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Codification and the Constitution of Cádiz

Codification and the Constitution of Cádiz



This study seeks to explore the private law side of the Constitution of Cádiz, in particular its use and reference to the legal revolution of codification that was well underway by 1812. By engaging questions of codification and private law, this study explores the relationship between private law and public law at a transformative moment in both areas. In public law, unwritten, ancient constitutions were just beginning to be replaced by written constitutions attempting to limit government and to define individual rights. In private law, centuries of the ius commune tradition were being reorganized and shaped into codes. Thus, an examination of the idea and place of codification in the Constitution of Cádiz should reveal clues about these important changes. First, this study discusses the placement of Article 258, the constitutional article referring to codes, within the text of the Constitution itself. It then addresses other aspects of the Constitution that point towards codification as a logical outgrowth of the political and legal transformations contemplated by the Constitution. The third topic addressed here is the way Article 258 came into the Constitution through the reports of the debates in the Cortes and what these statements reveal about the perception of codes at the Cortes. This study ends with some concluding comments about the place of the Constitution of Cádiz in the history of Latin American codification.



Publication Date



Edizioni dell’Orso


Trento, Italy


constitution, codification, codes, Cadiz, 1812, Spain, Latin America


Constitutional Law | Law

Codification and the Constitution of Cádiz