Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XXXI.: OF THE INTEGRALITY OF THE CODE OF LAWS. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3
CHAPTER XXXI.: OF THE INTEGRALITY OF THE CODE OF LAWS. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 3.
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- Errata—vol. III.
- Defence of Usury; Showing the Impolicy of the Present Legal Restraints On the Terms of Pecuniary Bargains; In Letters to a Friend.
- Letter I.: Introduction.
- Letter II.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Usury.
- Letter III.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Prodigality.
- Letter IV.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Indigence.
- Letter V.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Simplicity.
- Letter VI.: Mischiefs of the Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VII.: Efficacy of Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VIII.: Virtual Usury Allowed.
- Letter IX.: Blackstone Considered.
- Letter X.: Grounds of the Prejudices Against Usury.
- Letter XI.: Compound Interest.
- Letter XII.: Maintenance and Champerty.
- Letter XIII.: To Dr. Smith, On Projects In Arts, &c.
- A Manual of Political Economy: Now First Edited From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: Introduction. *
- Chapter II.: Analytical Survey of the Field of Political Economy.
- Chapter III.: Of Wealth.
- Chapter IV.: Of Population.
- Chapter V.: Of Finance.
- Chapter VI.: Operation of a Sinking Fund On the Production of Wealth.
- Chapter VII.: Noscenda.
- Observations On the Restrictive and Prohibitory Commercial System; Especially With a Reference to the Decree of the Spanish Cortes of July 1820.
- Preface.: Observations, &c.
- Section I.: Nature of the Prohibitory System.
- Section II.: Mischiefs of the Prohibitory System.
- Section III.: Causes of the Prohibitory System.
- A Plan For Saving All Trouble and Expense In the Transfer of Stock, and For Enabling the Proprietors to Receive Their Dividends Without Powers of Attorney, Or Attendance At the Bank of England, By the Conversion of Stock Into Note Annuities.
- Chapter I.: Plan For the Creation, Emission, Payment, and Eventual Extension, of a Proposed New Species of Government Paper, Under the Name of Annuity Notes.
- Chapter II.: Form of an Annuity Note. (see Table II.)
- Chapter III.: Comparison of the Proposed, With the Existing Government Securities, &c.
- Chapter IV.: Grounds of Expectation, In Regard to the Proposed Measure.
- Chapter V.: Financial Advantages.
- Chapter VI.: Advantage By Addition to National Capital.
- Chapter VII.: Advantage By Addition to Commercial Security.
- Chapter VIII.: Particular Interests Concerned.
- Chapter IX.: Rise of Prices—how to Obviate.
- Chapter X.: Reduction of Interest—proposed Mode Compared With Mr. Pelham’s.
- Chapter XI.: Moral Advantages.
- Chapter XII.: Constitutional Advantages.
- Chapter XIII.: Recapitulation and Conclusion.
- Appendix A.: Government Ought to Have the Monopoly of Paper Money, As Well As of Metallic Money.
- Appendix B.: Paper Money—causes Why Not Circulated By Government Without Interest, As Well As By Individuals.
- General View of a Complete Code of Laws.
- Chapter I.: General Division.
- Chapter II.: Relations Between the Laws Concerning Offences, Rights, Obligations, and Services.
- Chapter III.: Relation Between the Penal and Civil Code.
- Chapter IV.: Of Method.
- Chapter V.: Plan of the Penal Code.
- Chapter VI.: Of the Division of Offences.
- Chapter VIII. Titles of the Penal Code.
- Chapter IX.: First General Title of the Civil Code, * of Things.
- Chapter X.: Second General Title of the Civil Code. of Places.
- Chapter XI.: Third General Title of the Civil Code. of Times.
- Chapter XII.: Fourth General Title of the Civil Code. of Services.
- Chapter XIII.: Fifth General Title of the Civil Code. of Obligations.
- Chapter XIV.: Sixth General Title of the Civil Code. of Rights.
