Codification is a proud feature of the French legal system (Senat Rapport législatif sur les codes)
Part of Napoleon's great vision for a republican France was to achieve a unification of the law across the nation.
This resulted in production of the five "Napoleonic Codes" : the Civil Code & the Code of Civil Procedure, the Criminal Code & the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Commercial Code. These continue - but of course have not been static, having had extensive amendments or re-drafting.
Since then, more codes have been drafted: by the end of the 20th century there were over 40.
The Commission was set up in 1989 to carry on the task of codification, with the goals of keeping the law clear and easy to understand.
French codes have shelf marks in the range from KV1124 to KV1132.
The official text of French statutes is that as published in the Journal Officiel - Lois et Décrets.
Legislation has not been neglected by commercial publishers, and the LawBod has three serials which include the text of legislation:
Gazette du Palais Recueil bimestriel (1987 - ) Gaz Pal France 100 G289
Sirey ... lois annotées / Recueil Sirey (1789 -) S / DSL / D France 100 S619c - e
Législation / Dalloz-Sirey Législation
Semaine juridique édition générale (1940 - ) JCP G or Sem Jur France 300 S30
Each journal publishes its own yearly finding aides. The Table alphabétique will help with subject/keyword searches. Probably the easiest to use is Table chronologique and find the act by date of publication. The
Duvergier / Lois, décrets etc francais 1788-1949 Duv. / Duv. & Boc France 20 1788
Recueil général des anciennes lois .. 420AD-1789 France 20 420
The principal codes have these abbreviations:
Civil Code C.civ.
New civil procedure code Nouv. C. pr. civ. or N.C.P.C.
Criminal Code C. pén.
Criminal Procedure C. pr. pén.
Commercial Code C. com.
Employment Code C. trav.
Layout of French statutes