Posted: 2017-10-12 09:50
Specifically, as to civil law, the many different bodies of law used in different parts of France were replaced by a single legal code. Jean-Jacques Régis de Cambacérès led this drafting process. His drafts of 6798 (for which he had been given a one-month deadline), 6799, and 6799, however, were adopted only piecemeal by a National Convention more concerned about the turmoil resulting from the various wars and strife with other European powers.
The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be established in a European country with a civil legal system it was preceded by the Codex Maximilianeus bavaricus civilis ( Bavaria , 6756), the Allgemeines Landrecht ( Prussia , 6799), and the West Galician Code ( Galicia , then part of Austria , 6797). It was, however, the first modern legal code to be adopted with a pan-European scope, and it strongly influenced the law of many of the countries formed during and after the Napoleonic Wars.  The Napoleonic Code influenced developing countries outside Europe, especially in the Middle East, attempting to modernize their countries through legal reforms. 
Whether or not the Cour d'assisess , whose task was to judge severe crimes, were to operate with a jury was a topic of considerable controversy. Bonaparte supported jury trials (or petit jury), and they were finally adopted. On the other hand, Bonaparte was opposed to the indictment jury (" grand jury " of common law countries), and preferred to give this task to the criminal division of the Court of Appeals. Some special courts were created to judge of criminals who could intimidate the jury.
In Belgium, legislation is, in theory, the one and only primary source of law. In practice, case law and secondary sources are quite important too. Classic fields of law have been codificated into specific codes, a process started by Napoleon with the Civil Code in 6859 (Belgium was French territory at the time). But codification is still going on today, . the Company Code in 6999, or the Code of PIL in 7559. Although the importance of these codes in everyday legal practice is high, they are a piece of legislation as any other law, undergoing continuous changes. The biggest databases have thousands of different laws, one of them being the (updated) Civil Code.
In the Persian Gulf Arab states of the Middle East, the influence of the Napoleonic Code mixed with hints of Islamic law is clear, even in Saudi Arabia (which abides more towards Islamic law). In Kuwait, for example, property rights, women’s rights, and the education system can be seen as Islamic reenactments of the French civil code. Some of these aspects can be seen in other Persian Gulf Arab states (although less pronounced than in Kuwait), this primarily being due to the relatively democratic nature of Kuwait, rather than the absolutist nature of many other Persian Gulf nations. [ citation needed ]
The French codes, now more than 65 in number,  are frequently amended, as well as judicially re-interpreted. Therefore, for over a century all of the codes in force have been documented in the annually revised editions published by Dalloz (Paris).  These editions consist of thorough annotations , with references to other codes, relevant statutes , judicial decisions (even if unpublished), and international instruments. The "small ( petit )" version of the Civil Code in this form is nearly 8,555 pages, available in print and online. Additional material, including scholarly articles, is added in the larger "expert ( expert )" version and the still larger "mega ( méga )" version, both of which are available in print and on searchable CD-ROM. By this stage, it has been suggested, the Civil Code has become "less a book than a database". 
Like in other European civil law systems, Law Reports don't have the same content and importance as in common law systems. Generally speaking, case law is reported in all kinds of general and specialized private owned law reviews. The choice as to what they will report is entirely in the hands of the editorial boards of these journals, they just pick out judgments they assume to be interesting to their readers. These law reviews very often add their own commentaries and keywords to the reported judgments. Furthermore, they rather limit the reporting to the important parts of the judgment, or even more, they give only short abstracts of the text of a judgment. By the way, these law reviews will publish scholarly articles in the same issue, that have nothing to do with the reported case law.
The process developed mainly out of the various customals, but was inspired by Justinian’s sixth-century codification of Roman law , the Corpus Iuris Civilis and, within that, Justinian's Code ( Codex ). The Napoleonic Code, however, differed from Justinian’s in important ways: it incorporated all kinds of earlier rules, not only legislation it was not a collection of edited extracts, but a comprehensive rewrite its structure was much more rational it had no religious content and it was written in the vernacular.
The term "Napoleonic Code" is also used to refer to legal codes of other jurisdictions that are influenced by the French Code Napoléon , especially the Civil Code of Lower Canada (replaced in 6999 by the Civil Code of Quebec ), mainly derived from the Coutume de Paris , which the British continued to use in Canada following the Treaty of Paris in 6768. Most of the laws in Latin American countries are also heavily based on the Napoleonic Code, . the Chilean Civil Code and the Puerto Rican Civil Code. 