- Chapter XV.: Seventh General Title of the Civil Code. of Collative and Ablative Events.
- Chapter XVI.: Eighth General Title of the Civil Code. of Contracts.
- Chapter XVII.: Ninth General Title of the Civil Code. of the Domestic and Civil States.
- Chapter XVIII.: Tenth General Title of the Civil Code. of Persons Capable of Acquiring and of Contracting.
- Chapter XIX.: Of the Particular Titles of the Civil Code.
- Chapter XX.: Of Elementary Political Powers.
- Chapter XXI.: Of Elementary Political Powers— Subject Continued.
- Chapter XXII.: Plan of the Political Code.
- Chapter XXIII.: Plan of the International Code.
- Chapter XXIV.: Plan of the Maritime Code.
- Chapter XXV.: Plan of the Military Code.
- Chapter XXVI.: Plan of the Ecclesiastical Code.
- Chapter XXVII.: Plan of Remuneratory Laws.
- Chapter XXVIII.: Of Political Economy.
- Chapter XXIX.: Plan of the Financial Code.
- Chapter XXX.: Plan of Procedure Code.
- Chapter XXXI.: Of the Integrality of the Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXII.: Of Purity In the Composition of a Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXIII.: Of the Style of the Laws.
- Chapter XXXIV.: Of the Interpretation, Conservation, and Improvement of a Code.
- Pannomial Fragments.
- Chapter I.: General Observations.
- Chapter II.: Consideranda.
- Chapter III.: Expositions.
- Chapter IV.: Axioms.
- Nomography; Or the Art of Inditing Laws: Now First Published From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: The Subject Stated.
- Chapter II.: Relations.
- Chapter III.: Proper End In View.
- Chapter IV.: Imperfections Primary.
- Chapter V.: Explanations Relative to the Imperfections of the Second Order.
- Chapter VI.: Of Remedies. *
- Chapter VII.: Of Language.
- Chapter VIII.: Of the Perfections of Which the Legislative Style Is Susceptible.
- Chapter IX.: Of Forms of Enactment.
- Appendix. Logical Arrangements, Or Instruments of Invention and Discovery
- Equity Dispatch Court Proposal; Containing a Plan For the Speedy and Unexpensive Termination of the Suits Now Depending In Equity Courts. With the Form of a Petition, and Some Account of a Proposed Bill For That Purpose
- Section I.: Purpose Explained. Jeremy Bentham to the Honest and Afflicted Among Equity Suitors.
- Section II.: Equity Suitors’ Petition For Dispatch Court. to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, —
- Section III.: Dispatch Court Bill—some Account of It.
- Section IV.: Information Requisite From Petitioning Suitors.
- Equity Dispatch Court Bill: Being a Bill For the Institution of an Experimental Judicatory Under the Name of the Court of Dispatch, For Exemplifying In Practice the Manner In Which the Proposed Summary May Be Substituted to the So Called Regular Sy
- Editor’s Note.
- Part I.—: Judiciary.
- Section I.: Judge Located, How.
- Section II.: Remuneration.
- Section III.: Registrar, &c.
- Section IV.: Eleemosynary Advocate.
- Section V.: Judges’, &c. Deputes.
- Section VI.: Judge’s Powers—exemptions—checks.
- Section VII.: Prehensors and Messengers.
- Section VIII.: Consignees; * Or Say, In-trust-holders.
- Section IX.: Grounds of Decision For the Dispatch Court Judge.
- Section X. ‡: Suits’ Comparative Suitableness; and Order of Cognizance.
- Section XI.: Auxiliary Judges and Accountants.
- Section XII.: Sittings, Times Of.
- Part II.—: Procedure.
- Section XIII.: Definitions. *
- Section XIV.: Examination of Solicitors.
- Section XV.: Initiatory Examination of Parties, &c.
- Section XVI.: Appropriate Intercourse, Constant and Universal, Secured.
