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Roman origins of the Brazilian Civil Code

Grant number: 10/50079-4
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: October 01, 2010 - September 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Private Law
Principal researcher:Eduardo Cesar Silveira Vita Marchi
Grantee:Eduardo Cesar Silveira Vita Marchi
Home Institution: Faculdade de Direito (FD). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Roman law, on account of its logical nature and practical utility, is the cornerstone of legal education in many countries. A considerable number of modem Civil Codes, inc1uding those not belonging to the Roman-Germanic legal system, incorporate a large variety of Roman legal norms, principles and institutions. Thus, the exegesis of the Roman juridical sources, especially the Corpus Juris Civilis, enables us to correlate most of the rules present in the Brazilian Civil Code of 2002 to their corresponding Roman legal texts. Artic1e by artic1e, the influence of the Roman sources on the civil law currently in force comes to the fore. Notwithstanding the fact that other comparisons between Roman law and the contemporary Civil Law established in the Brazilian Civil Code of 1916, in the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, in the Codice Civile Italiano di 1942, and even in the Code Civile Belgique have been already made, the "Brazilian Civil Code and Roman Law" thematic project sets out to accomplish a task not yet undertaken in Brazil: to objectively and meticulously compare the first three Books of General Part and the General Theory of Obligations in the Brazilian Civil Code of 2002 with Roman law, in order to clarify the real meaning of the rules and institutions in the present Civil Code. The identification, made possible by the work of a select and interdisciplinary group of researchers, of one main Roman juridical source and a set of secondary sources for each rule, apart from offering the best interpretation for legal rules and institutions, will reinforce the presence of the "always old and new Roman Law" in Latin America and, more particularly, in Brazil. (AU)

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