Code

Code in the United States

Contents:

A collection of laws and regulations that are in effect in a particular political system. A code brings together statutes or other rules under some systematic arrangement, usually by subject matter. All operative federal statutes can be found in the United States Code. The code is kept current through a supplementing process with a revised edition produced every six years. Other codes exist at the federal level such as the Code of Federal Regulations, an annual compilation of federal agency regulations that have appeared in the Federal Register. There is also a Code of Military Justice, which contains all substantive and procedural law applying to those in the military.

See Also

Military Justice System (Judicial Function) Statute (Judicial Function).

Analysis and Relevance

Codes draw all laws of a particular kind into a single source. Codes classify laws and regulations. As a result, codes are invaluable reference resources. Codes can be easily supplemented; these supplements become the basis of periodic and potentially systematic legislative revision of laws. Most states have codified their statutes as well as judicial interpretation of them in volumes typically called Compiled Laws.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Code from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Code Definition

A body of law established by the legislative authority of the state, and designed to regulate completely, so far as a statute may, the subjects to which it relates. The idea of a code involves that of the exercise of the legislative power in its promulgation; but the name has been loosely applied also to private compilations of statutes. The subject of codes and the kindred topics of legal reform have received great attention from the jurists and statesmen of the present century. When it is considered how rapidly statutes accumulate as time passes, it is obvious that great convenience will be found in having the statute law in a systematic body, arranged according to subject-matter, instead of leaving it unorganized, scattered through the volumes in which it was from year to year promulgated. But when the transposition of the statutes from a chronological to a scientific order is undertaken, more radical changes immediately propose themselves. These are of two classes : First, amendments for the purpose of harmonizing the inconsistencies which such an arrangement brings to notice, and supplying defects; second, the introduction into the system of all other rules which are recognized as the unwritten or common law of the state. The object of the latter class of changes is to embody in one systematic enactment all that is thenceforth to be regarded as the law of the land. It is this attempt which is usually intended by the distinctive term “codification.” The first two of the questions thus indicated may be deemed as settled, by general concurrence, in favor of the expediency of such changes; and the process of the collection of the statute law in one general code, or in a number of partial codes or systematic statutes, accompanied by the amendments which such a revision invites, is a process which for some years has been renovating the laws of England and the United States. Although at the same time something has been done, especially in this country, towards embodying in these statutes principles which before rested in the common or report law, yet the feasibility of doing this completely, or even to any great extent, must be deemed an open question. It has been discussed with great ability by Bentham, Savigny, Thibaut, and others. It is undeniable that, however successfully a code might be supposed to embody all existing and 4eclared law,” so as to supersede previous sources, it cannot be expected to provide prospectively for all the innumerable cases which the diversity of affairs rapidly engenders, and there must soon come a time when it must be studied in the light of numerous explanatory decisions. These discussions have called attention to a subject formerly little considered, but which is of fundamental importance to the successful preparation of a code, the matter of statutory expression. There is no species of composition which demands more care and precision than that of drafting a statute. The writer needs not only to make his language intelligible, he must make it incapable of misconstruction. When it has passed to a law, it is no longer his intent that is to be considered, but the intent of the words which he has used; and that intent is to be ascertained under the strong pressure of an attempt of the advocate to win whatever possible construction may be most favorable to his cause. The true safeguard is found not in the old method of accumulating synonyms, and by an enumeration of particulars, but rather as is shown by those American codes of which the Revised Statutes of New York and the revision of Massachusetts are admirable specimens by concise but complete statement of the full principle in the fewest possible words, and the elimination of description and paraphrase by the separate statement of necessary definitions. One of the rules to which the New York revisors generally adhered, and which they found of very great importance, was to confine each section to a single proposition. In this way, the intricacy and obscurity of the old statutes were largely avoided. The reader who wishes to pursue this interesting subject will find much that is admirable in Coode’s treatise on Legislative Expression (London, 1845). The larger work of Gael (Legal Composition, London, 1840) is more especially adapted to the wants of the English profession. Austrian. The Civil Code was promulgated