- Section XVII.: Mutual Security For Forthcomingness of Persons and Things. ‡
- Section XVIII.: Evidence-procuring Money, How Provided.
- Section XIX.: Subsequential Evidence, How Elicited.
- Section XX.: Execution, How Performed.
- Section XXI.: Equity Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXII.: Dispatch Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXIII.: Eventual Retrotransference of a Suit to the Equity Court.
- Section XXIV.: Expense of the Court, How Provided For.
- Supplemental Sections:—
- Section I. Or XXV.: Bankruptcy and Insolvency.
- Section II. Or XXVI.: Henceforward Dispatch Court.
- Schedules to the Bill.
- Plan of Parliamentary Reform, In the Form of a Catechism, With Reasons For Each Article: With an Introduction, Showing the Necessity of Radical, and the Inadequacy of Moderate, Reform.
- Section I.: History of the Ensuing Tract—alarming State of the Country and the Constitution.
- Section II.: Most Prominent Present Grievance, Gareisoning France.
- Section III.: Causes of the Above and All Other Mischiefs:—particular Interests Monarchical and Aristocratical, Adverse to the Universal—their Ascendency.
- Section IV.: Sole Remedy In Principle—democratic Ascendency.
- Section V.: Remedy In Detail: Radical Parliamentary Reform: Elementary Arrangements In This Edition of It—their Necessity.
- Section VI.: Differences Between This and the Original Editions of Radical Reform.
- Section VII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage Further Considered.
- Section VIII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage—its Undangerousness.
- Section IX.: Freedom of Suffrage Further Explained—seductive Influence—its Forms, Instruments, &c.
- Section X.: Bribery and Terrorism Compared.
- Section XI.: Purchase of Seats—in What Cases Mischievous—in What Beneficial.
- Section XII.: Secresy of Suffrage—its Importance Further Developed.
- Section XIII.: Exclusion of Placemen, &c. From the Right of Voting—mischievousness and Profligacy of the Opposite Arrangement.
- Section XIV.: Universal Constancy of Attendance—its Importance.
- Section XV.: Representatives—impermanence of Their Situation—its Importance:—objections—their Groundlessness.
- Section XVI.: Moderate Reform—its Arrangements—their Inadequacy.
- Section XVII.: Trienniality Inadequate;—annuality Necessary.
- Section XVIII.: Interests Adverse to Adequate Reform—support Given By Them to Moderate, to the Exclusion of Radical: Tories—whigs—people’s Men.
- Catechism of Parliamentary Reform; Or, Outline of a Plan of Parliamentary Reform; In the Form of Question and Answer; With Reasons to Each Article.
- Section I.: Ends to Be Aimed At On the Occasion of Parliamentary Reform.
- Section II.: Means, Conducive Towards These Ends.
- Section III.: Means—their Uses, With Reference to Their Respective Ends.
- Section IV.: Means Conducive to Aptitude In Members: I. Placemen Not to Vote, Nor to Be Seated By Election.
- Section V.: Means, &c. Continued.—ii. Placemen Seated By the King, With Speech and Motion, Without Vote.
- Section VI.: Means, &c. Continued.—iii. Elections Frequent—annual.
- Section VII.: Means, &c. Continued.—iv. Speeches Authentically and Promptly Published.
- Section VIII.: Means, &c. Continued.—v. Attendance, Punctual and General, Secured.
- Section IX.: Inconveniences Incident to Elections, and Election Judicature.
- Section X.: Election Inconveniences—means For Their Removal.
- Section XI.: Collateral Advantages, Referable to the Situations of Electors, Placemen, Lords, &c.
- A Sketch of the Various Proposals For a Constitutional Reform In the Representation of the People, Introduced Into the Parliament of Great Britain, From 1770 to 1812.
- Radical Reform Bill, With Extracts From the Reasons.
- Preliminary Explanations.
