Napoleonic Code & French Culture - View Single Post
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Old 23rd November 2019, 06:52 AM
rwjones rwjones is offline
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Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.

Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
I've seen those references to the various legal systems categorized into those where "all that is not forbidden is permitted" vs. those where "all that is not permitted is forbidden." I always forget which is the "anglo-saxon system" and which is the French system with its Napoleonic Code.
These were exactly the expressions I stumbled across. And supposedly the former is associated with English Common Law, and the latter with the Napoleonic Code.

But I've Googled quite a bit on variations of "common law vs napoleonic code" and cannot find anything that makes that same association. The closest I can find is that Common Law (in Anglo Saxon countries) is based on precedent, whereas the Napoleonic Code is not.

So if I understand it correctly, in a country that has English Common Law as its base, once a law has been tested in court and a precedent set through the court's interpretation, it is now clear(er) what the law means.

Under the Napoleonic Code, however, precedent does not matter, and a law can be interpreted again and again -- with different outcomes -- in different courts and under different judges.

If that be true, I can see where the Napoleonic Code might produce a more cautious approach to the law, and where Common Law might produce a more free-wheeling approach.

But I haven't found anything that logically leads to saying that under Common Law "all that is not forbidden is permitted" and that under the Napoleonic Code "all that is not permitted is forbidden."

I'm really curious where that interpretation came from...
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