in 1811, the code of Joseph II. (1780) having been.found wholly unsuited to the purpose and by his successor abrogated. It is founded in a great degree upon the Prussian. The Penal Code (1852) is said to adopt to some extent the characteristics of the French Penal Code. Burgundian. Leae Romana, otherwise known in modern times as the Papiniani Responsorum. Promulgated A. D. 517. It was founded on the Roman law, and its chief interest is the indication which, in common with the other Barbaric codes, it affords of the modifications of jurisprudence under the changes of society amidst which it arose. Consolato del Mare. A code of maritime law of high antiquity and great celebrity. Its origin is not certainly known. It has been ascribed to the authority of the ancient kings of Arragen; but there is some reason for maintaining the theory that it was gradually collected and handed down as a digest of all the principal rules and usages established among the maritime nations of Europe from the twelfth to the fourteenth century. Since it was first printed at Barcelona in the fourteenth century, it has been enlarged from time to time by the addition of various commercial regulations. Its doctrines are founded to a large extent on the Greek and Roman law. It seems to have been originally written in the dialect of Catalonia; but it has been translated into every language of Europe, except English. It is referred to at the present day as an authority in respect to the ownership of vessels, the rights and obligations thereto, to the rights and responsibilities of master and seamen, to the law of freight, of equipment and supply, of jettison and average, of salvage, of ransom and of prize. The edition of Pardessus, in his Collection de Lois Moritimes (volume 2 ) , is deemed the best. French Codes. The chief French codes of the present day are five in number, sometimes known as Les Cinq Codes. They were in great part the work of Napoleon, and the first in order bears his name. They are all frequently printed in one duodecimo volume. These codes do not embody the whole French law, but minor codes and a number of scattered statutes must also be resorted to upon special subjects.
(1) Code Civil, or Code Napoleon, is composed of thirty-six laws, the first of which was passed in 1803, and the last in 1804, which united them all in one body, under the name of Code Civil des Francais. The first steps towards its preparation were taken in 1793, but it was not prepared till some years subsequently, and was finally thoroughly discussed in all its details by the court of Cassation, of which Napoleon was president, and in the discussions of which he took an active part throughout. In 1807 a new edition was promulgated, the title Code Napoleon being substituted. In the third edition (1816) the old title was restored; but in 1852 it was again displaced by that of Napoleon. Under Napoleon’s reign, it became the law of Holland, of the Confederation of the Rhine, Westphalia, Bavaria, Italy, Naples, Spain, etc. It has undergone great amendment by laws enacted since it was established. It is divided into three books: Book 1, “Of Persons and the Enjoyment and Privation of Civil Rights.” Book 2, “Property and Its Different Modifications.”- Book 3, “Different Ways of Acquiring Property.” Prefixed to it is a preliminary title, “Of the Publication, Effects, and Application of Laws in General.” One of the most perspicuous and able commentators on this code is TouUier, frequently cited In this work.
(2) Code de Procedure Civil. That part of the code which regulates civil proceed-, ings. It is divided into two parts: Part 1 consists of five books, the first of which treats of justices of the peace; the second, of inferior tribunals; the third, of royal (or appellate) courts; the fourth, of extraordinary means of proceeding; the fifth, of the execution of judgments. Part 2 is divided into three books, treating of various matters and proceedings special in their nature.
(3) Code de Commerce. The code for the regulation of commerce. This code was enacted in 1807. Book 1 is entitled, “Of Commerce in General.” Book 2, “Maritime Commerce.” The whole law of this subject is not embodied in this book. Book 3, “Failures and Bankruptcy.” This book was very largely amended by the law of 28th May, 1838. Book 4, “Of Commercial Jurisdiction,” the organization, jurisdiction, and proceedings of commercial tribunals. This code is, in one sense, a supplement to the Code Napoleon, applying the principles of the latter to the various subjects of commercial law. The two contain much that is valuable upon commercial subjects. Pardessus is one of the most able of its expositors.
(4) Code Instruction Criminelle. The code regulating procedure in criminal cases, taking that phrase in a broad sense. Book 1 treats of the police; book 2, of the administration of criminal justice. It was enacted in 1808 to take effect with the Penal Code in 1811.
(5) Code Penal. The penal or criminal code. Enacted in 1810. Book 1 treats of penalties in criminal and correctional cases, and their effects; book 2, of crimes and misdemeanors, and their punishment; book 3, offenses against the police regulations, and their punishment. Important amendments of this code have been made by subsequent legislation.
