Code Civil

Law
variants: popularly Code Napoleon or Napoleonic Code

Legal Definition of Code Civil

codification of the principles of the civil law enacted in France under Napoleon in 1804. It clarified and made uniform the private law of France and followed Roman law in organizing the code into three books dealing with the law of persons, things, and modes of acquiring ownership of things. It also borrowed many principles and concepts from Roman civil law. Under the civil law system, judges are to apply these principles and decide cases in accordance with legislation rather than precedent.

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Cite this Entry

“Code Civil.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/Code%20Civil. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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