Napoleonic code
Overview
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon (originally, the Code civil des français) — is the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 civil code
Civil code
A civil code is a systematic collection of laws designed to comprehensively deal with the core areas of private law. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure...

, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified. It was drafted rapidly by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on March 21, 1804.
Encyclopedia
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon (originally, the Code civil des français) — is the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 civil code
Civil code
A civil code is a systematic collection of laws designed to comprehensively deal with the core areas of private law. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure...

, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified. It was drafted rapidly by a commission of four eminent jurists and entered into force on March 21, 1804. The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 legal system — it was preceded by the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis
Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis
The Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis is a civil code enacted in the Duchy of Bavaria in 1756. It was named after Maximilian III Joseph, and written in German, although included many Latin phrases. In its content, it adhered to the Usus modernus Pandectarum more strongly than later codification...

 (Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, 1756), the Allgemeines Landrecht (Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, 1794) and the West Galician Code
West Galician Code
The West Galician code was a civil code created in the 18th century and introduced in West Galicia, an administrative region of the Habsburg Monarchy, created after the Third Partition of Poland, prior to the introduction of ABGB, the civil code of Austria. It contained little in the way of solving...

 (Galicia
Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria
The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria was a crownland of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire, and Austria–Hungary from 1772 to 1918 .This historical region in eastern Central Europe is currently divided between Poland and Ukraine...

, then part of Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, 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
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

. 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.

History

The categories of the Napoleonic Code were drawn not from earlier French laws but instead from Justinian's
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

 sixth-century codification of Roman law
Roman law
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

, the Corpus Juris Civilis
Corpus Juris Civilis
The Corpus Juris Civilis is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor...

and, within it, the Institutes. The Institutes divide law into law of:
  1. persons
  2. things
  3. actions.


Similarly, the Napoleonic Code divided law into law of:
  1. persons
  2. property
  3. acquisition of property
  4. civil procedure (removed into a separate code in 1806).


Napoleon set out to reform the French legal system in accordance with the ideas of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 because the old feudal and royal laws seemed confusing and contradictory to the people. Before the Code, France did not have a single set of law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

s: law consisted mainly of local customs, which had sometimes been officially compiled in "customals (coutume
Coutume
Coutumes are legal customs of France.During the Middle Ages and early modern period the French kings and their vassals constantly asserted the importance and, in effect, primacy of customary law, especially in the lands north and west of Paris. The area where the French customary law was in force...

s)", notably the Coutume de Paris; there were also exemptions, privilege
Privilege
A privilege is a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional basis. It can be revoked in certain circumstances. In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth...

s and special charters granted by the kings or other feudal lords. During the Revolution, the last vestiges of feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 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. Leading this drafting process was Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès
Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès
Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès, 1st Duke of Parma was a French lawyer and statesman during the French Revolution and the First Empire, best remembered as the author of the Napoleonic code, which still forms the basis of French civil law.-Early career:Cambacérès was born in Montpellier, into a...

. His drafts of 1793 (which he had been told to produce, impossibly, inside a month), 1794 and 1796, however, were adopted only piecemeal by a National Convention
National Convention
During the French Revolution, the National Convention or Convention, in France, comprised the constitutional and legislative assembly which sat from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795 . It held executive power in France during the first years of the French First Republic...

 more concerned with the turmoil resulting from the various wars and strife with other European powers. A fresh start was made after Napoleon's coming to power in 1799. A commission of four eminent jurists was appointed in 1800, chaired by Cambacérès, now Second Consul, and sometimes by First Consul Napoleon himself. After intensive scrutiny by the Council of State, by 1801 the Code was complete, however it was not published until the 21 of March of 1804. Promulgated as the Civil Code of the French (code civil des Français), it was renamed the Napoleonic Code (code Napoléon) in 1807.

Developed mainly out of the various customals, this process was inspired by Justinian's sixth-century codification of Roman law
Roman law
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments which occurred before the 7th century AD — when the Roman–Byzantine state adopted Greek as the language of government. The development of Roman law comprises more than a thousand years of jurisprudence — from the Twelve...

, the Corpus Iuris Civilis and, within that, Justinian's Code (Codex). However, The Napoleonic Code differed from Justinian's in important ways: it incorporated all kinds of earlier rules and 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, i.e. Christian, content; and it was written in the vernacular, French.

The development of the Napoleonic Code was a fundamental change in the nature of the civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 system; it made laws much clearer and much 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 - as well as a commitment to Reason and, with that, to generality over particularity - led the Revolutionaries to take a negative view of judges making law. This is reflected in the Napoleonic Code 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
Case law
In law, case law is the set of reported judicial decisions of selected appellate courts and other courts of first instance which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents in a process known as stare decisis...

 in France. However, the courts still had to fill the gaps in the laws and regulations and, indeed, were prohibited from refusing to do so (Article 4). Moreover, both the codes and legislation have required judicial interpretation. In these ways, a vast body of judicially created law (jurisprudence) has come into existence; while there is no rule of stare decisis
Stare decisis
Stare decisis is a legal principle by which judges are obliged to respect the precedents established by prior decisions...