(6) There is also a Code Forestier; and the name “code” has been inaptly given to some private compilations on other subjects. Gregorian. An unofficial compilation of the rescripts of the Roman emperors. It was made in the fourth century, and is not now extant. The Theodosian Code, which was promulgated nearly a century afterwards, was a continuation of this, and of the collection of Hermogenes. The chief interest of all of these collections is in their relation to their great successor, the Justinian Code. Hanse Towns, Laws of the. A code of maritime law established by the Hanseatic towns. It was first published in German, at Lubec, in 1597. In an assembly of deputies from the several towns, held at Lubec, May 23, 1614, it was revised and enlarged. The text, with a Latin translation, was published with a commentary by Kuricke; and a French translation has been given by Cleirac in Us et Coutumes de la Mer. It is not infrequently referred to on subjects of maritime law. Henri (French). The best-known of several collections of ordinances made during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, the number of which in part both formed the necessity and furnished the material for the Code Napoleon. Henri (Haytien). A very judicious adaptation from the Code Napoleon for the Haytiens. It was promulgated in 1812 by Christophe (Henri I). Hermogenian. An unofficial compilation, made in the fourth century, supplementary to the Code of Gregorius. It is not now extant. Institutes of IVIenu. A code of Hindu law, of great antiquity, which still forms the basis of Hindu jurisprudence (Elphinstone’s History of India, p. 83), and is said also to be the basis of the laws of the Burmese and of the Laos (Buckle, History of Civilization, vol. 1, p. 54, note 70). The Institutes of Menu are ascribed to about the ninth century B. C. A translation will be found in the third volume of Sir William Jones’ Works. See “Hindu Law.” Justinian Code. A collection of imperial ordinances compiled by order of the emperor Justinian. All the judicial wisdom of the Roman civilization which is of importance to the American lawyer is embodied in the compilations to which Justinian gave his name, and from which that name has received its lustre. Of these, first in contemporary importance, if not first in magnitude and present interest, was the Code. In the first year of his reign, he commanded Tribonian, a statesman of his court, to revise the imperial ordinances. The first result, now known as the Codex Vetus, is not extant. It was superseded a few years after its promulgation by a new and more complete edition. Although it is this alone which is now known as the Code of Justinian, yet the Pandects and the Institutes which followed it are a part of the same system, declared by the same authority; and the three together form one codification of the law of the Empire. The first of these works occupied Tribonian and nine associates fourteen months. It is comprised in twelve divisions or books, and embodies all that was deemed worthy of preservation of the imperial statutes from the time of Hadrian down. The Institutes is an elementary treatise prepared by Tribonian and two associates upon the basis of a similar work by Gaius, a lawyer of the second century. The Pandects, which were made public about a month after the Institutes, were an abridgment of the treaties and the commentaries of the lawyers. They were presented in fifty books. Tribonian and the sixteen associates who aided him in this part of his labors accomplished this abridgment in three years. It has been judged to bear obvious marks of the haste with ‘vvhich it was compiled; but it is the chief embodiment of the Roman law, though not the most convenient resort for the modern student of that law. Tribonian found the law, which for fourteen centuries had been accumulating, comprised in two thousand books, or stated according to the Roman method of computation in three million sentences. It is probable that this matter, if printed in law volumes such as are now used, would fill from three to five hundred volumes, a library perhaps as large as that which would be composed by a collection of the Federal statutes and reports. The comparison, to be more exact, should take into account treatises and digests, which would add to the bulk of the collection more than to the substance of the material. The commissioners were instructed to extract a series of plain and concise laws, in which there should be no two laws contradictory or alike. In revising the imperial ordinances, they were empowered to amend in substance as well as in form. The codification being completed, the emperor decreed that no resort should be had to the earlier writings, nor any comparison be made with them. Commentators were forbidden to disfigure the new with explanations, and lawyers were forbidden to cite the old. The imperial authority was sufficient to sink into oblivion nearly all the previously existing sources of law; but the new statutes which the emperor himself found it necessary to establish in order to explain, complete, and amend the law, rapidly accumulated throughout his long reign. These are known as the “Novels.” The Code, the Institutes, the Pandects, and the Novels, with some subsequent additions, constitute the Corpus Juris Civilis. Though the Code has lost its sanction, and the Pandects are of secondary value to the present age, the Institutes stand an undisturbed monument of the science. The masterly arrangement of the outline of the law there adopted is to this day a model for digests and commentaries. The familiar classification employed by Blackstone is based on this. So far as translation and modem illustration go, it is through the Institutes that the civil law is most accessible to the student. Among English translations of the Institutes are that by Cooper (Phila. 