Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste

Codification as a Socio-historical Phenomenon

  • Csaba VargaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_398-1


Codification is a standard means for making the law public and available through recording it in written texts. It is a tool known since the law’s early development. Albeit both its naming and conceptual definition may vary from age to age and culture to culture – for, as widely accepted, “no a priori codification concept exists […], therefore the exploration of this concept involves empirical work” (Ermacora 1964, 225) – in a generalizing manner it can be summarized in that it is (1) a law-consolidating (2) compilation in (3) a systemic and (4) written form (5) enacted with formal validity (Varga 2011, 262–272); or, simply stated, it is “a systematic and exhaustive regulation of a comprehensive area of the law” (Basedow 2009, 997).

Historical Developments

The fundamental task of codification in antiquity was the exclusion of any doubts in the presentation of the law, for example, the restoration by the Laws of Hammurabiof the validity of ancient traditions in accordance...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Law, Department of Legal PhilosophyPázmány Péter Catholic UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Institute for Legal StudiesHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary

Section editors and affiliations

  • Miodrag Jovanovic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theory, Sociology and Philosophy of LawUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of LawBelgradeSerbia