Consolidating legislation codifying legislation
At first, all American colonies enacted laws, but none of these statutes purported to be a comprehensive codification of court procedures or of substantive areas of law (such as Criminal Law, real and personal Property Law, or ).Early codification efforts were limited in scope to basic concepts and general criminal prohibitions.They further argued that precedents, carefully developed over the centuries, were fairer than rules reflecting moods of the moment. The democratic revolutions in France and the United States inspired codifiers, who emphasized that codification by legislators would reflect the will of the people more than would law as determined by judges. Code synthesized and rearranged those statutes, divided them into 50 titles, and compiled them all in four volumes. The ALI also works with the National Conference of Commissioners to promote uniform laws. act, arrangement of laws, arrangeeent of rules, arrangement of statutes, authoritative law, bill, bylaws, canon, capitulary, categorization of laws, collection of statutes, commandment, compendium, compilation, doctrine, enactment, formalization of laws, formulation of laws, lawmaking, legislation, ordinance, precept, regulation, rule, rules and regulations, rulings, scheduling, scheme, set of rules, standardization of laws, statute, statute book, statute law, system, system of laws, system of regulations, systematic arrangement of laws, systematization of laws, tabulation, written law Associated concepts: codification act, codification of statutes the process of stating laws in a code.
Yet another compilation of statutes, rules, and regulations is the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which covers the substantive and procedural law governing the armed forces of the United States. Some regularly consolidated statutory areas of law come close to being very complicated codes, an example perhaps being the Companies Acts.
A codification movement was also sparked in the northern states. The Code of Federal Regulations contains the general body of regulatory laws governing practice and procedure in federal administrative agencies. The courts merely interpret the code, which can be altered by the legislature.
In 1848, David Dudley Field (1805–94) convinced the New York Legislature to enact the Code of Civil Procedure, which replaced a complicated common law system of Pleading and installed a simpler, more rational system. This code is divided into 50 titles and is revised annually. The Science of Law and Lawmaking: Being an Introduction to Law, a General View of Its Forms and Substance, and a Discussion of the Question of Codification. Codes have spread for intellectual reasons, but Napoleon's imposition, on conquered countries, of codes modelled on his Napoleonic Code assisted the spread of codification. The English legal system, which has resisted codification, may have been tempted in the Victorian era to put together a code of commercial law.
Codification of an area of law generally constitutes the whole source that is relied upon for a legal question in that area.
Thus, when a state codifies its criminal laws, the statutes contained within the new code supersede the laws that had been in place prior to the codification.