Reception of the French Civil Code in Francophone Switzerland, Louisiana, and Quebec: a socio-legal study
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The thesis studies the influence of the French Civil Code of 1804 on the civil codes of Quebec (the Civil Code of Lower Canada of 1866), Louisiana (the Civil Code of the State of Louisiana of 1825) and Francophone Switzerland (civil codes of cantons of Vaud of 1821, Valais of 1843-1855, Neuchâtel of 1853-1855, Fribourg of 1834-1850 as well as the French Civil Code as applied in two Swiss territories: the Canton of Geneva and Bernese Jura from 1804 until 1912). The study is focused not only on the reception of the positive law of one country by the positive law of another, but also on the reception of the legal tradition of one society by another. The study focuses on the modifications that the same law undergoes under different social and political conditions that exist within different nations. As it is impossible to examine all the provisions of the codes in question the research focuses only on the reception of the second book of the French Code “Of Property, and the Different Modifications of Ownership”. The study shows that, the reception of the French Civil Code took place in societies that were at different stages of their economic development, with varying political landscape, and with divergent cultural and religious values. In all jurisdictions the reception of the French Code was a creative, well thought-out enterprise that took into account local particularities and interests as well as historical sources of local law. Codifiers were not afraid of rejecting certain provisions of the French law if they found them unsuitable for their society. Nor were they afraid of keeping institutions that were abandoned in France itself if they found them pertinent to their countries.