What is Code Civil Francais?
Code civil Francais, also known as the Napoleonic Code, is the French civil code that was originally established under Napoleon I in 1804. In its infant stage, the code civil Francais forbade certain privileges based on birth, while permitting individuals to partake in freedom of religion, while specifying that government jobs are awarded to only the most qualified candidates.
At its origin, code civil Francais was rapidly drafted by a commission (comprised of four eminent jurists) and officially affirmed on March 21, 1804. Although the code civil Francais was not the first legal code to be instituted in a European country with a civil legal system, it was however, the first modern legal code to be affirmed with a European scope.
As a result of this characteristic, the code civil Francais was a primary influence in regards to the legal scope of many of the countries formed subsequent to the Napoleonic Wars. The code civil Francais was a fundamental step towards replacing the previous system of feudal laws.
Categories of the Code Civil Francais:
The code civil Francais is divided into 4 categories; each category represents a subject matter that the code civil Francais governs. The categories are as follows:
Persons (Individuals within a given community)
The laws surrounding the acquisition of property
The laws revolving around civil procedure (this category was removed into a separate code in 1806).
Contents of the Code:
The preliminary aspect of the code civil Francais established certain provisions regarding the rule of law. These laws could be applied if they had been duly promulgated and only if the laws had been officially published—included in this are provisions for publishing delays, given the general means of communication available at the given time). As a result of this process, the code civil Francais outlawed the creation of any secret laws or legal issues that were created without government approval and the inclusion of public opinion.
The code civil Francais also impeded judges from refusing the delivery of justice on grounds of insufficiency of the law; this provision of the code civil Francais forced all judges to interpret the law and attach such interpretations to help find a solution to the given problem. That being said, this provision also prohibited judges from passing general rulings of a legislative value.
With regards to the basic family in a given community, the code civil Francais established the supremacy of the husband with respect to his authority over his wife and children; at the time, this was the general legal situation found throughout Europe. That being said, such a ruling; however, allowed divorce on a liberal basis compared to other countries throughout European countries, including divorces by mutual consent.