Smits: Against legal codification, in favor of “alternative models of legal information management”

Professor Dr. Jan M. Smits of Maastricht University has posted a paper entitled Of the Vocation of Our Age Against Codification: On Civil Codes in the Information Society.

Here is the 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.

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