Talk:Napoleonic Code

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"Presumed guilt?" "Must prove innocence?"[edit]

I have found a lot of references, written by people with an axe to grind, that refers to the modern versions of the Napoleonic Code as deriving from Roman Law which "presumes guilt" (which I couldn't find either) - the accused must prove that they are innocent. Some sort of statement about this needs to be made someplace IMO. Student7 (talk) 20:26, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

See the article Presumption of innocence, which shows that the presumption was already in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen 1789. --Wikiain (talk) 22:54, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
1) The Rights of Man pertained only to the revolutionary government. The Napoleonice Code superceded it.
2) The Presumption of guilt is linked in this (NC) article and an attempt to explain their way out of it. It is redirected to the Presumption of Innocence. This redirect (merger?), which I'm sure made sense to the editors at the time, seems misleading IMO. That link is worth breaking. Piping is at least slightly more honest!
3) The Presumption of innocence is not explicitly linked in here.
4) There is no link from the Presumption of innocence/guilt to this article. Student7 (talk) 14:18, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. The Declaration was revised, but never superseded. The codes had no effect on it, either because it was not counted as law at all or, if it was (and then it would have been constitutional law) the codes are subordinate to and dependent on constitutional law
  2. The preambles to successive French constitutions have referred to the Declaration, so that the Declaration could be seen as incorporated by reference.
  3. In 1971 the Constitutional Council clarified the position by affirming that the Declaration forms part of French constitutional law as a whole. (This is clear in fr:WP, which I will try to incorporate in en:WP - I have read the Council decisions that are referred to in fr:WP.)
  4. As the article Presumption of innocence makes clear (and I hope a bit clearer since I worked on it yesterday), the presumption of innocence is also spelt out - twice - in the Code of Criminal Procedure, which is separate from the Napoleonic Code.
  5. The present article is about the Napoleonic Code, i.e the Code Napoléon (aka Code Civil). Other French codes seem to be mentioned here only because they were created later with the Napoleonic Code as their model. The exception here is the lengthy bit on the Code of Criminal Instruction (now superseded by the Code of Criminal Procedure), which IMO belongs in a separate article. Moreover, IMO it is rightly tagged as lacking references. Especially, to reference a presumption of guilt solely to an opinionated newspaper article of 1895 is not good enough. I am minded to cut most of this bit out, but will leave it until the RM over "Code" is resolved.
  6. Did France ever have a presumption of guilt? In art 11 of the Code of Criminal Instruction (1808-1929) there is a a presumption of guilt (présumés coupables) for relatively minor offences (contraventions de police) - though this might not have been so minor for the person convicted, since it included offences punishable with up to five days in jail (art 137). No presumption at all appears in the jurors' oath (art 312), but it looks like these minor offences were not eligible for jury trial anyway. But it appears that a presumption of innocence remained for greater offences.
  7. But none of that is in the Napoleonic Code, which does not deal with criminal law.
  8. So there is no need for this article to refer to presumptions of guilt or innocence. In that case, there would no issue about linking to material on them. --Wikiain (talk) 20:52, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Napoleonic C/code is torts, etc., as I understand you.
For the record, rightly or wrongly, lots of countries beside France claim the c/Code Napoleon.
Roman Law (and probably Greek) was torts only, even for criminal stuff (which was a defect that modern countries have remedied but that is another story). Student7 (talk) 20:14, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
The C/code is mostly about persons, property and contracts. It says very little (arts 1382-1386) about what in common-law countries is known as "tort" - although the recent additions on product liability (arts 1386-1 to 1386-18) are partially "tort". Yes, the French took the Code Napoléon in their imperial baggage and many of the places where they left it, in Europe and elsewhere, were glad to keep it or imitate it. And I agree with you about Roman law - and that, indeed, it is here another story. --Wikiain (talk) 21:20, 26 October 2011 (UTC)


Is there a source for this: "The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified." I feel like this may just be specifics, and the article in general doesn't do a good job of summarizing what the code was about. This article barely touches what was in it and why it was important; it could use some improvement.slagestee —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:17, 5 December 2011‎ (UTC)

Louisiana was never governed by the Napoleonic Code[edit]

The Code Napoleon was codified in 1804. Louisiana became one of the United States in 1803. Precisely speaking, Louisiana was never subject to le code Napoleon; rather, Louisiana law is an amalgam of les cotumes de paris (French law prior to the Code Napoleon) and Las Siete Partidas (the Spanish civil code). This is perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions about Louisiana law. Davisbi (talk) 17:01, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Inherent sexism[edit]

The Napoleonic code was a backward step for women, as addressed by Guy Maupassant and even French wiki. This is not addressed in the English Wiki version. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:55, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

1791 France: Equal inheritance rights (abolished in 1804)

1792 France: Divorce is legalized for both sexes (abolished for women in 1804)

France: Local women-units of the defence army are founded in several cities; although the military was never officially open to women, about eight thousand women were estimated to have served openly in the French army in local troops between 1792 and 1794, women were officially barred from the army in 1795

1793 France: The question of women's right to vote is discussed in the Parliament of France; women's right to vote is acknowledged as a principle, but it is still put aside with the explanation that the time is not right to make this a reality and is therefore postponed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Addition of Sources[edit]

I added two sources to this article in the "Codes in other countries" section and the "Contents of the Napoleonic Code" Section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CamdenAl (talkcontribs) 06:34, 17 February 2016 (UTC)