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Legislation. Signifies in general a collection of laws. It is a name given to a collection of such laws made by a legislature. Among the most noted are the following:


Contains the statutes of the U.S. government, the federal laws. It is usually abbreviated as 'U.S.C.' and is divided into more than 40 Titles, each dealing with a general subject area.


French Law. The five codes.

These codes are; 1st. Code Civil, which is divided into three books; book 1, treats of persons and of the enjoyment and privation of civil rights; book 2, of property and its different modifications; book 3, of the different ways of acquiring property.

- 2d. Code de procedure civille which is divided into two parts. Part 1, is divided into five books; 1. of justices of the. peace; 2. of inferior tribunals; 3. of royal courts; 4. of extraordinary means of proceeding; 5. of execution and judgment. Part 2 is divided into three books; 1. of tender and consignation; 2. of process in relation to the opening of a succession; 3. of arbitration.

- 3d. Code de Commerce, in four books; 1. of commerce in general; 2. of maritime comraerce; 3. of failures and bankruptcy; 4. of commercial jurisdiction.

- 4th. Code d'Instructions Criminelle, in two books; 1. of judiciary police, and its officers; 2. of the administration of justice.

-5th. Code Penal, in four books; 1. of punishment in criminal and correctional cases, and their effects; 2. of the persons punishable, excusable or responsible for their crimes or misdemeanors; 3. of crimes, misdemeanors, and their punishment; 4. of contraventions of police and their punishment.

Henrion de Pansey, late a president of the Court of Cassation, remarks in reference to these codes: 'In the midst of the innovations of these later times, a system of uniformity has suddenly engrossed all minds, and we have had imposed upon us the same weights, the same measures, the same laws, civil, criminal, rural and commercial. These new codes, like everything which comes from the hand of man, have imperfections and obscurities. The administration of them is committed to nearly thirty sovereign courts and a multitude of petty tribunals, composed of only three judges, and yet are invested with the right of determining in the last resort, under many circumstances. Each tribunal the natural interpreter of these laws applies them according to its own view, and the new codes were scarcely in operation before this beautiful system of uniformity became nothing more than a vain theory.'


A digest of the laws of Haiti enacted by Henri, King of Haiti. It is based upon the Code Napoleon, but not servilely copied. It is said to be judiciously adapted to the situation of Haiti. A collection of laws made by order of Henry III of France is also known by the name of Code Henri.


In 1822, Peter Derbigny, Edward Livingston and Moreau Lislet were selected by the legislature to revise and amend the civil code, and to add to it such laws still in force as were not included therein. They were authorized to add a system of commercial law and a code of practice. The code they prepared having been adopted, was promulgated in 1824 under the title of the 'Civil Code of the State of Louisiana.'

The code is based on the Code Napoleon, with proper and judicious modifications suitable for the state of Louisiana. It is composed of three books: 1. The first treats of persons; 2. The second of things and of the different modifications of property, and; 3. The third of the different modes of acquiring the property of things. It contains 3522 articles, numbered from the beginning for the convenience of reference.

This code contains many inaccurate definitions. The legislature modified and changed many of the provisions relating to the positive legislation, but adopted the definitions and abstract doctrines of the code without material alterations. From this circumstance, as well as from the inherent difficulty of the subject, the positive provisions of the code are often at variance with the theoretical part which was intended to elucidate them.

This code went into operation on May 20th, 1825. It is in both the French and English languages; and in construing it it is a rule that when the expressions used in the French text of the code are more comprehensive than those used in English, or vice versa, the more enlarged sense will be taken, as thus full effect will be given to both clauses.


The Code Civil of France, enacted into law during the reign of Napoleon bore his name until the restoration of the Bourbons when it was deprived of that name and is now cited just as 'Code Civil'.


The name of a collection of the Roman laws promulgated by Romulus, Numa and other kings who governed Rome till the time of Tarquin the Proud. It was so called in honor of Sextus Parrius, the compiler.


Allgemeines Landrecht. This code is also known by the name of Codex Fredericianus or Frederician code. It was compiled by order of Frederic H. by the minister of justice, Samuel Cocceji, who completed a part of it before his death in 1755. In 1780, the work was renewed under the superintendence of the minister Von Carmer, prosecuted with unceasing activity, and published in six parts from 1784 to 1788. The opinions of those who understood the subject were requested and prizes offered on the best commentaries on it. The whole was completed in 1791, under the title 'General Prussian Code.'


This code, which originated in the eastern empire, was adopted in the Western empire towards its decline. It is a collection of the legislation of the Christian emperors, from and including Constantine to Theodosius the Younger. It is composed of sixteen books, the edicts, acts, rescripts, and ordinances of the two empires, that of the east and that of the west.