Codification of Law | Meaning | Advantages and Disadvantages of codification

Meaning Of codification

codification of Law

In dictionary meaning code is a systematic collection of statutes, the body of law, so arranged as to avoid inconsistency and overlapping. In fact, codification is the systematic process and reduction of the whole body of law into a code in the form of enacted law. Thus, the law which previously was in the shape of customs, ancient texts, judicial decision, and fragmentary statutes is collected in one place and presented in a systematic arrangement which is known as code. Salmond defines codification as “the reduction of the whole corpus juis, so far as practicable to form enacted law.”

Condition for Codification:-

  • For codification, a certain background and a certain stage of social development are necessary
  • Codification exists where the legal institution has completely mature or where or where the country has no juristic past.
  • The uncertainty and archaic character of the existing law.
  • The development of the efficient organ of legislation.
  • The need for one uniform law in a political community, whose several subdivisions had developed or received divergent local laws.

Classification of codes.

Codes may be of following kinds:-

  • Creative- Creative code is that code, which makes a law for the first time without any reference to any other law. It is lawmaking by legislation. For example – IPC
  • Consolidated- Code is that code, which consolidates the whole law- statutory, customary and precedent on a particular subject and declares it. This is done systematizing and simplifying the law.
  • Creative and consolidating- The code which makes law as well as consolidate the existing law on a particular subject fall under this class. For Example- Recent Hindu legislation.


Advantage of codification

  • Certainty:-By codification law becomes certain and uncertain as it generally is in precedent and custom.
  • Simplicity- The codification makes law simple and accessible to everybody. By codification law on any particular point is made accessible and known to everyone, so that the citizen come in a position to know their rights and duties well.
  • Logical Agreement:- By codification law is logically arranged in a coherent form and there occurs no chance of conflicts arising among the different provisions of law.
  • Stability:– The codification makes the law simple and stable. Stability is very essential for law so that the people may have confidence in it and the legal transaction may be made easily.  
  • Planned Development:- Codification bring uniformity, which in turn helps in the planned development of the country.
  • Unity:- Codified Law has a uniform and wider application. This helps in developing affinity and unity among the people, who are governed by the same laws.


Disadvantage of Codification

  • Rigidity:– The codification cause rigidity in the law. In the changing condition of society it becomes necessary for the law to keep pace with time and charging condition, but once the law is codified it becomes difficult to keep pace with such changes.
  • Codified laws can be changed only by amendments, but the making of an amendment is no easy and it is also time-consuming.
  • Incompetence:- Since it is not possible to anticipate all the problems that might arise in the future, the codes are generally incomplete. When any new problem arises it becomes difficult for the people and the courts to tackle it.
  • Hardship:- The code generally gives uniform laws, which are applicable to all within the territory of the country or as a part of it. Its application rarely varies on the grounds of customs and habits of the individual. This in some cases, causes great hardship.

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