Codification (law)

Hardcover of the 1917 Code of Canon Law

Process of collecting and restating the law of a jurisdiction in certain areas, usually by subject, forming a legal code, i.e. a codex of law.

- Codification (law)
Hardcover of the 1917 Code of Canon Law

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First page of the 1804 original edition of the Napoleonic code

Code of law

First page of the 1804 original edition of the Napoleonic code

A code of law, also called a law code or legal code, is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the code was enacted, by a process of codification.

The Royal Courts of Justice (main building pictured) is on the Strand in London. Together with its adjacent Thomas More Building and its outpost Rolls Building on Fetter Lane, it is the main seat of the High Court of Justice and the ordinary seat of the Court of Appeal.

English law

Common law legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly criminal law and civil law, each branch having its own courts and procedures.

Common law legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly criminal law and civil law, each branch having its own courts and procedures.

The Royal Courts of Justice (main building pictured) is on the Strand in London. Together with its adjacent Thomas More Building and its outpost Rolls Building on Fetter Lane, it is the main seat of the High Court of Justice and the ordinary seat of the Court of Appeal.
Statue of Lady Justice on the dome of the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales in the City of London (the "Old Bailey")
Sir William Blackstone in 1774, after his appointment as a Justice of the Court of King's Bench
Map of the British Empire under Queen Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century. "Dominions" refers to all territories belonging to the Crown.
The former Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square is the location of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Not being a civil law system, it has no comprehensive codification.

Legal systems of the world. Common law countries are in several shades of pink, corresponding to variations in common law systems.

Common law

Body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions.

Body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions.

Legal systems of the world. Common law countries are in several shades of pink, corresponding to variations in common law systems.
A view of Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster, London, early 19th century.
A 16th century edition of Corpus Juris Civilis Romani (1583)
USCA: some annotated volumes of the official compilation and codification of federal statutes.
The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution for a country, containing 395 articles, 12 schedules, numerous amendments and 117,369 words.
Sir William Blackstone as illustrated in his Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Black's Law Dictionary 10th Ed., definition 2, differentiates "common law" jurisdictions and legal systems from "civil law" or "code" jurisdictions.

Legal systems of the world. Civil law based systems are in turquoise.

Civil law (legal system)

Legal system originating in mainland Europe and adopted in much of the world.

Legal system originating in mainland Europe and adopted in much of the world.

Legal systems of the world. Civil law based systems are in turquoise.

The civil law system is intellectualized within the framework of Roman law, and with core principles codified into a referable system, which serves as the primary source of law.

National coat of arms

United States Code

National coat of arms
A few volumes of an annotated version of the United States Code

The Code of Laws of the United States of America (variously abbreviated to Code of Laws of the United States, United States Code, U.S. Code, U.S.C., or USC) is the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States.

Jurisdiction

Legal term for the authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice.

Legal term for the authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice.

The primary distinctions between areas of jurisdiction are codified at a national level.

The Moroccan-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship, sealed by Sultan Mohammed III.

Treaty

Formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law.

Formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law.

The Moroccan-American Treaty of Peace and Friendship, sealed by Sultan Mohammed III.
The signing of the Geneva Conventions in 1949. A country’s signature, through plenipotentiaries with "full power" to conclude a treaty, is often sufficient to manifest an intention to be bound by the treaty.
The International Court of Justice is often called upon to aid in the interpretation or implementation of treaties.
A treaty delegation of the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute indigenous tribes to Washington, D.C. (1858).

Treaties serve as primary sources of international law and have codified or established most international legal principles since the early 20th century.

Cover of the 1983 edition of the 1983 Code of Canon Law

1983 Code of Canon Law

The "fundamental body of ecclesiastical laws for the Latin Church".

The "fundamental body of ecclesiastical laws for the Latin Church".

Cover of the 1983 edition of the 1983 Code of Canon Law

It is the second and current comprehensive codification of canonical legislation for the Latin Church sui iuris of the Catholic Church.

Iustitia ("Lady Justice") is a symbolic personification of the coercive power of a tribunal: a sword representing state authority, scales representing an objective standard and a blindfold indicating that justice should be impartial.

Law

System of rules that are created and are enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate.

System of rules that are created and are enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate.

Iustitia ("Lady Justice") is a symbolic personification of the coercive power of a tribunal: a sword representing state authority, scales representing an objective standard and a blindfold indicating that justice should be impartial.
Classic symbol of law in heraldry.
"The Law" sculpture at interior of the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland.
Bentham's utilitarian theories remained dominant in law until the 20th century.
King Hammurabi is revealed the code of laws by the Mesopotamian sun god Shamash, also revered as the god of justice.
The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution for a country, containing 444 articles, 12 schedules, numerous amendments and 117,369 words.
Colour-coded map of the legal systems around the world, showing civil, common law, religious, customary and mixed legal systems. Common law systems are shaded pink, and civil law systems are shaded blue/turquoise.
Emperor Justinian (527–565) of the Byzantine Empire who ordered the codification of Corpus Juris Civilis.
First page of the 1804 edition of the Napoleonic Code.
King John of England signs Magna Carta.
A trial in the Ottoman Empire, 1879, when religious law applied under the Mecelle.
The Chamber of the House of Representatives, the lower house in the National Diet of Japan.
The G20 meetings are composed of representatives of each country's executive branch.
Officers of the South African Police Service in Johannesburg, 2010.
The mandarins were powerful bureaucrats in imperial China (photograph shows a Qing dynasty official with mandarin square visible).
In civil law systems such as those of Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Greece, there is a distinct category of notary, a legally trained public official, compensated by the parties to a transaction. This is a 16th-century painting of such a notary by Flemish painter Quentin Massys.
A march in Washington, D.C., during the civil rights movement in 1963.
Providing a constitution for public international law, the United Nations system was agreed during World War II.
The Italian lawyer Sir Alberico Gentili, the Father of international law.
The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
A depiction of a 17th-century criminal trial, for witchcraft in Salem.
The famous Carbolic Smoke Ball advertisement to cure influenza was held to be a unilateral contract.
The "McLibel case" was the longest-running case in UK history. It involved publishing a pamphlet that criticised McDonald's restaurants.
A painting of the South Sea Bubble, one of the world's first ever speculations and crashes, led to strict regulation on share trading.
The Court of Chancery, London, England, early 19th century.
A trade union protest by UNISON while on strike.
The New York Stock Exchange trading floor after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, before tougher banking regulation was introduced.
Richard Posner, one of the Chicago School, until 2014 ran a blog with Bank of Sweden Prize winning economist Gary Becker.
Max Weber in 1917, Weber began his career as a lawyer, and is regarded as one of the founders of sociology and sociology of law.

In civil law jurisdictions, a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates the law.

Countries with a collection of laws known formally or informally as 'Civil Code'

Civil code

Codification of private law relating to property, family, and obligations.

Codification of private law relating to property, family, and obligations.

Countries with a collection of laws known formally or informally as 'Civil Code'
The first edition of the Swiss Civil Code (around 1907). In 1911, it became the first civil code to include commercial law (Swiss Code of Obligations).

The concept of codification dates back to ancient Babylon.