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Legal Dictionary

code

Definition of code

Etymology

    Old French code (“system of law”), from Latin codex, later form of caudex (“the stock or stem of a tree, a board or tablet of wood smeared over with wax, on which the ancients originally wrote; hence, a book, a writing.”).

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -əʊd

Noun

code (plural codes)

  1. A very short abbreviation, often with little correlation to the item it represents

    You assigned the same "unique" code to two intake-categories, causing a database error!

  2. A body of law, sanctioned by legislation, in which the rules of law to be specifically applied by the courts are set forth in systematic form; a compilation of laws by public authority; a digest.

    "The collection of laws made by the order of Justinian is sometimes called, by way of eminence, "The Code"." -Wharton

  3. Any system of principles, rules or regulations relating to one subject; as, the medical code, a system of rules for the regulation of the professional conduct of physicians; the naval code, a system of rules for making communications at sea means of signals.
  4. A set of rules for converting information into another form or representation.

Further reading

A code is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the code was enacted, by a process of codification. Though the process and motivations for codification are similar in common law and civil law systems, their usage is different. In a civil law country, a Code typically exhaustively covers the complete system of law. By contrast, in a common law country a Code is a less common form of legislation, which differs from usual legislation that, when enacted, modify the existing common law only to the extent of its express or implicit provision, but otherwise leaves the common law intact. By contrast, a code entirely replaces the common law in a particular area, leaving the common law inoperative unless and until the code is repealed.

Civil code

See civil code for further details.

A civil code typically forms the core of civil law systems. The legal Code typically covers exhaustively the entire system of private law.

Civil codes are sometimes also found in common law systems, especially in the United States of America. However, such civil codes are often collections of common law rules and a variety of ad hoc statutes; that is, they do not aspire to complete logical coherence.

Criminal code

See criminal code for further details.

A criminal code or penal code is a common feature in many legal systems. Codification of the criminal law allows the criminal law to be more accessible and more democratically made and amended.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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