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This code is called The Napoleonic Code. It is still a basis for many European laws. Napoleon was determined to change the confusing and contradictory royal laws so that he could reform the French legal system. Before the establishment of the Napoleonic Code, France did not have a single set of laws. So, the Napoleonic Code proved a milestone for the French legal system.1
The Napoleonic Code gave more power to men before the law, while women lost some of their significant rights that were granted to them during the time of revolution. The code states that the wife should be obedient to the husband and it is the duty of the husband to fulfill the needs of the wife within whatever means he has, and the husband is also responsible for providing protection to his wife. The code describes this relationship in the following words:
“The wife is obliged to live with her husband, and to follow him to every place where he may judge it convenient to reside: the husband is obliged to receive her and to furnish her with every necessity for the wants of life, according to his means and station.”2
The code also states that a wife cannot begin legal proceedings without her husband’s authority, even if she is a public figure or a trader or has any other significant status in society, unless the judge gives her the right. But the authority of the husband does not matter when the wife is involved in any criminal case or police matter.
The code states that in the case of divorce, the management of children will lie with the husband or petitioner unless the authority is given to the mother or family for greater advantage of the children. As the code states in Clause 267 of the Divorce section:
“The provisional management of the children shall rest with the husband, petitioner, or defendant, in the suit for divorce, unless it be otherwise ordered for the greater advantage of the children, on petition of
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