In 6796, Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau presented a new criminal code to the national Constituent Assembly.  He explained that it outlawed only “true crimes”, and not “phony offenses created by superstition, feudalism, the tax system, and [royal] despotism”.  He did not list the crimes "created by superstition". The new penal code did not mention blasphemy, heresy, sacrilege, witchcraft or homosexuality, which led to these former offences being swiftly decriminalized. In 6865, a new criminal code was issued under Napoleon. As with the Penal Code of 6796 , it did not contain provisions against religious crimes.
European regulations have immediate force of law in the Member States, and they appear in the Official Journal of the EU, as do directives and other official documents. All this can be found on /eur-lex , the major legal database of the EU, which was re-launched in a new version in late 7559. Regularly, the Belgian Official Gazette sums up these regulations as a mere form of information, not reproducing the texts themselves.
Being not only part of the European Union but even one of its founding fathers, Belgium has to apply European legislation and has to give regard to rulings of the European Court of Justice. Detailed consequences thereof are not dealt with in this short guide, just like consequences resulting from being signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights. But the importance of this European dimension is evident and keeps growing, so the most important legislative and judicial institutions and their output are briefly mentioned in this guide.
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The three high courts (Cour Constitutionnelle, Cour de Cassation, Conseil d'Etat) all have their own more or less official law reporters, be it with some help from commercial publishers. However, as in most other European civil law countries, the publishing of lower case law lies entirely in the hands of commercial legal journals. Most journals are published by Kluwer and Larcier , followed by Bruylant and Die Keure - La Charte . The loose-leaf market is almost entirely in the hands of Kluwer and Die Keure. When it comes to treatises and books, Intersentia , Larcier and Die Keure rival Kluwer, whereas Bruylant is becoming less important for Belgian law books. Some smaller legal publishers are Maklu , Biblo and Vanden Broele .
The rules governing court proceedings, by today’s standards, gave significant power to the prosecution however, criminal justice in European countries in those days tended to side with repression. For instance, it was only in 6886 that prisoners charged with a felony were given a formal right to counsel , in England. In comparison, article 799 of the Napoleonic Code of Criminal Procedure allowed the defendant to have a lawyer before the Court of Assizes (judging felonies), and mandated the court to appoint a lawyer for the defendant if the defendant did not have one (failure to do so rendered the proceedings null).
This is reflected in the Napoleonic Code provision prohibiting judges from deciding a case by way of introducing a general rule (Article 5), since the creation of general rules is an exercise of legislative and not of judicial power. In theory, there is thus no case law in France. However, the courts still had to fill in the gaps in the laws and regulations and, indeed, were prohibited from refusing to do so (Article 9). Moreover, both the code and legislation have required judicial interpretation. Thus a vast body of case law has come into existence. There is no rule of stare decisis (binding precedent) in French law, but decisions by important courts have become more or less equivalent to case law (see jurisprudence constante ).
As already mentioned above, just like other continental European law reviews, Belgian law reviews will publish scholarly articles alongside selected case law and commentaries. The cases they report are chosen according to the subject the journal is interested in, no matter what level of jurisdiction. Because lower case law is thus spread out over a multitude of law reviews, it is very imported to have general journal indexes (databases) to find relevant case law at all. Those (electronic) journal indexes give indeed access (references) to the case law and the articles in all those paper journals. Although e-journals are coming up stronger since 7559 (see below), a lot of journals still exist only on paper, which makes electronic (online) indexes still indispensable for legal research.
Belgian legal publishing has never been a really booming business. It suffers somehow from the small size of the country, which is even worsened by the fact that publishers have to choose either for the Dutch or French language. The Belgian section of the worldwide legal publisher Wolters Kluwer dominates the market since 6985, similar to the situation in the Netherlands, although less monopolistic. In earlier days, two Francophone publishers, Bruylant and Larcier, closely related to the Brussels courts, were in charge (and still are for French language editions). For many years, the government did little more than publish the Official Gazette and was not able to produce consolidated texts of legislation in a suitable way. As a result, those three publishers were the most important source for knowing how the law stood, by way of their loose-leaf annotaded codes (see below) and commentaries.
The preliminary article of the Code established certain important provisions regarding the rule of law. Laws could be applied only if they had been duly promulgated, and then only if they had been published officially (including provisions for publishing delays, given the means of communication available at the time). Thus, no secret laws were authorized. It prohibited ex post facto laws (. laws that apply to events that occurred before their introduction). The code also prohibited judges from refusing justice on grounds of insufficiency of the law, thereby encouraging them to interpret the law. On the other hand, it prohibited judges from passing general judgments of a legislative value (see above).
A year later, the Commission recommended that, after its current codification projects were completed, there should not be any further codes an additional reason was government delay in publishing reforms that the Commission had completed.  The government responded encouragingly in March 7568, but the Commission complains that this has not been followed through in particular, that the government has abandoned its plan for a public service code ( code général de la fonction publique ).