1812; N. Y. 1841), which is regarded as a very good one, and that by Sanders (Lond. 1853), which contains the original text also, and copious references to the Digests and Code. Among the French commentators are Ortolan and Pasquiere. Livingston’s Code. Mr. Edward Livingston, one of the commissioners who prepared the Louisiana Code, prepared and presented to congress a draft of a penal code for the United States, which, though it was never adopted, is not infrequently referred to in the books as stating principles of criminal law. Khammurabi. A code promulgated by Khammurabi, the first king of the Babylonians. It was discovered at Susa, Persia, in December, 1901, and is the oldest code known to history. IVIosaic Code. The code proclaimed by Moses for the government of the Jews, B. C. 1491. One of the peculiar characteristics of this code is the fact that whilst all that has ever been successfully attempted in other cases has been to change details without reversing or ignoring the general principles which form the basis of the previous law, that which was chiefly done here was the assertion of great and fundamental principles in part contrary and in part perhaps entirely new to the customs and usages of the people. These principles, thus divinely revealed and sanctioned, have given the Mosaic Code vast influence in the subsequent legislation of other nations than the Hebrews. The topics on which it is most frequently referred to as an authority in our law are those of marriage and divorce, and questions of affinity, and of the punishment of murder and seduction. The commentaries of Michaelis and of Wines are valuable aids to its study. Ordonnance de la IVIarine. A code of maritime law enacted in the reign of Louis XIV. It was promulgated in 1681, and with great completeness embodied all existing rules of maritime law, including insurance. Kent pronounces it a monument of the wisdom of the reign of Louis, “far more durable and more glorious than all the military trophies won by the valor of his armies.” lets compilers are unknown. An English translation is contained in the appendix to Peters’ Admiralty Reports, vol. 1. The ordinance has been at once illustrated and eclipsed by Valin’s commentaries upon it. Oleron, Laws of. A code of maritime law, which takes its name from the island of Oleron.. Both the French and the Enghsh claim the honor of having originated this code, the former attributing its compilation to the command of Queen Eleanor, Duehess of Gulenne, near which province the island of Oleron lies ; the latter ascribing its promulgation to her son, Richard I. The latter monarch, without doubt, caused it to be improved, if he did not originate it, and he introduced it into England. Some additions were made to it by King John. It was promulgated anew in the reign of Henry III., and again confirmed in the reign of Edward III. It is most accessible to the American profession in the translation contained in the -appendix to the first volume of Peters’ Admiralty Reports. The French version, with Cleirac’s commentary, is contained In Us et Coutumes de la Mer. The subjects upon which it is now valuable are much the same as those of the Consolato del Mare. Ostrogothic. The code promulgated by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, at Rome, A. D. 500. It was founded on the Roman law. Prussian. Allgemeines Landrecht. The former code of 1751 was not successful ; but the attempt to establish one was resumed in 1780, under Frederic II.; and, after long and thorough discussion, the present code was finally promulgated in 1794. It is known also as the “Code Frederic.” Rhodian Laws. A maritime code adopted by the people of Rhodes, and in force among the nations upon the Mediterranean nine or ten centuries before Christ. There is reason to suppose that the collection under this title in Vinnius is spurious, and, if so, the code is not extant. See Marsh. Ins. bk. 1, c. 4, p. 15. Theodosian. A code compiled by a commission of eight, under the direction of Theodosian the Younger. It comprises the edicts and rescripts of sixteen emperors, embracing a period of one hundred and twenty-six years. It was promulgated in the Eastern empire in 438, and quickly adopted, also, in the Western empire. The great modern expounder of this code is Gothofredus (Godefroi). The results of modern researches regarding this code are well stated in the Foreign Quarterly Review (volume 9, p. 374). Twelve.Tables. Laws of ancient Rome, compiled on the basis of those of Solon and other Greek legislators. They first appeared in the year of Rome 303, inscribed on ten plates of brass. In the following year, two others were added, and the entire code bore the name of the “Laws of the Twelve Tables.” The principles they contained were the germ of the body of the Roman law, and enter largely into the modern jurisprudence of Europe. See a fragment of the law of the Twelve Tables, in Cooper’s Justinian, 656; Gibbon’s Rome, c. 44. VIsigothlc. The Lex Romani; now known as Breviarum Alwrieianum. Ordained by Alaric II. for his Roman subjects, A. D. 606. Wisbuy, Laws of. A concise but comprehensive code of maritime law, established by the “merchants and masters of the magnificent city of Wisbuy.” The port of Wisbuy, now in ruins, was situated on the northwestern coast of Gottof the island, and the seat of an extensive commerce, of which the chief relic and the most significant record is this code. It is a mooted point whether this code was derived from the Laws of Oleron, or that from this; but the similarity of the two leaves no doubt that one was the offspring of the other. It was of great authority in the northern parts of Europe. “Lex Rhodia navalis,” says Grotius, “pro jure gentium in illo mare Mediterraneo vigebat; sicut apud Gallium, leges Oleronis, et apud omnes transrhenanos, legis Wisbueneses.” De Jure Belli, lib. 2, c. 3. -It is still referred to on subjects of maritime law. An English translation will be found in the appendix to the first volume of Peters’ Admiralty Reports.

