Of the Vocation of Our Age Against Codification: On Civil Codes in the Information Society

Published in: J.M. Milo, J.H.A. Lokin & J.M. Smits (eds.), Tradition, Codification and Unification, Cambridge-Antwerp 2014, pp. 245-255;

Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper 2013/11

13 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2013 Last revised: 27 May 2015

See all articles by Jan M. Smits

Jan M. Smits

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

The belief in presenting the law by way of comprehensive systematisation by national states seems to be as important today as it was 200 years ago. In this contribution it is investigated whether this belief in codification is still accurate. It is at least surprising that an institution that was invented more than two centuries ago still has such a prominent place in the (civil) law. It is argued that the most important function of codification, namely to provide information about the law, can today be achieved in a much better way than through state-made systematisations. This calls for a different way of presenting the law to the general audience: not by way of national codification or through legal science, but by creating alternative models of legal information management.

Keywords: Legal information management, codification, law entrepreneurs

Suggested Citation

Smits, Jan M., Of the Vocation of Our Age Against Codification: On Civil Codes in the Information Society (October 1, 2013). Published in: J.M. Milo, J.H.A. Lokin & J.M. Smits (eds.), Tradition, Codification and Unification, Cambridge-Antwerp 2014, pp. 245-255; ; Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper 2013/11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2335628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2335628

Jan M. Smits (Contact Author)

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL-6200 MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.jansmits.eu

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