- Title of the Proposed Act.
- Section 1.—: Seats and Districts.
- Section 2.—: Electors, Who.
- Section 3.—: Eligible, Who.
- Section 4.—: Election Offices.
- Section 5.: Election Apparatus.
- Section 6.—: Promulgation of Recommendations In Favour of Proposed Members.
- Section 7.—: Voters’ Titles Pre-established.
- Section 8.—: Election, How.
- Section 9.: Election Districts and Polling Districts, How Marked Out.
- Section 10.—: Vote-making Habitations, How Defined.
- Section 11.—: Members’ Continuance.
- Section 12.—: Vacancies Supplied.
- Section 13.—: Security For the House Against Disturbance By Members. †
- Section 14.—: Indisposition of Speakers Obviated.
- Appendix, Including General Explanations.
- Radicalism Not Dangerous. Extracted From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham. *
- Part I.—: Introduction.
- Section I.: Radical Reform Bill Recapitulated.
- Section II.: Persuasion of the Dangerousness of Radicalism—cause of It, and of the Vituperative Expression Given to It.
- Section III.: Terms of the Accusation,—speeches From the Throne, 16 Th July and 21 St November 1819.
- Section IV.: The Accusation In General Terms—counter-averment.
- Section V.: Plan of This Defence.
- Part II.—: Deference From the General Nature of the Case.
- Section I.: Conditions Necessary to a Man’s Embarking In Such a Design.
- Section VII.: Concurrence In Any Other Extensive Plan of Spoliation Impossible.
- Section VIII.: Concurrence of Any Constituted Authorities Impossible.
- Section IX.: Accomplishment Impossible—design Impossible.
- Section X.: The Talked-of Spunge No Proof of the Design.
- Part III.—: Defence From Experience In the Case of the United States.
- Part IV.: Defence From Particular Experience In the Case of Ireland: Years 1777 Or 1778, to 1783.
- Section I.: Analogy Between This and the Previous Case.
- Section II.: Democratic Ascendency, How Produced.
- Section III.: Fruit of Democratic Ascendency a Golden Age.
- Section IV.: Coincidence of Its Characters With Those of Radicalism.
- Section VI.: Extinction of Democratic Ascendency and Reform—restoration of Monarchico-aristocratical Ascendency, and Its Consequences.
OF THE INTEGRALITY OF THE CODE OF LAWS.
It is not sufficient that a code of laws has been well digested withregard to its extent; it ought also to be complete. For the attainment of this object, it is necessary at once to embrace the whole of legislation—and this principal object has never yet been attempted. I have ventured to undertake it, and I have, so to speak, projected the sphere of the laws, that all its parts may be seen at one view.
The collection of the laws made upon this plan would be vast, but this is no reason for omitting anything. Whether a law be written or unwritten, it is not less necessary that it should be known. To shut one’s eyes to the mass of the burthen we are obliged to bear, is not a means of lightening its weight. Besides, what part ought to be excluded? To what obligation ought the citizens to be subjected without their knowledge? The laws are a snare for those who are ignorant of them. This ignorance would be one of the greatest crimes of governments, if it were not the effect of their incapacity and unfitness. Caligula suspended the table of his laws upon lofty columns, that he might render the knowledge of them difficult. How numerous are the countries in which these matters are still worse! The laws are not even upon tables;—they are not even written. That is done from indolence, which the Roman emperor did from tyranny.
A complete digest: such is the first rule. Whatever is not in the code of laws, ought not to be law. Nothing ought to be referred either to custom, or to foreign law, or to pretended natural law, or to pretended laws of nations. Does the legislator who adopts, for example, the Roman law, know what he does? Can he know it? Is it not a field of eternal disputes? Is it not, in one word, to render arbitrary everything which he pretends to take from it? Is not this amalgamation sufficient to corrupt the whole code? When we add together two quantities, the one finite and the other infinite, that the sum will be infinite is a mathematical axiom.
