French Commercial Law is based on the French civil law system and whilst a good number of the legal concepts and frameworks adopted in France will be easily recognised by lawyers schooled in common law, a number of areas of not only French codified law, but also French case law, will often be observed to bring about ramifications which may be very different indeed from those to which they are used.On a purely practical basis, it is further observable that the length of contractual documents, drafted subject to French civil law provisions, tends to be considerably shorter than comparable agreements prepared under the common law system.

This phenomenon is generally explained by the fact that a French contract often contains references to articles (i.e. sections or clauses) of, say, the French Civil Code and/or the French Commercial Code.

These works, as their name would indicate, set out the current applicable French statutory provisions in a codified form.

It is however mentioned that French codified law is far from being set in stone and the statutes set out in the Codes are susceptible to constant change both in content and interpretation, either through new provisions enacted by the French legislator or pursuant to French and European Community case law.

It is also vital, when relying on the provisions set out in one of the French Codes, to ensure that only the latest edition for the current year is consulted.

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