(binding precedent), the decisions by important courts have become more or less equivalent to case law
Case law
In law, case law is the set of reported judicial decisions of selected appellate courts and other courts of first instance which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents in a process known as stare decisis...

 (see jurisprudence constante
Jurisprudence constante
Jurisprudence constante is a legal doctrine according to which a long series of previous decisions applying a particular rule of law is very important and may be determinative in subsequent cases...

).

Contents of the Code

The preliminary article of the Code established certain important provisions regarding the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

. Laws could be applied only if they had been duly promulgated, and 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 them). The code also prohibited judges from refusing justice on grounds of insufficiency of the law—therefore 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 husband with respect to the wife and children; this was the general legal situation in Europe at the time. It did, however, allow divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

 on liberal basis compared to other European countries, including divorce by mutual consent.

Penal code

In 1791, Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau
Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau
Louis-Michel le Peletier, marquis de Saint-Fargeau was a French politician.-Career:...

 had 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 [royal] despotism". He did not list the crimes "created by superstition" (meaning the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 religion), but these certainly included blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege, and witchcraft. All these former offenses were swiftly decriminalized.
In 1810, a new criminal code was issued under Napoleon. As with the Penal Code of 1791, it did not contain provisions against religious crimes or same-sex sexual acts.

Code of civil procedure

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

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
Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated criminal law.-Basic rights:Currently, in many countries with a democratic system and the rule of law, criminal procedure puts the burden of proof on the prosecution – that is, it is up to the...

. The parlement
Parlement
Parlements were regional legislative bodies in Ancien Régime France.The political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the previous council of the king, the Conseil du roi or curia regis, and consequently had ancient and customary rights of consultation and...

system from before the Revolution had been guilty of much abuse; 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
Inquisitorial system
An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in investigating the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is primarily that of an impartial referee between the prosecution and the defense...

" of criminal courts, used in France and many civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 countries — though, of course, it has significantly changed since Napoléon's days (especially, with improvements of the right of the defense).

The French Revolution's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is a fundamental document of the French Revolution, defining the individual and collective rights of all the estates of the realm as universal. Influenced by the doctrine of "natural right", the rights of man are held to be universal: valid...

 had declared that suspects were presumed to be innocent until they had been declared to be guilty by a court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

. A concern of Bonaparte's was the possibility of arbitrary arrest, or excessive remand
Detention of suspects
The detention of suspects is the process of keeping a person who has been arrested in a police-cell, remand prison or other detention centre before trial or sentencing. One criticism of pretrial detention is that eventual acquittal can be a somewhat hollow victory, in that there is no way to...

 (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 citizen without connections." However, remand still was the normal procedure for suspects of severe crimes, such as murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

.

The possibility for justice to endorse lengthy remand periods was one reason why the Napoleonic Code was criticized for de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

presumption of guilt
Presumption of innocence
The presumption of innocence, sometimes referred to by the Latin expression Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, is the principle that one is considered innocent until proven guilty. Application of this principle is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, recognised in many...

, particularly in common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 countries. Another reason was the combination of magistrate and prosecutor in one position. However, the legal proceedings certainly did not have de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

presumption of guilt; for instance, the juror's oath explicitly recommended that the jury did not betray the interests of the defendants, and took attention of the means of defense.

The rules governing court proceedings, by today's standards, probably gave too much power to the prosecution; it must be said, however, that 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
Felony
A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

 were allowed to have counsel
Right to counsel
Right to counsel is currently generally regarded as a constituent of the right to a fair trial, allowing for the defendant to be assisted by counsel , and if he cannot afford his own lawyer, requiring that the government should appoint one for him/her, or pay his/her legal expenses...

 (i.e. a lawyer) in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 (the Prisoners' Counsel Act). In comparison, article 294 of the Napoleonic Code of Criminal Procedure allowed the defendant to have a lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 before the Court of Assizes (judging felonies), and mandated the court to appoint the defendant a lawyer if the defendant did not have one (failure to do so rendered the proceedings null).

Whether or not the assize court
Cour d'assises
A French cour d'assises or Assize Court is a criminal trial court with original and appellate limited jurisdiction to hear cases involving defendants accused of major felonies or indictable offences, or crimes in French, and one of the few to be decided by jury trialUnder French law, a crime is any...

s, whose task was to judge severe crimes, were to operate with a jury
Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

 was a topic of considerable controversy; Bonaparte supported judgment juries, and they were finally adopted. On the other hand, Bonaparte was opposed to the indictment
Indictment
An indictment , in the common-law legal system, is a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In jurisdictions that maintain the concept of felonies, the serious criminal offence is a felony; jurisdictions that lack the concept of felonies often use that of an indictable offence—an...

 jury ("grand jury
Grand jury
A grand jury is a type of jury that determines whether a criminal indictment will issue. Currently, only the United States retains grand juries, although some other common law jurisdictions formerly employed them, and most other jurisdictions employ some other type of preliminary hearing...

" in common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 countries) and preferred to give this task to the criminal section of the Court of Appeal. Some special courts were created for the judgment of criminals who could intimidate the jury.

