Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/29
Title: THE MYSTERY OF THE MIXITÉ AROUND THE TITLE OF THE LOUISIANA DIGEST OF THE CIVIL LAWS OF 1808
Authors: Ostroukh, Asya
Keywords: mixity
Louisiana Civil Code
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Citation: 62 Loy. L. Rev. 725
Abstract: There were three major events in the history of the Louisiana Civil Code in the nineteenth century: (1) the adoption of the first civil code—a Digest of the Civil Laws in 1808 (the Digest); (2) the adoption of the Civil Code of 1825; and (3) its revision in 1870. Nevertheless, when we look at Louisiana legal historical scholarship about these three events, we see that most of the research relates to the history of the Digest of the Civil Laws of 1808. There lies one of the most striking features of Louisiana legal history. Hastily made, slovenly translated and printed, the Digest, which had been in force for just seventeen years, has become a subject of profound academic interest and vigorous debate. In contrast, the Civil Code of 1825—which exceeds the Digest in terms of legislative technique and style of expression, and which became the basis for the revised Civil Code of 1870 and, eventually, for the current Louisiana Civil Code— has not attracted as much interest from scholars. This demonstrates that the Digest of 1808 has acquired symbolic meaning for the Louisiana legal community. The interest of scholars in the first civil code is understandable. The Digest marked Louisiana’s historical choice in favour of civil law, and allowed for the preservation of the distinctive character of its legal system. The Digest also played an important role in the institutionalisation of the legal system and the development of the legal profession in the state. Furthermore, we do not have enough historical evidence of the history of the Digest’s creation, and the evidence that we do have, such as the de la Vergne volume, is sometimes contradictory. Another feature of the Digest that attracts scholarly interest is that it is remarkable on the global level. The Digest of 1808 is the first known instance of a codification based on a comprehensive and deliberate reception of the Code Napoléon of 1804. The next codifications based on the Code Napoléon would be the codes and civil laws of Italian lands (the Civil Code of the Kingdom of two Sicilies of 1812, the Civil Laws of Naples—Leggi Civili—of 1819, and the Civil Code of Parma and Piacenza of 1820) in Europe, while South and North American countries and territories followed Louisiana’s example even later (e.g., the Civil Code of the State of Oaxaca of 1828, the Civil Code of Bolivia of 1831, the Civil Code of the Republics of North and South Peru of 1836, and the Civil Code of Lower Canada of 1866). The aforementioned factors explain why the Digest of 1808 has gradually acquired more importance in Louisiana legal history than other civil codes of the state.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/29
ISSN: 0192-9720
Appears in Collections:Law Review

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