code | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Criminal Law

A code is a complete collection of laws organized by topic, providing a comprehensive legal framework for a particular jurisdiction.

A code is a comprehensive set of statutory laws arranged by subject, providing a complete legal framework for a particular jurisdiction. These codes can take many forms, but they all serve to organize and systematize the laws that govern a given area.

In the United States, for example, there are many different types. The most well-known is the United States Code, which contains all federal laws that have been passed by Congress. The U.S. Code is organized into 53 different titles, each of which covers a different subject area. Titles include things like “Commerce and Trade,” “Education,” and “Internal Revenue.” Within each title, laws are further broken down into sections and subsections, making it easy to find specific laws and regulations.

States also have their own codes, which contain laws that apply only within that state’s jurisdiction. For example, the California Code contains all laws passed by the state’s legislature, organized by subject. This includes laws on everything from criminal justice to employment to education.

In addition to federal and state codes, there are also local ones. These contain laws that apply only within a particular city or county. For example, the Los Angeles Municipal Code contains laws that apply only within the city of Los Angeles. These laws cover things like zoning regulations, building codes, and business permits.

One of the key benefits is that they make the law more accessible to the public. By organizing laws by subject and providing a comprehensive framework, codes make it easier for people to understand the laws that apply to them. This is especially important for businesses and other organizations that need to comply with multiple laws and regulations. By having a complete set of laws organized in one place, organizations can more easily understand and comply with the legal requirements that apply to them.

Codes are also important for the legal system as a whole. By providing a comprehensive framework for laws, they help to ensure that the legal system is fair and consistent. This is especially important in a federal system like the United States, where laws can vary from state to state. By having a consistent framework for laws across the country, codes help to ensure that people are treated fairly, regardless of where they live.

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Last Modified: 04/05/2023

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