Napoléon: French Legislation on Divorce," Exploring the European Past: Texts & Images, Second Edition, ed. Timothy E. Gregory (Mason: Thomson, 2007), 62-64.
  7. ^ "Livre III ... du code pénal". Choix de rapports, opinions et discours prononcés à la tribune nationale (in French). VI. Paris: A. Eymery. 1819. p. 320. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  8. ^ "ces délits factices, créés par la superstition, la féodalité, la fiscalité et le despotisme" (id., p 325).
  9. ^ Code de commerce Retrieved 2011-12-30
  10. ^ "French Criminal Procedure" (PDF). New York Times. 14 April 1895. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Recherche simple dans les codes en vigueur - Legifrance".
  12. ^ "Code civil, Code du travail, tous les livres de droit des Editions Dalloz".
  13. ^ Iain Stewart (2012). "Mors Codicis: End of the Age of Codification?". Tulane European & Civil Law Forum. 27: 17 at 24–25.
  14. ^ Commission supérieure de codification, Vingt et unième rapport annuel 2010 (Paris, 2011), 13; quoted and translated, Iain Stewart (2012). "Mors Codicis: End of the Age of Codification?". Tulane European & Civil Law Forum. 27: 17 at 25.
  15. ^ Commission supérieure de codification, Vingt-deuxième rapport annuel 2011 (Paris, 2012), 21.
  16. ^ Commission supérieure de codification, Vingt-quatrième rapport annuel 2013 (Paris, 2014), 6-7.
  17. ^ a b Arvind TT; Stirton L (March 2010). "Explaining the Reception of the Code Napoleon in Germany: a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis". Legal Studies. 30 (1): 1–29. doi:10.1111/j.1748-121X.2009.00150.x. Archived from the original on 2013-01-05.
  18. ^ "Noul Cod civil promovează medierea". 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  19. ^ Rabel, Ernst (1950), "Private Laws of Western Civilization: Part II. The French Civil Code", Louisiana Law Review, 10, p. 110, retrieved December 1, 2016
  20. ^ Bonfield, Lloyd (2006). "Napoleonic Code". Gale Virtual Reference Library. Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved 17 Feb 2016.
  21. ^ Engber, Daniel. Is Louisiana Under Napoleonic Code?, retrieved 11 September 2014

Further reading

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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. online
  • 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

1804 in France

Events from the year 1804 in France

Adversarial system

The adversarial system or adversary system is a legal system used in the common law countries where two advocates represent their parties' case or position before an impartial person or group of people, usually a jury or judge, who attempt to determine the truth and pass judgment accordingly. It is in contrast to the inquisitorial system used in some civil law systems (i.e. those deriving from Roman law or the Napoleonic code) where a judge investigates the case.

The adversarial system is the two-sided structure under which criminal trial courts operate, putting the prosecution against the defense.

Burgerlijk Wetboek

The Burgerlijk Wetboek (or BW) is the Civil Code of the Netherlands. Early versions were largely based on the Napoleonic Code. The Dutch Civil Code was substantively reformed in 1992. The Code deals with the rights of natural persons (Book 1), legal persons (Book 2), patrimony (Book 3) and succession (Book 4). It also sets out the law of property (e.g., ownership, possession, and security interests) (Book 5), obligations and contracts (Books 6-7), and conflict of laws (Book 10). Proposed amendments will add a Book on intellectual property. The codification of laws is still being used in Indonesia as a pinnacle of the private laws besides Sharia law and custom laws. The laws initially applied only to Dutch settlers and foreign traders such as Chinese traders, Indian traders and Arab traders during the Dutch colonial era in Dutch East Indies, but after the independence of Indonesia in 1945, the government decided to retain the old Dutch law, expanded in use to indigenous people and Moslems voluntarily. The 1992 reformed version does not apply in Indonesia.

Civil code

A civil code is a systematic collection of laws designed to deal with the core areas of private law such as for dealing with business and negligence lawsuits and practices. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure. In some jurisdictions with a civil code, a number of the core areas of private law that would otherwise typically be codified in a civil code may instead be codified in a commercial code.