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A body of law established by the legislative authority of the state, and designed to regulate completely, so far as a statute may, the subjects to which it relates. The idea of a code involves that of the exercise of the legislative power in its promulgation; but the name has been loosely applied also to private compilations of statutes. The subject of codes and the kindred topics of legal reform have received great attention from the jurists and statesmen of the present century. When it is considered how rapidly statutes accumulate as time passes, it is obvious that great convenience will be found in having the statute law in a systematic body, arranged according to subject-matter, instead of leaving it unorganized, scattered through the volumes in which it was from year to year promulgated. But when the transposition of the statutes from a chronological to a scientific order is undertaken, more radical changes immediately propose themselves. These are of two classes : First, amendments for the purpose of harmonizing the inconsistencies which such an arrangement brings to notice, and supplying defects; second, the introduction into the system of all other rules which are recognized as the unwritten or common law of the state. The object of the latter class of changes is to embody in one systematic enactment all that is thenceforth to be regarded as the law of the land. It is this attempt which is usually intended by the distinctive term “codification.” The first two of the questions thus indicated may be deemed as settled, by general concurrence, in favor of the expediency of such changes; and the process of the collection of the statute law in one general code, or in a number of partial codes or systematic statutes, accompanied by the amendments which such a revision invites, is a process which for some years has been renovating the laws of England and the United States. Although at the same time something has been done, especially in this country, towards embodying in these statutes principles which before rested in the common or report law, yet the feasibility of doing this completely, or even to any great extent, must be deemed an open question. It has been discussed with great ability by Bentham, Savigny, Thibaut, and others. It is undeniable that, however successfully a code might be supposed to embody all existing and 4eclared law,” so as to supersede previous sources, it cannot be expected to provide prospectively for all the innumerable cases which the diversity of affairs rapidly engenders, and there must soon come a time when it must be studied in the light of numerous explanatory decisions. These discussions have called attention to a subject formerly little considered, but which is of fundamental importance to the successful preparation of a code, the matter of statutory expression. There is no species of composition which demands more care and precision than that of drafting a statute. The writer needs not only to make his language intelligible, he must make it incapable of misconstruction. When it has passed to a law, it is no longer his intent that is to be considered, but the intent of the words which he has used; and that intent is to be ascertained under the strong pressure of an attempt of the advocate to win whatever possible construction may be most favorable to his cause. The true safeguard is found not in the old method of accumulating synonyms, and by an enumeration of particulars, but rather as is shown by those American codes of which the Revised Statutes of New York and the revision of Massachusetts are admirable specimens by concise but complete statement of the full principle in the fewest possible words, and the elimination of description and paraphrase by the separate statement of necessary definitions. One of the rules to which the New York revisors generally adhered, and which they found of very great importance, was to confine each section to a single proposition. In this way, the intricacy and obscurity of the old statutes were largely avoided. The reader who wishes to pursue this interesting subject will find much that is admirable in Coode’s treatise on Legislative Expression (London, 1845). The larger work of Gael (Legal Composition, London, 1840) is more especially adapted to the wants of the English profession. Austrian. The Civil Code was promulgated in 1811, the code of Joseph II. (1780) having been.found wholly unsuited to the purpose and by his successor abrogated. It is founded in a great degree upon the Prussian. The Penal Code (1852) is said to adopt to some extent the characteristics of the French Penal Code. Burgundian. Leae Romana, otherwise known in modern times as the Papiniani Responsorum. Promulgated A. D. 517. It was founded on the Roman law, and its chief interest is the indication which, in common with the other Barbaric codes, it affords of the modifications of jurisprudence under the changes of society amidst which it arose. Consolato del Mare. A code of maritime law of high antiquity and great celebrity. Its origin is not certainly known. It has been ascribed to the authority of the ancient kings of Arragen; but there is some reason for maintaining the theory that it was gradually collected and handed down as a digest of all the principal rules and usages established among the maritime nations of Europe from the twelfth to the fourteenth century. Since it was first printed at Barcelona in the fourteenth century, it has been enlarged from time to time by the addition of various commercial regulations. Its doctrines are founded to a large extent on the Greek and Roman law. It seems to have been originally written in the dialect of Catalonia; but it has been translated into every language of Europe, except English. It is referred to at the present day as an authority in respect to the ownership of vessels, the rights and obligations thereto, to the rights and responsibilities of master and seamen, to the law of freight, of equipment and supply, of jettison and average, of salvage, of ransom and of prize. The edition of Pardessus, in his Collection de Lois Moritimes (volume 2 ) , is deemed the best. French Codes. The chief French codes of the present day are five in number, sometimes known as Les Cinq Codes. They were in great part the work of Napoleon, and the first in order bears his name. They are all frequently printed in one duodecimo volume. These codes do not embody the whole French law, but minor codes and a number of scattered statutes must also be resorted to upon special subjects.