I do not say, that if among the states of a sovereign he find a province, a town, which has its customs, its unwritten laws, to the preservation of which he finds himself bound either by convention or custom, he ought to abolish them. No, without doubt: but taking the necessary precautions, he may confirm them, fix them by writing. It was thus that Charles V. acted with regard to Hainault.
It is objected to the forming a code of laws, that it is not possible to foresee every case which can happen. I acknowledge that it is not possible to foresee them individually, but they may be foreseen in their species; for example, a person may be assured that every species of offence are comprised in the tables which this work includes, although he may not be assured that every possible individual offence has been foreseen.
With a good method, we go before events, instead of following them; we govern them, instead of being their sport. A narrow-minded and timid legislature waits till particular evils have arisen, before it prepares a remedy; an enlightened legislature foresees and prevents them by general precautions. Civil and penal laws were necessarily at first made by groping about, according as circumstances required them. In this manner the breaches were filled up with the body of their victims. But this procedure of the ages of barbarism ought not to be followed in the age of civilization.
Of all the codes which legislators have considered as complete, there is not one which is so. The Danish is the most ancient code; it is dated 1683: the Swedish code is dated 1734; the code Frédéric, 1751; the Sardiman, 1770.
In the preface to the Danish code, it is expressly stated to be complete. However, it contains nothing about taxes, no regulations relating to professions, nothing about the succession to the crown, nothing about the powers of any subaltern officers, except those of justice; nothing respecting international law; no formularies, either for contracts, or the disposal of goods, or for different stages of procedure. It is, however, the least incomplete of all the codes.
In the Swedish code, all those parts are wanting which are wanting in the Danish code; it also wants the section on political or constitutional law.
The code Frédéric, stated in its title-page to be universal, is absolutely limited to civil law. It acknowledges that it is far from complete, for it speaks of feudal law, that it proposes afterwards to digest—of a part of the canon law, on which it does not touch—of many statutes of towns and provinces, which it reserves for examination, &c.
The Sardinian code recognises the Roman law as its foundation, and frequently refers to it under the name of common law. It could not more effectually have plunged everything into uncertainty.
I say nothing of the methods followed in these codes. Legislative science was too little advanced to furnish them with models of arrangement and distribution.
The object of these observations is not to depreciate the presents that these sovereigns made to their people. He who has been least successful in the composition of a code, has conferred an immense benefit. In digesting the body of laws, they have, at least in a great measure, caused the repetitions and contradictions of the laws to disappear. They have delivered their people from unwritten law—law which is uncertain in its essence—law without beginning and without end—law by which animals are governed, and which is disgraceful to men.
Written law is alone deserving of the name of law: unwritten law is, properly speaking, conjectural law. Written law has a certain manifest foundation. There is a legislator—there is a will—there is an expression of that will, a known period of its birth. Unwritten law possesses none of those qualities; its origin is unknown; it goes on continually increasing—it can never be finished; it is continually altering, without observation. If there be a lawgiver, it is the judge himself—a legislator, each one of whose laws is only applicable to a particular case, and always necessarily ex post facto—a legislator, the promulgation of whose laws is only made by the ruin of the individuals to whom they refer.
The grand utility of the law is certainty: unwritten law does not—it cannot—possess this quality; the citizen can find no part of it, cannot take it for his guide; he is reduced to consultations—he assembles the lawyers—he collects as many opinions as his fortune will permit; and all this ruinous procedure often serves only to create new doubts.
Nothing but the greatest integrity in a tribunal can prevent the judges from making an unwritten law a continual instrument of favour and corruption.
But wherever it exists, lawyers will be its defenders, and, perhaps innocently, its admirers. They love the source of their power, of their reputation, of their fortune: they love unwritten law for the same reason that the Egyptian priest loved hieroglyphics, for the same reason that the priests of all religions have loved their peculiar dogmas and mysteries.