This article is about the tradition of publishing the laws of a state or society as official documents or books. For other uses, see Codification (disambiguation)
is the 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.
In the World first religious law Sharia
introduced by Prophet Mohammed
called as an Islamic Law
't. Islamic law's are adopted by Ancient Europe. The first use of civil codes from Islamic Sharia
law in some Islamic ruled part of an Asia began by the Ottoman Empire
19th century AD.
Civil law jurisdictions
jurisdictions rely, by definition
, on codification. A notable early example were the Statutes of Lithuania
, in the 16th century. The movement towards codification gained momentum during the Enlightenment
, and was implemented in several European countries during the late 18th century (see civil code
). However, it only became widespread after the enactment of the French Napoleonic Code
(1804), which has heavily influenced the legal systems of many other countries.
Common law jurisdictions
England and Wales
Most of England's criminal laws
have been codified, partly because this enables precision and certainty in prosecution. However, large areas of the common law, such as the law of contract
and the law of tort
remain remarkably untouched. In the last 80 years there have been statutes that address immediate problems, such as the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943
(which, inter alia
, coped with contracts rendered void by war), and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
, which amended the doctrine of privity
. However, there has been no progress on the adoption of Harvey McGregor
's Contract Code
(1993), even though the Law Commission
, together with the Scots Law Commission, asked him to produce a proposal for the comprehensive codification and unification of the contract law of England and Scotland. Similarly, codification in the law of tort has been at best piecemeal, a rare example of progress being the Law Reform (Contributory Negligence) Act 1945
In the United States, acts of Congress
, such as federal statutes, are published chronologically in the order in which they become law – often by being signed by the President
, on an individual basis in official pamphlets called "slip laws
", and are grouped together in official bound book form, also chronologically, as "session laws
". The "session law" publication for Federal statutes is called the United States Statutes at Large
. A given act may be a single page or hundreds of pages in length. An act may be classified as either a "Public Law" or a "Private Law".
Because each Congressional act may contain laws on a variety of topics, many acts, or portions thereof are also rearranged and published in a topical, subject matter codification by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel
. The official codification of Federal statutes is called the United States Code
. Generally, only "Public Laws" are codified. The United States Code is divided into "titles" (based on overall topics) numbered 1 through 54. Title 18
, for example, contains many of the Federal criminal statutes. Title 26 is the Internal Revenue Code
Even in code form, however, many statutes by their nature pertain to more than one topic. For example, the statute making tax evasion
a felony pertains to both criminal law and tax law, but is found only in the Internal Revenue Code.
Other statutes pertaining to taxation are found not in the Internal Revenue Code but instead, for example, in the Bankruptcy Code in Title 11 of the United States Code
, or the Judiciary Code in Title 28
. Another example is the national minimum drinking age, not found in Title 27
, Intoxicating liquors
, but in Title 23
Further, portions of some Congressional acts, such as the provisions for the effective dates of amendments to codified laws, are themselves not codified at all. These statutes may be found by referring to the acts as published in "slip law" and "session law" form. However, commercial publications that specialize in legal materials often arrange and print the uncodified statutes with the codes to which they pertain.
In the United States, the individual states, either officially or through private commercial publishers, generally follow the same three-part model for the publication of their own statutes: slip law, session law, and codification.
International law codification
Following the First World War and the establishment of the League of Nations
, the need for codification of international law arose. In September 1924, the General Assembly of the League established a committee of experts for the purpose of codification of international law, which was defined by the Assembly as consisting of two aspects:
In 1930 the League of Nations held at the Hague a conference
for the purpose of codification of rules on general matters, but very little progress was made.
Following the Second World War, the International Law Commission
was established within the United Nations as a permanent body for the formulation of principles in international law.
Canon law codification
Papal attempts at codification of the scattered mass of canon law spanned the eight centuries since Gratian
produced his Decretum
In the 13th century especially canon law became the object of scientific study, and different compilations were made by the Roman Pontiffs. The most important of these were the five books of the Decretales Gregorii IX
and the Liber Sextus
of Boniface VIII
. The legislation grew with time. Some of it became obsolete, and contradictions crept in so that it became difficult in recent times to discover what was of obligation and where to find the law on a particular question.