(1) Code Civil, or Code Napoleon, is composed of thirty-six laws, the first of which was passed in 1803, and the last in 1804, which united them all in one body, under the name of Code Civil des Francais. The first steps towards its preparation were taken in 1793, but it was not prepared till some years subsequently, and was finally thoroughly discussed in all its details by the court of Cassation, of which Napoleon was president, and in the discussions of which he took an active part throughout. In 1807 a new edition was promulgated, the title Code Napoleon being substituted. In the third edition (1816) the old title was restored; but in 1852 it was again displaced by that of Napoleon. Under Napoleon’s reign, it became the law of Holland, of the Confederation of the Rhine, Westphalia, Bavaria, Italy, Naples, Spain, etc. It has undergone great amendment by laws enacted since it was established. It is divided into three books: Book 1, “Of Persons and the Enjoyment and Privation of Civil Rights.” Book 2, “Property and Its Different Modifications.”- Book 3, “Different Ways of Acquiring Property.” Prefixed to it is a preliminary title, “Of the Publication, Effects, and Application of Laws in General.” One of the most perspicuous and able commentators on this code is TouUier, frequently cited In this work.
(2) Code de Procedure Civil. That part of the code which regulates civil proceed-, ings. It is divided into two parts: Part 1 consists of five books, the first of which treats of justices of the peace; the second, of inferior tribunals; the third, of royal (or appellate) courts; the fourth, of extraordinary means of proceeding; the fifth, of the execution of judgments. Part 2 is divided into three books, treating of various matters and proceedings special in their nature.
(3) Code de Commerce. The code for the regulation of commerce. This code was enacted in 1807. Book 1 is entitled, “Of Commerce in General.” Book 2, “Maritime Commerce.” The whole law of this subject is not embodied in this book. Book 3, “Failures and Bankruptcy.” This book was very largely amended by the law of 28th May, 1838. Book 4, “Of Commercial Jurisdiction,” the organization, jurisdiction, and proceedings of commercial tribunals. This code is, in one sense, a supplement to the Code Napoleon, applying the principles of the latter to the various subjects of commercial law. The two contain much that is valuable upon commercial subjects. Pardessus is one of the most able of its expositors.
(4) Code Instruction Criminelle. The code regulating procedure in criminal cases, taking that phrase in a broad sense. Book 1 treats of the police; book 2, of the administration of criminal justice. It was enacted in 1808 to take effect with the Penal Code in 1811.
(5) Code Penal. The penal or criminal code. Enacted in 1810. Book 1 treats of penalties in criminal and correctional cases, and their effects; book 2, of crimes and misdemeanors, and their punishment; book 3, offenses against the police regulations, and their punishment. Important amendments of this code have been made by subsequent legislation.
(6) There is also a Code Forestier; and the name “code” has been inaptly given to some private compilations on other subjects. Gregorian. An unofficial compilation of the rescripts of the Roman emperors. It was made in the fourth century, and is not now extant. The Theodosian Code, which was promulgated nearly a century afterwards, was a continuation of this, and of the collection of Hermogenes. The chief interest of all of these collections is in their relation to their great successor, the Justinian Code. Hanse Towns, Laws of the. A code of maritime law established by the Hanseatic towns. It was first published in German, at Lubec, in 1597. In an assembly of deputies from the several towns, held at Lubec, May 23, 1614, it was revised and enlarged. The text, with a Latin translation, was published with a commentary by Kuricke; and a French translation has been given by Cleirac in Us et Coutumes de la Mer. It is not infrequently referred to on subjects of maritime law. Henri (French). The best-known of several collections of ordinances made during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, the number of which in part both formed the necessity and furnished the material for the Code Napoleon. Henri (Haytien). A very judicious adaptation from the Code Napoleon for the Haytiens. It was promulgated in 1812 by Christophe (Henri I). Hermogenian. An unofficial compilation, made in the fourth century, supplementary to the Code of Gregorius. It is not now extant. Institutes of IVIenu. A code of Hindu law, of great antiquity, which still forms the basis of Hindu jurisprudence (Elphinstone’s History of India, p. 83), and is said also to be the basis of the laws of the Burmese and of the Laos (Buckle, History of Civilization, vol. 1, p. 54, note 70). The Institutes of Menu are ascribed to about the ninth century B. C. A translation will be found in the third volume of Sir William Jones’ Works. See “Hindu Law.” Justinian Code. A collection of imperial ordinances compiled by order of the emperor Justinian. All the judicial wisdom of the Roman civilization which is of importance to the American lawyer is embodied in the compilations to which Justinian gave his name, and from which that name has received its lustre. Of these, first in contemporary importance, if not first in magnitude and present interest, was the Code. In the first year of his reign, he commanded Tribonian, a statesman of his court, to revise the imperial ordinances. The first result, now known as the Codex Vetus, is not extant. It was superseded a few years after its promulgation by a new and more complete edition. Although it is this alone which is now known as the Code of Justinian, yet the Pandects and the Institutes which followed it are a part of the same system, declared by the same authority; and the three together form one codification of the law of the Empire. The first of these works occupied Tribonian and nine associates fourteen months. It is comprised in twelve divisions or books, and embodies all that was deemed worthy of preservation of the imperial statutes from the time of Hadrian down. The Institutes is an elementary treatise prepared by Tribonian and two associates upon the basis of a similar work by Gaius, a lawyer of the second century. The Pandects, which were made public about a month after the Institutes, were an abridgment of the treaties and the commentaries of the lawyers. They were presented in fifty books. Tribonian and the sixteen associates who aided him in this part of his labors accomplished this abridgment in three years. It has been judged to bear obvious marks of the haste with ‘vvhich it was compiled; but it is the chief embodiment of the Roman law, though not the most convenient resort for the modern student of that law. Tribonian found the law, which for fourteen centuries had been accumulating, comprised in two thousand books, or stated according to the Roman method of computation in three million sentences. It is probable that this matter, if printed in law volumes such as are now used, would fill from three to five hundred volumes, a library perhaps as large as that which would be composed by a collection of the Federal statutes and reports. The comparison, to be more exact, should take into account treatises and digests, which would add to the bulk of the collection more than to the substance of the material. The commissioners were instructed to extract a series of plain and concise laws, in which there should be no two laws contradictory or alike. In revising the imperial ordinances, they were empowered to amend in substance as well as in form. The codification being completed, the emperor decreed that no resort should be had to