Bonaparte also insisted that the courts judging civil
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

 and criminal
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

 cases should be the same, if only to give them more prestige.

The French codes today

The French codes - now more than 40 of them - are frequently amended, as well as judicially re-interpreted. Therefore, for more than a century now, all of the codes in force have actually been used in the annually revised editions published by Dalloz
Dalloz
Dalloz is a French publisher specialized in legal matters.The company was founded in 1845 by Désiré Dalloz, and notably publishes the Recueil Dalloz.-External links:...

, Paris. These editions are massively annotated with references to other codes, as well as to relevant statutes, judicial decisions (even if unpublished) and international instruments. The basic version of the Civil Code in this form, although compact, runs to nearly 3,000 pages; the "Méga" version is on paper and, even more extensively, on CD-ROM; write by Serge Guinchard
Serge Guinchard
Serge Guinchard, born on May 9 1946 in Lyon is a French jurist, teacher emeritus professor of the University of Paris II. Lawyer often asked to give its views on matters within its scope, both in France and abroad, currently specializes in issues of justice and lawtrial,he has combined a dual...

 for the civil procedure, in 1999 and 2001, Dalloz editor.

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
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 and thus formed the basis of the private law systems also of Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 (and their former colonies), as well as Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 (1808–1946). In the German regions on the left bank of the Rhine (Rhenish Palatinate and Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n Rhine Province
Rhine Province
The Rhine Province , also known as Rhenish Prussia or synonymous to the Rhineland , was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822-1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg...

), the former Duchy of Berg and the Grand Duchy of Baden
Grand Duchy of Baden
The Grand Duchy of Baden was a historical state in the southwest of Germany, on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918.-History:...

, the Napoleonic code was in use until the introduction of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
The Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch is the civil code of Germany. In development since 1881, it became effective on January 1, 1900, and was considered a massive and groundbreaking project....

 in 1900 as the first common civil code for the entire German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

. 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 despotic) rulers, nativism (local patriotism) among the governing elites and popular anti-French sentiment.

The Napoleonic Code was also adopted in 1864 in Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 (with some modifications), which is still in force as of 2011 (articles 461 to 1914). The Code was also adopted in Egypt as part of the system of mixed courts introduced in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 after the fall of Khedive Ismail. The Code was translated into Arabic from the French by Youssef Wahba
Youssef Wahba
Youssef Wahba Pasha Egypt ian Prime Minister and jurist.Youssef Wahba was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1852 of a prominent Coptic family. His father, Wahba Bey had been a founder of the first Coptic charitable society that included Muslim scholars such as Abdallah Nadim and Sheikh Muhammed Abduh...

 Pasha between 1881-1883. Other codes with some influence in their own right were the Swiss, German
Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
The Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch is the civil code of Germany. In development since 1881, it became effective on January 1, 1900, and was considered a massive and groundbreaking project....

, and Austrian
Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
The Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch is the Civil Code of Austria, which was enacted in 1811 after about 40 years of preparatory works. Karl Anton Freiherr von Martini and Franz von Zeiller were the leading drafters at the earlier and later stages of the draft. Comparable to the Napoleonic...

 ones, but even there 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
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and the Scandinavian countries
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 have, to different degrees, been influenced by the Napoleonic Code. The legal systems of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 other than Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, as well as Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 and the Commonwealth, are derived from the English common law rather than from Roman roots. Scots law
Scots law
Scots law is the legal system of Scotland. It is considered a hybrid or mixed legal system as it traces its roots to a number of different historical sources. With English law and Northern Irish law it forms the legal system of the United Kingdom; it shares with the two other systems some...

, though also a civil law system, is uncodified; it was strongly influenced by Romano-Dutch legal thought, and — after the Act of Union 1707 — by English law. In the Gulf nations of the Middle East, the influence of the Napoleonic code mixed with hints of Islamic law is clear, even in Saudi Arabia (which abides more towards Islamic law). In Kuwait for example, property rights, women's rights, and the education system can be seen as Islamic reenactments of the French civil code. Some of these aspects can be seen in other Gulf states, although less pronounced than in Kuwait, this primarily being due to the democratic nature of Kuwait, rather than the absolutist nature of many other Gulf nations.

The term "Napoleonic code" is also used to refer to legal codes of other jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

s that are influenced by the French Code Napoléon, especially the civil code of Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, which was derived from the Coutume de Paris, which the British continued to use in Canada following the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 in 1763. Most of the laws in Latin American countries are also heavily based in the Napoleonic Code, such as the Chilean Civil Code
Civil Code (Chile)
The Civil Code of the Republic of Chile is the work of Venezuelan jurist and legislator Andrés Bello...

 and the Puerto Rican Civil Code. Despite being surrounded by Anglo-Saxon Common Law territories, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

's civil code has kept its Roman roots and some of its aspects feature influences by the Napoleonic Code, but is based more on Roman and Spanish civil traditions. As a result, the bar exam and legal standards of practice in Louisiana are significantly different from other states, and reciprocity
Reciprocity (international relations)
In international relations and treaties, the principle of reciprocity states that favours, benefits, or penalties that are granted by one state to the citizens or legal entities of another, should be returned in kind....

 for lawyers from other states is not available.

External links

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