Civil law (legal system)

Civil law, or civilian law, is a legal system originating in Europe, intellectualized within the framework of Roman law, the main feature of which is that its core principles are codified into a referable system which serves as the primary source of law. This can be contrasted with common law systems, the intellectual framework of which comes from judge-made decisional law, and gives precedential authority to prior court decisions, on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different occasions (doctrine of judicial precedent, or stare decisis).Historically, a civil law is the group of legal ideas and systems ultimately derived from the Corpus Juris Civilis, but heavily overlaid by Napoleonic, Germanic, canonical, feudal, and local practices, as well as doctrinal strains such as natural law, codification, and legal positivism.

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 and a codal article. The most pronounced features of civil systems are their legal codes, with brief legal texts that typically avoid factually specific scenarios. The short articles in a civil law code deal in generalities and stand in contrast with statutory systems, which are often very long and very detailed.


Coutumes were the customary laws of France.

Developed under feudalism during the Middle Ages and in the early modern period, the coutumes were the laws asserted and enforced by the French kings and their vassals, especially in the lands of the Île-de-France, to the exclusion of Roman law. The area where the French customary law (droit coutumier) was in force was known as the pays de coutume. In the south of France (pays de droit écrit) Roman law remained paramount. The line separating the two areas was generally the river Loire, from Geneva to the mouth of the Charente.

A number of regional coutumes were compiled in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Coutumes de Beauvaisis, compiled by Phillipe de Remy, had a long-lasting influence on French law. There were about 60 such regional coutumes. There were also more than 300 coutumes locales in specific towns and villages. Voltaire said that in France a traveler changed laws as often as he changed horses.However, by the 16th century the Coutumes of Paris (first published in 1510) had been adopted in all areas except Normandy, Burgundy and Brittany. Further development of customary law had been halted by the late 16th century.When the Napoleonic code entered into force in 1804 all the coutumes were abolished.

Félix-Julien-Jean Bigot de Préameneu

Félix Julien Jean Bigot de Préameneu (26 March 1747 - 31 July 1825) was one of the four legal authors of the Napoleonic Code written at the request of Napoleon at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès

Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès, duc de Parme (18 October 1753 – 8 March 1824), was a French nobleman, lawyer and statesman during the French Revolution and the First Empire. He is best remembered as one of the authors of the Napoleonic Code, which still forms the basis of French civil law and French-inspired civil law in many countries.

Judiciary of Egypt

The judicial system (or judicial branch) in Egypt, is an independent branch of the government which includes both secular and religious courts.

The Egyptian judicial system is based on European and primarily French legal concepts and methods.

The legal code is derived largely from the Napoleonic Code. Marriage and personal status are primarily based on the religious law of the individual concerned. Thus, there are three forms of family law in Egypt: Islamic, Christian, and secular (based on the French family laws).

The judicial branch plays an important role in the political process in Egypt, as the branch is given the responsibility to monitor and run the country's parliamentary and presidential elections.

Law in Europe

The law of Europe is diverse and changing fast today. Europe saw the birth of both the Roman Empire and the British Empire, which form the basis of the two dominant forms of legal system of private law, civil and common law.

Law of Belgium

The Belgian Law (Dutch: Belgisch recht; French: Droit belge) is very similar to that of neighbouring France, as a result of Belgium having adopted the Napoleonic code which governs French society. It also derives from the Constitution of Belgium and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Due to a series of state reforms in Belgium, the country has been transformed from a unitary to a federal state. Consequently, in addition to the federal level, the communities and regions have legislative authority in certain matters. Federal legislation is called a "law" whereas regional legislation is called a "decree" (decreet, décret), except for that of the Brussels-Capital Region which is called an "ordinance" (ordonnantie, ordonnance).

Law of Brazil

The law of Brazil is based on statutes and, partly and more recently, a mechanism called súmulas vinculantes. It derives mainly from the civil law systems of European countries, particularly Portugal, the Napoleonic Code and the Germanic law.