the earlier writings, nor any comparison be made with them. Commentators were forbidden to disfigure the new with explanations, and lawyers were forbidden to cite the old. The imperial authority was sufficient to sink into oblivion nearly all the previously existing sources of law; but the new statutes which the emperor himself found it necessary to establish in order to explain, complete, and amend the law, rapidly accumulated throughout his long reign. These are known as the “Novels.” The Code, the Institutes, the Pandects, and the Novels, with some subsequent additions, constitute the Corpus Juris Civilis. Though the Code has lost its sanction, and the Pandects are of secondary value to the present age, the Institutes stand an undisturbed monument of the science. The masterly arrangement of the outline of the law there adopted is to this day a model for digests and commentaries. The familiar classification employed by Blackstone is based on this. So far as translation and modem illustration go, it is through the Institutes that the civil law is most accessible to the student. Among English translations of the Institutes are that by Cooper (Phila. 1812; N. Y. 1841), which is regarded as a very good one, and that by Sanders (Lond. 1853), which contains the original text also, and copious references to the Digests and Code. Among the French commentators are Ortolan and Pasquiere. Livingston’s Code. Mr. Edward Livingston, one of the commissioners who prepared the Louisiana Code, prepared and presented to congress a draft of a penal code for the United States, which, though it was never adopted, is not infrequently referred to in the books as stating principles of criminal law. Khammurabi. A code promulgated by Khammurabi, the first king of the Babylonians. It was discovered at Susa, Persia, in December, 1901, and is the oldest code known to history. IVIosaic Code. The code proclaimed by Moses for the government of the Jews, B. C. 1491. One of the peculiar characteristics of this code is the fact that whilst all that has ever been successfully attempted in other cases has been to change details without reversing or ignoring the general principles which form the basis of the previous law, that which was chiefly done here was the assertion of great and fundamental principles in part contrary and in part perhaps entirely new to the customs and usages of the people. These principles, thus divinely revealed and sanctioned, have given the Mosaic Code vast influence in the subsequent legislation of other nations than the Hebrews. The topics on which it is most frequently referred to as an authority in our law are those of marriage and divorce, and questions of affinity, and of the punishment of murder and seduction. The commentaries of Michaelis and of Wines are valuable aids to its study. Ordonnance de la IVIarine. A code of maritime law enacted in the reign of Louis XIV. It was promulgated in 1681, and with great completeness embodied all existing rules of maritime law, including insurance. Kent pronounces it a monument of the wisdom of the reign of Louis, “far more durable and more glorious than all the military trophies won by the valor of his armies.” lets compilers are unknown. An English translation is contained in the appendix to Peters’ Admiralty Reports, vol. 1. The ordinance has been at once illustrated and eclipsed by Valin’s commentaries upon it. Oleron, Laws of. A code of maritime law, which takes its name from the island of Oleron.. Both the French and the Enghsh claim the honor of having originated this code, the former attributing its compilation to the command of Queen Eleanor, Duehess of Gulenne, near which province the island of Oleron lies ; the latter ascribing its promulgation to her son, Richard I. The latter monarch, without doubt, caused it to be improved, if he did not originate it, and he introduced it into England. Some additions were made to it by King John. It was promulgated anew in the reign of Henry III., and again confirmed in the reign of Edward III. It is most accessible to the American profession in the translation contained in the -appendix to the first volume of Peters’ Admiralty Reports. The French version, with Cleirac’s commentary, is contained In Us et Coutumes de la Mer. The subjects upon which it is now valuable are much the same as those of the Consolato del Mare. Ostrogothic. The code promulgated by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, at Rome, A. D. 500. It was founded on the Roman law. Prussian. Allgemeines Landrecht. The former code of 1751 was not successful ; but the attempt to establish one was resumed in 1780, under Frederic II.; and, after long and thorough discussion, the present code was finally promulgated in 1794. It is known also as the “Code Frederic.” Rhodian Laws. A maritime code adopted by the people of Rhodes, and in force among the nations upon the Mediterranean nine or ten centuries before Christ. There is reason to suppose that the collection under this title in Vinnius is spurious, and, if so, the code is not extant. See Marsh. Ins. bk. 1, c. 4, p. 15. Theodosian. A code compiled by a commission of eight, under the direction of Theodosian the Younger. It comprises the edicts and rescripts of sixteen emperors, embracing a period of one hundred and twenty-six years. It was promulgated in the Eastern empire in 438, and quickly adopted, also, in the Western empire. The great modern expounder of this code is Gothofredus (Godefroi). The results of modern researches regarding this code are well stated in the Foreign Quarterly Review (volume 9, p. 374). Twelve.Tables. Laws of ancient Rome, compiled on the basis of those of Solon and other Greek legislators. They first appeared in the year of Rome 303, inscribed on ten plates of brass. In the following year, two others were added, and the entire code bore the name of the “Laws of the Twelve Tables.” The principles they contained were the germ of the body of the Roman law, and enter largely into the modern jurisprudence of Europe. See a fragment of the law of the Twelve Tables, in Cooper’s Justinian, 656; Gibbon’s Rome, c. 44. VIsigothlc. The Lex Romani; now known as Breviarum Alwrieianum. Ordained by Alaric II. for his Roman subjects, A. D. 606. Wisbuy, Laws of. A concise but comprehensive code of maritime law, established by the “merchants and masters of the magnificent city of Wisbuy.” The port of Wisbuy, now in ruins, was situated on the northwestern coast of Gottof the island, and the seat of an extensive commerce, of which the chief relic and the most significant record is this code. It is a mooted point whether this code was derived from the Laws of Oleron, or that from this; but the similarity of the two leaves no doubt that one was the offspring of the other. It was of great authority in the northern parts of Europe. “Lex Rhodia navalis,” says Grotius, “pro jure gentium in illo mare Mediterraneo vigebat; sicut apud Gallium, leges Oleronis, et apud omnes transrhenanos, legis Wisbueneses.” De Jure Belli, lib. 2, c. 3. -It is still referred to on subjects of maritime law. An English translation will be found in the appendix to the first volume of Peters’ Admiralty Reports.

