[Open-Legislation] French civil code on git

Francis Davey fjmd1a at gmail.com
Wed Apr 8 15:13:35 UTC 2015

2015-04-08 15:57 GMT+01:00 stef <s at ctrlc.hu>:

> that is interesting, why? i see that all parliaments have different ways to
> dodge accountability, would be interesting to create a blacklist ;)

There is no code. Legislation is simply a collection of documents with no
particular coherence. Legislation will frequently amend other legislation.
There are no real constraints on how this works, eg there might be a global
replacement (wherever the phrase X appears replace it by Y) throughout the
entire corpus of legislation.

The main problem is that the phraseology and language used for amendments
has varied over time and can be arbitrarily complicated. Amendments may
completely restructure existing legislation (eg by creating a new layer of
numbering where there was not a layer).

A lack of line numbering does not help. In Parliament, bills have line
numbers which makes Parliamentary amendments easier at least in that sense.

> > But we do not yet have a complete accurate machine-readable corpus of
> > up-to-date legislation,
> i can imagine. what's the oldest law in force in the uk? i assume it's much
> older than the earliest EU "laws".
Hard to say, at the moment the Statute of Marlborough is pretty old:


which is 1267. There may be something before that. It hasn't been used much
recently because of some aggressive litigation in the 1980's. The Law
Commission have proposed deleting it and I suspect that would now be OK.
Distress is now essentially not used.

Now Quia Emptores:


from 1290 is probably important. It may be vital in ensuring that no new
feudal tenures are created (I'm not sure about this myself, but I have it
on good academic authority that that is the case).

So, 750 odd years of legislation, with a change of language in the middle
of that does not make things easy.

Francis Davey
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