There are many codified statutes in force in Brazil. The current Federal Constitution, created on October 5, 1988, is the supreme law of the country. This Constitution has been amended many times. Other important federal law documents in the country include the Civil Code, the Penal Code, the Commercial Code, the National Tributary Code, the Consolidation of Labor Laws, the Customer Defense Code, the Civil Procedures Code and the Criminal Procedures Code.

The Constitution organizes the country as a Federative Republic formed by the indissoluble union of the states and municipalities and of the Federal District. Under the principles established in the Federal Constitution, Brazil's 26 federate states have powers to adopt their own Constitutions and laws. Municipalities also enjoy restricted autonomy as their legislation must follow the dictates of the Constitution of the state to which they belong, and consequently to those of the Federal Constitution itself. As for the Federal District, it blends functions of federate states and of municipalities, and its equivalent to a constitution, named Organic Law, must also obey the terms of the Federal Constitution.

List of Burgundy Grand Crus

Grand Cru (great growth) is the highest level in the vineyard classification of Burgundy. There are a total of 550 hectares (1,400 acres) of Grand Cru vineyards - approximately 2% of Burgundy's 28,000 hectares (69,000 acres) of vineyards (excluding Beaujolais) - of which 356 hectares (880 acres) produce red wine and 194 hectares (480 acres) produce white wine. In 2010, 18,670 hectoliters of Burgundy Grand Cru wine was produced, corresponding to 2.5 million bottles, or just over 1.3% of the total wine production of Burgundy.The origin of Burgundy's Grand crus can be traced to the work of the Cistercians who, from amongst their vast land holdings in the region, were able to delineate and isolate plots of land that produced wine of distinct character. Following the French Revolution many of these vineyards were broken up and sold as smaller parcels to various owners. The partible inheritance scheme outlined in the Napoleonic code, which specified that all inheritance must be equally divided among heirs, further contributed to the parceling of Burgundy's vineyards. This created situations such as the case of Clos Vougeot, a single 125-acre (51 ha) vineyard run by the monks, that today is parceled into plots owned by nearly 80 different owners, some of whom only own enough vines to make a case of wine per vintage. In accordance with Appellation d'origine contrôlée laws, each of these owners are entitled to use the Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot designation on their labels, although the quality, style, price and reputation of each owner's wine can vary widely.

List of national legal systems

The contemporary legal systems of the world are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each country is shaped by its unique history and so incorporates individual variations. The science that studies Law at the level of legal systems is called Comparative Law.

Both civil (also known as Roman) and common law systems can be considered the most widespread in the world: civil law because it is the most widespread by landmass, and common law because it is employed by the greatest number of people.

Partible inheritance

Partible inheritance is a system of inheritance in which property is apportioned among heirs. It contrasts in particular with primogeniture (common in feudal society), which requires that the whole or most of the inheritance passes to the eldest son, and with agnatic seniority where the succession passes to next senior male.

Partible inheritance systems are therefore common ones to be found, in both Common Law and Napoleonic Code-based systems; in the latter case, there may be further requirement implying division according to a scheme, such as equal shares for legitimate children.

Partible inheritance has been common in ancient Celtic and Germanic tribal societies; an example of this pattern is so-called Salic patrimony.

Historically speaking, non-partible inheritance has been associated with monarchies, and the wish that landed estates be kept together as units. In the Middle Ages, the partible inheritance systems of (for example) the Carolingian Empire and Kievan Rus had the effect of dividing kingdoms into princely states and are often thought responsible for their decline of power.

Partible inheritance was the generally accepted form of inheritance adopted by New Englanders in the 18th century. The southern colonies adopted a system of male primogeniture in cases of intestacy, while the northern colonies adopted a system of partible inheritance in cases of intestacy, with the eldest son receiving a double portion of the estate. In practice, a strong bequest motive in the colonies adopting multigeniture reduced the variability in demographic experiences across colonies with different inheritance systems.

