A Matter of Honour, in Which a Small People Can Be Great – The Dutch Codification Efforts in Brief
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The Dutch codification efforts in relation to Private Law started out in France and have since moved to Brussels. Codification started from a will to break free from the French and their Code civil, but soon after enacted a Dutch Civil Code not very dissimilar to its French counterpart in 1838. It would be another 110 years before Prof. Meijers would officially start with drafting a new Civil Code for the Netherlands. While from 1970 onwards the Books of the Civil Code saw gradual introduction, with the largest part entering into force in 1992, the Civil Code is not finished yet. Its most recent addition has been Book 10 on Private International Law which entered into force on 1 January 2012. The Dutch Civil Code is therefore a mixture of old and new provisions. Another type of mix is also notable. The growing influence of European and international legislation cannot be underestimated. It has led to a mix of provisions that have their origin from within as well as beyond the country borders. A cross-border Code, if you will. The influence of European and international legislation is for some areas however so great, that national codification efforts have stopped altogether, the prime example being Intellectual Property Law. From France to Brussels indeed. Other areas of the law are highlighted to show the aforementioned mixtures that exist in the Dutch Civil Code. These areas are Family Law, Labour Law and Consumer Law.