Deciphering a Civil Code
Sources of Law and Methods of Interpretation
The primary purpose of this book is to dispel some misunderstandings — or even erroneous views — on what a “code” is and, more specifically, how one can work with a “civil code.” The text explains that in a civil law system, codification is the product of the combination of three sources of law: legislation, jurisprudence or court cases, and doctrine or legal scholarship. It then analyzes the many different methods of reasoning and interpretation that can be used under a civil code and illustrates these methods as applied to code articles and to three decisions of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Thus, the book explains and justifies the “long lasting life” of civil codes, particularly the French Civil Code of 1804 (also referred to as the Code Napoléon) and the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825.