Swiss Civil Code

Swiss Civil Code, French Code Civil Suisse, German Schweizerisches Zivilgesetzbuch, body of private law codified by the jurist Eugen Huber at the end of the 19th century; it was adopted in 1907 and went into effect in 1912, and it remains in force, with modifications, in present-day Switzerland. Because Huber’s work was completed after the Napoleonic Code (q.v.) of 1804 and the German Civil Code (q.v.) of 1896, he was able to avoid many of the difficulties that earlier codifiers had faced. Although influenced by both codes, Huber included much material indigenous to Switzerland.

The code begins with a brief introductory section setting forth the details of its application. This is followed by four books: the first covers the law of persons and includes a section on the law of associations similar in form to the German Civil Code; the second deals with family matters and, specifically, with problems of matrimonial regimes and guardianship; the third covers succession; and the last, property. A separate federal code of commercial and personal obligation went into effect in 1881, serving as a companion piece to the civil code.

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