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This definition of Code Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Meaning of Code

In plain or simple terms, Code means: A collection, compendium or revision of laws, rules and regulations enacted by legislative authority.

Code Background

Resources

See Also

  • Legal Topics.
  • Further Reading (Articles)

    NYC council amends existing building code laws pertaining to safety issues.(TRADE NEWS), Walls & Ceilings; April 1, 2005

    Taxes: compliance more complex than ever: recent tax code laws implemented around the nation are increasingly complicated, unpredictable and costly when misunderstood. Financial executives can confidently and cost-effectively achieve business tax compliance–regardless of the changes.(Tax), Financial Executive; September 1, 2011; Yrjanson, Carla Paolillo, Mark A. Loban, Tom Jackson, Joe

    Pscholka Bills Approved in House Reform Drain Code Laws, States News Service; October 16, 2013

    Bearer Instruments and the New Civil Code.(Law n[ordinal indicator, masculine] 10406, of January 10, 2002), Mondaq Business Briefing; September 19, 2002

    Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History, The Journal of Southern History; May 1, 2014; Samito, Christian G.

    Kuwait: Repressive Dress-Code Law Encourages Police Abuse, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; January 17, 2008

    NEW CODE ENFORCEMENT LAWS AIMED AT PROTECTING QUALITY OF LIFE TAKE EFFECT APRIL 24. States News Service; April 21, 2011

    NEW CODE ENFORCEMENT LAWS AIMED AT PROTECTING QUALITY OF LIFE TAKE EFFECT APRIL 24, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; April 22, 2011

    Code law not very neighborly, citizen says, The Record (Bergen County, NJ); October 28, 2005; EVONNE COUTROS, STAFF WRITER

    LANCASTER ADOPTS NEW TOWN ETHICS CODE LAW BARS OFFICIALS, APPOINTEES FROM ACCEPTING GIFTS WORTH MORE THAN $25, The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY); June 8, 1995; MOLLY McCARTHY – News Cheektowaga Bureau

    What Larry doesn’t get: code, law, and liberty in cyberspace.(Review), Stanford Law Review; May 1, 2000; Post, David G.

    Memorandum Regarding The Overview Of The Turkish Labour Code (Law No.4857). Mondaq Business Briefing; April 16, 2008

    Amendments To The Romanian Tax Code.(Law overview), Mondaq Business Briefing; November 4, 2011

    Politician to Propose Dress Code Law for UAE, 7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates); June 12, 2012

    CATTARAUGUS TO AIR CHANGES IN ETHICS CODE LAW APPROVED IN 1990 LED TO TWO DOZEN RESIGNATIONS FROM CITIZENS’ PANELS, The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY); April 26, 1994; DONNA SNYDER – Cattaraugus Correspondent

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICIALS TO HOLD COMMUNITY MEETINGS REGARDING NEW CODE ENFORCEMENT LAWS, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; February 28, 2011

    COUNTY OFFICIALS TO HOLD COMMUNITY MEETINGS REGARDING NEW CODE ENFORCEMENT LAWS. States News Service; February 28, 2011

    New fire code law needs work, lobbyist says, Charleston Daily Mail; May 31, 2005; THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    COUNTY LAUNCHES WEBSITE TO EDUCATE RESIDENTS ABOUT NEW CODE ENFORCEMENT LAWS.(Website overview), States News Service; March 24, 2011

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY LAUNCHES WEBSITE TO EDUCATE RESIDENTS ABOUT NEW CODE ENFORCEMENT LAWS, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; March 25, 2011

    Citation Notes

    Both federal and state laws in the US are compiled int o codes (collections of statute arranged according to subject matter). In accordance with rule 24.3 , codes should generally be cited in preference to session laws (statutes as enacted).

    Code Definition in the Legislative Process

    The following is a definition of Code, by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): A compilation of laws and their revisions according to subject matter (usually arranged by title, chapter and section); the official publication of the statutes.

    Meaning of Code

    In plain or simple terms, Code means: A collection, compendium or revision of laws, rules and regulations enacted by legislative authority.

    Code Background

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    • Legislative Power
    • Legislative History
    • Legislative Ethics
    • Legislative Session
    • Legislature
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    • Legislation Definition
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    • Legislative Information

    Code in the Context of Law Research

    The Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library defined briefly Code as: In popular usage, a compilation of statutes. Technically, in a code, the laws in force and judicial decrees having the force of law are rewritten and arranged in classified order. Repealed and temporary acts are eliminated and the revision is reenacted.Legal research resources, including Code, help to identify the law that governs an activity and to find materials that explain that law.

    Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in the Context of Law Research

    The Thurgood Marshall School of Law Library defined briefly Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as: The annual collection of executive-agency regulations published in the daily Federal Register, combined with previously issued regulations that are still in effect.Legal research resources, including Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), help to identify the law that governs an activity and to find materials that explain that law.

    Code of Virginia or Code in Juvenile Law

    In this context, Code of Virginia or Code information is available through this American legal Encyclopedia.

    Code: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

    Federal Primary Materials

    The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Code. This part provides references, in relation to Code, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

    Federal primary materials about Code by content types:

    Laws and Regulations

    US Constitution
    Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

    Federal Case Law and Court Materials

    U.S. Courts of Appeals
    United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

    Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

    Presidential Materials

    Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

    Executive Materials

    Federal Legislative History Materials

    Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Code and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Code or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

    State Administrative Materials and Resources

    State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Code and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Code. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Code should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

    State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

    State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Code when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

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