Home Civil Understanding the Civil Code

Understanding the Civil Code

Understanding the Civil Code

Understanding the Civil Code: A Comprehensive Guide

The Civil Code, also known as the Legal Code, is a comprehensive set of laws that govern civil and commercial activities in many countries, including France, the United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines, and many states in the USA, including Louisiana. The code outlines a set of legal principles and specific rules that govern relationships between individuals, businesses, and other entities. This article offers a comprehensive guide to understanding the Civil Code, its origins, structure, and the key principles it encompasses.


The Civil Code is a set of legal rules that govern civil and commercial relationships, including contracts, property rights, and obligations. It organizes legal provisions into a comprehensive and systematic manner intended to create consistency and predictability. In this article, we will provide an overview of the Civil Code.

History of the Civil Code

The Civil Code originated during the Enlightenment era, distinguishing law from religion and political rule. Its purpose was to put in writing a set of fundamental laws that could apply to all citizens equally. Considered one of the essential works of modern law, the Civil Code still influences legal systems worldwide.

Structure of the Civil Code

The structure of the Civil Code is such that every article is numbered sequentially. The code is divided into several main sections, including General Provisions, Persons, Property, Obligations, Successions and more. Additionally, various principles and clauses throughout the Civil Code apply to specific areas of law.

Key Principles of the Civil Code

The Civil Code is founded on several key principles, including the sanctity of contracts, the importance of due process, individual liberties, and property rights. These principles are intricately woven throughout the code such that they influence every aspect of civil and commercial relationships.

The following are some of the notable principles of the Civil Code:

1. Contractual Freedom – The principle of contractual freedom affords parties in a contract the ability to negotiate and establish the terms that govern the relationship between them.

2. Property Rights – The legal protections of property rights allow individuals, businesses, and other entities to own, transfer and inherit property.

3. Fair Treatment – The legal code prohibits unequal treatment among individuals and expects parties to behave reasonably and in good faith as they engage in civil and commercial activities.

4. Liability – Civil law holds individuals and entities liable for any harm they cause to others or their property.

5. Due Process – Individuals have the right to a fair hearing before a competent, independent, and unbiased judge or tribunal whose decision is in keeping with established legal principles.


The Civil Code forms the backbone of most civil and commercial activity throughout the world. The code is comprehensive and systematic such that navigating its various components requires a deep understanding of the principles upon which it is founded. The Civil Code is continually evolving as societies, economies, and legal systems change. A critical part of being a practitioner of the law is staying up-to-date with these changes and rules. Civil Code forms a cornerstone of modern civil law in numerous countries, setting the legal framework that governs civil and commercial interactions.

What is Civil Code?

A civil code, in essence, is the basis for which laws are created within the civil scope. The civil code is the systematic collection of laws that are designed to comprehensively coordinate with the core principles of private law.

Private law is the scope of the legal system that involves relationships and general behavioral functions of individuals within a given society. As a result, private law includes the laws which elucidate upon the law of contracts or torts and the general law of obligations.

Through this definition it is acknowledged that private law is distinguishable from public law—the scope of law which deals with laws involving the state, including all regulatory statutes, the field of penal law, and other scopes of law that regulate public order. In contrast, public law will involve the relationships between the states and the general population.

Jurisdictions throughout the world that possess a unified civil code will also incorporate a code of civil procedure. That being said, some jurisdictions with a civil code may institute a scope law that focuses primarily on commercial law as oppose to establishing the core principles of private law.

Civil procedure is the comprehensive body of law that establishes affirmed rules and standards that a court system will follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits—as oppose to the procedure in criminal law matters. Such rules will govern how a case or a lawsuit may be commenced, what services of processes are required, the types of statements of case or pleadings, the motions or application, and various orders allowed in a civil court case.

Additionally, the timing and manner of the discover process (as well as the depositions), the overall conduct of trials, the process for judgment, all available remedies, which describe and developed how the court system and clerks must function.

Contents of a Basic Civil Code:

The typical civil code will inspect the various fields of law known to the common legal professional as the law of torts, contracts, property law, the law of inheritance, and family law. Corporate law, civil procedure, and commercial law are usually codified as separate scopes of law.

Each country and coordinating jurisdiction will establish an affirmed procedure which is used to codify various laws. That being said, the codification process is typically regarded as one of the oldest and most widely-used legal procedures in the world.