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The Napoleon Series > Government > Governments and Politics



France: Penal Code of 1810

Transcribed by Tom Holmberg



[Law decreed February 12th, promulgated February 22d, 1810.]


ARTICLE 1. The offence which the laws punish with penalties of police is called a CONTRAVENTION (contravention.)

   The offence which the laws punish with correctional penalties is called a DELICT (délit.)

   The offense which the laws punish with afflictive or infamous penalty is called a CRIME (crime.)

2. Every attempt to commit a crime, which shall have been manifested by open acts and followed by a commencement of execution, if it hath been suspended or hath failed to take effect only by reason of fortuitous circumstances or such as are independent of the will of the actor, is considered the same as the crime itself.

3. Attempts to commit delicts are only considered as delicts in the cases determined by a special disposition of the law. [Such special dispositions are to be found only in articles 179, 401, 414 and 415.]

4. No contravention, delict, or crime can be punished with any penalty not pronounced by the law before the commission thereof.

5. The dispositions of the present code do not apply to military contraventions, delicts, or crimes.




The Penal Code of France , Translated into English ... London: H. Butterworth, 1819.


Placed on the Napoleon Series: April 2007


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