A Civil Code Originated During the War (The Italian Codice Civile)

  • Rodolfo SaccoEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 32)


The Codice Civile was drafted during Mussolini’s dictatorial time and under the apparent total power of the fascist party. However, in 1942, Italy was no longer a sovereign country and had turned into a kind of German protectorate. And those with authority imposed the incorporation of a number of rules to the code which were unknown to the national tradition: marriage between “Arians” and “Semites” was forbidden, parents were under the obligation of giving a fascist education to their children, etc. Such political contributions damaged the code, but only superficially. Upon the fall of the fascist regime, a simple ordinance was enough to abolish them.

The draft of the civil code was commissioned to law professors. At that time, in Italy, nobody could have thought of another solution.

The code in force in Italy was a copy of the Napoleon’s Code, which guaranteed protection to proprietors, employers, and the contractual intent. In 1942, history (even the political ideas of the fascist party) guaranteed a system of protection to the interests of communities, employees, the weak contracting party. The code makes reference to this situation. Anyway, it is a code aimed at private property and freedom to contract.


History of codification Private law Italy decodification Current status of codification Relation with other branches of law 1942 Civil Code Italian constitution 1948 Commercial law Common law Family law Consumer law Labor law International private law Special laws French legal models Sources of law 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze GiuridicheUniversità di TorinoTorinoItaly

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