Hardcover of the 1917 Code of Canon Law
Since the close of the ‘’Corpus Juris’’ numerous new laws and decrees had been issued by popes, councils, and Roman Congregations
. No complete collection of them had ever been published and they remained scattered through the ponderous volumes of the ‘’Bullaria’’ the ‘’Acta Sanctae Sedis
’’, and other such compilations, which were accessible to only a few and for professional canonists themselves and formed an unwieldy mass of legal material. Moreover, not a few ordinances, whether included in the ‘’Corpus Juris’’ or of more recent date, appeared to be contradictory; some had been formally abrogated, others had become obsolete by long disuse; others, again, had ceased to be useful or applicable in the present condition of society. Great confusion was thus engendered and correct knowledge of the law rendered very difficult even for those who had to enforce it.
When the Vatican Council met in 1869 a number of bishops of different countries petitioned for a new compilation of church law that would be clear and easily studied. The council never finished its work and no attempt was made to bring the legislation up to date. By the 19th Century, this body of legislation included some 10,000 norms. Many of these were difficult to reconcile with one another due to changes in circumstances and practice. In response to the request of the bishops at the First Vatican Council
on 14 May 1904, with the motu proprio Arduum sane munus
("A Truly Arduous Task"), Pope Pius X
set up a commission to begin reducing these diverse documents into a single code,
presenting the normative portion in the form of systematic short canons shorn of the preliminary considerations
("Whereas...") and omitting those parts that had been superseded by later developments.
By the winter of 1912, the "whole span of the code"
had been completed, so that a provisional text was printed.
The 1912 text was sent out to all Latin bishops and superiors general for their comment, and their notations which they sent back to the codification commission were subsequently printed and distributed to all members of the commission, in order that the members might carefully consider the suggestions.
The new code was completed in 1916.
Under the aegis of Cardinal Pietro Gasparri
, the Commission for the Codification of Canon Law was completed under Benedict XV
, Pius X's successor, who promulgated it on 27 May 1917
as the Code of Canon Law (Latin
: Codex Iuris Canonici
) and set 19 May 1918
as the date on which it came into force.
In its preparation centuries of material were examined, scrutinized for authenticity by leading experts, and harmonized as much as possible with opposing canons and even other codes, from the Codex of Justinian
to the Napoleonic Code
. It contained 2,414 canons
and was in force until Canon 6 §1 1° of the 1983 Code of Canon Law
took legal effect—thereby abrogating
—on 27 November 1983.
Recodification refers to a process where existing codified statutes are reformatted and rewritten into a new codified structure. This is often necessary as, over time, the legislative process of amending statutes and the legal process of construing statutes by nature over time results in a code that contains archaic terms, superseded text, and redundant or conflicting statutes. Due to the size of a typical government code, the legislative process of recodification of a code can often take a decade or longer.
- ^ See Chinese law.
- ^ For the most part, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 retains the wording and section numbers of its 1893 predecessor.
- ^ Weiss, Gunther A. (2000). "The Enchantment of Codification in the Common-Law World". Yale Journal of International Law. 25 (2).
- ^ Lord Scarman on codification 
- ^ Sauveplanne article on codification 
- ^ Public Law No: 113-287, To enact title 54, United States Code, "National Park Service and Related Programs", as positive law.
- ^ USC table of contents
- ^ see 26 USC 7201
- ^ Meyer, Timothy (2012). "Codifying Custom". University of Pennsylvania Law Review. 160: 995-1069.
- ^ Peters, Life of Benedict XV, pg. 204.
- ^ Ayrinhac, ‘’General Legislation’’ §55.
- ^ Pietro Cardinal Gasparri, preface to the CIC 1917
- ^ Manual of Canon Law, pg. 47
- ^ Manual of Canon Law, pg. 49
- ^ a b c Peters, Life of Benedict XV, pg. 205.
- ^ Entry for 'canon law, new code of'. 1910 New Catholic Dictionary. http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/ncd/view.cgi?n=1909. 1910. Accessed 14 April 2016
- ^ a b La Due, William J., J.C.D.: The Chair of Saint Peter: A History of the Papacy (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999), pg. 256.
- ^ Ap Const. Providentissima Mater Ecclesia Benedict XV, 27 May 1917
- ^ Dr. Edward N. Peters, CanonLaw.info "A Simple Overview of Canon Law", accessed June-11-2013
- ^ 1983 Code of Canon Law Annotated, Canon 6 (pg. 34)
- ^ Dr. Edward Peters, CanonLaw.info, accessed June-9-2013
- ^ NYTimes.com, "New Canon Law Code in Effect for Catholics", 27-Nov-1983, accessed June-25-2013
Last edited on 13 July 2021, at 13:56
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