Civil Law are words that we may often hear mentioned by legal practitioners and academics both inside and outside the court. Almost every problem that exists in daily human activities, starting from our relationships with others such as colleagues, family and relationships that can be valued with assets such as business activities, cannot be separated from the existence of Civil Law itself. Therefore, it is interesting and necessary to understand more about this Civil Law so that everyone can read the law and understand the situations related to it, let’s look at the following explanation.
A. Definition of Civil Law
In understanding Civil Law, it is important to first know the definition of Civil Law. According to Prof. Dr. Mrs Sri Soedewi Mahsjhoen Sofwan, S.H., Civil Law is the law that regulates the interests between one individual citizen and another individual citizen. Meanwhile, according to Prof. Subekti definition of Civil Law is divided into two meanings, namely:
- Definition of Civil Law in a broad meaning, namely all the basic laws that regulate individual interests.
- Definition of Civil Law in a narrow meaning, is used as opposed to commercial law.
Although Civil Law regulates individual interests, it does not mean that all Civil Laws purely regulate individual interests, but because of the development of society, many fields of civil law have also been linked to public law (legal provisions governing matters concerning the public interest), for instance in the field of marriage law, labor/employment, and so on. This is because until now there is still pluralism (more than one situation) in the field of civil law which is the source of civil law regulation. Pluralism of civil law is caused by the condition of society in Indonesia which is pluralistic so that the regulation of Civil Law can be found in addition to those sourced from the Civil Code (KUHPerdata), which are also sourced from Islamic Law and customary law as long as it has not been regulated in new provisions which are products national legislation and apply nationally.
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B. History of the Establishment of the Civil Code
The main source of Civil Law is Burgerlijk Wetboek (“ BW’ ), most of which are French Civil Law, namely the Napoleonic Code of 1811-1838 as a result of the French occupation in the Netherlands so that French Civil Law applies in the Netherlands. The origin of the formation of the Napoleonic Code is the Civil Code, which in its preparation took the composition of French authors on Roman Law, commonly referred to as Corpus Juris Civilis, which in ancient times was considered the most perfect law. Regulations that did not yet exist in Roman times were not included in the Civil Code, but in a separate book, the Code de Commerce. After the French occupation ended by the Dutch government, a committee chaired by Mr. J.M. Kemper and was in charge of making plans for the codification of Dutch Civil Law using the sources mostly of the Napoleonic Code and a small part of Old Dutch law. The preparation of the codification was completed before July 5th, 1830, and the Dutch Civil Code was only promulgated on October 1st, 1838 which in that year was issued;
- The Commercial Code or Wetboek van Koophandel (“ WvK ”).
Based on the principle of concordance (political principle), Indonesia enforced the two laws which were officially announced on April 30th, 1847 through Staatsblad Number 23 and came into force on May 1st, 1848 in Indonesia.
C. Systematics According to the Civil Code
One of the characteristics of the continental European legal system is the codification or systematic compilation of legal norms in a book of statutory regulations. These characteristics are reflected in the BW which systematically regulates civil law norms consisting of four books which are explained as follows:
Book I (one) on Person
The provisions set forth in this Book I regulate the law of persons which includes family law in a broad sense. The provisions of Book I of the Civil Code are accompanied by the enactment of Law Number 1 of 1974 on Marriage (“ Marriage Law ”) so that all provisions relating to marriage as long as it is regulated in the Marriage Law, the marriage provisions in the Civil Code are no longer valid.
Book II (two) about Object
The provisions stipulated in book II of the Civil Code concern material rights which are part of the wealth law as regulated in the doctrine. According to the doctrine, the law of wealth is divided into two, namely the law of absolute wealth which is a material right regulated in Book II on Objects and the law of relative wealth that constitutes individual rights as regulated in Book III on Agreement.
Book III (three) on Agreement
The law of agreement as regulated in book III of the Civil Code as previously mentioned is part of the law of relative wealth (according to the doctrine). The law of agreement regulates the legal relationship between one person and another to give something, to do something or not to do within the scope of wealth law originating from the law or agreement. Specifically regarding contract law, the principle of freedom of contract applies, in this case each party is allowed to arrange their own binding agreement between them and may even deviate from the provisions that apply in the Civil Code.
Book IV (four) on
Proof and the Statute of Limitations
Book IV of the Civil Code regulates the evidence used to claim or defend a person’s civil rights before a court. In addition, Book IV of the Civil Code also regulates the expiration or a certain period of time that causes a person to lose their civil rights or obtain civil rights, for example the time period when a person loses the right to claim his property or the period that causes people to obtain right of ownership.
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Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for scientific reading and marketing purposes only from the ADCO Law. Furthermore, all the writings contained therein do not constitute the formal legal opinion of ADCO Law. Therefore, ADCO Law should be hold harmless and/or cannot be held responsible for anything from the parties who use this writing outside of what is the purpose of the ADCO Law.