Politics of Louisiana

The Politics of Louisiana are known for its entrenched corruption and populism. The State has toggled between Democratic and Republican control since the civil war, and has reliably supported populist candidates of all stripes, including Huey Long, Earl Long, David Duke, and George Wallace. Other distinct features of Louisiana's politics include its calcified aristocracy, use of the Napoleonic Code (instead of English Common Law, like the rest of the U.S.), history of white supremacy, and the divide between Catholics in the south and Evangelical Protestants in the north.

Property law

Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership and tenancy in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property. Movable property roughly corresponds to personal property, while immovable property corresponds to real estate or real property, and the associated rights, and obligations thereon.

The concept, idea or philosophy of property underlies all property law. In some jurisdictions, historically all property was owned by the monarch and it devolved through feudal land tenure or other feudal systems of loyalty and fealty.

Though the Napoleonic code was among the first government acts of modern times to introduce the notion of absolute ownership into statute, protection of personal property rights was present in medieval Islamic law and jurisprudence, and in more feudalist forms in the common law courts of medieval and early modern England as well

Rise of nationalism in Europe

Nationalism is the basis for the development of the modern nation-state. According to Leon Baradat, nationalism "calls on people to identify with the interests of their national group and to support the creation of a state - a nation-state - to support those interests." It was an important factor in the development of Europe. In the 19th century, a wave of romantic nationalism swept the European continent, transforming its countries. Some newly formed countries, such as Germany and Italy were formed by uniting various regional states with a common "national identity". Others, such as Greece, Serbia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, were formed by uprisings against the Ottoman Empire and Russia. Nationalism was the ideological impetus that, over the century, transformed Europe. Rule by monarchies and foreign control of territory was replaced by self-determination and newly formed national governments.

The French Revolution initiated the movement toward the modern nation-state and also played a key role in the birth of nationalism across Europe where radical intellectuals were influenced by Napoleon and the Napoleonic Code, an instrument for the political transformation of Europe. "Its twin ideological goals, nationalism and democracy, were given substance and form during the tumultuous events beginning at the end of the eighteenth century." Revolutionary armies carried the slogan of "liberty, equality and brotherhood" and ideas of liberalism and national self-determinism. National awakening also grew out of an intellectual reaction to the Enlightenment that emphasized national identity and developed a romantic view of cultural self-expression through nationhood. The key exponent of the modern idea of the nation-state was the German G. W. Friedrich Hegel. He argued that a sense of nationality was the cement that held modern societies together in the age when dynastic and religious allegiance was in decline. In 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars, the major powers of Europe tried to restore the old dynastic system as far as possible, ignoring the principle of nationality in favour of "legitimism", the assertion of traditional claims to royal authority. With most of Europe's peoples still loyal to their local province or city, nationalism was confined to small groups of intellectuals and political radicals. Furthermore, political repression, symbolized by the Carlsbad Decrees published in Austria in 1819, pushed nationalist agitation underground.

Six Codes

Six Codes (六法), refers to the six main legal codes that make up the main body of law in Japan, South Korea, and the Republic of China. Sometimes, the term is also used to describe the six major areas of law. Furthermore, it may refer to all or part of a collection of statutes.

The word roppō is a slightly adapted form of the word used in Japanese to describe the Napoleonic Code (ナポレオン五法典 Napoleon go-hōten) when it was brought over during the early Meiji period. Although the Napoleonic Code consisted of five major codes, the Japanese added to this their own constitution to form six codes in all, and thus it came to be called the roppō or "six codes."Legislation in Japan tends to be terse. The statutory volume Roppō Zensho(literally: Book of Six Codes), similar in size to a large dictionary, contains all six codes as well as many other statutes enacted by the Diet.

The Republic of China's legal system is strongly influenced by Japan's. As a result, the terms Six Codes and Book of Six Codes are also widely used in the Republic of China.

Civil codes of Europe
Sovereign states
States with limited
Dependencies and
other entities

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