Murphree on Moreau, Dumas, and the Authority to Interpret the French Civil Code
Patrick Murphree is publishing Moreau, Dumas, and the Authority to Interpret the French Civil Code in the Tulane Journal of International & Comparative Law. Here is the abstract.
This article explores a nineteenth-century legal publication: Félix Moreau’s Le Code civil et le théâtre contemporain. The 300-page volume is a detailed catalogue of every reference to the Civil Code in the plays of Alexandre Dumas fils. Moreau itemizes each time one of Dumas’s characters makes a statement about the law that does not accord with the text of the Civil Code. To explain such an unusual piece of scholarship, I argue that Dumas’s active support for the passage of the 1884 law reestablishing divorce in France inspired Moreau to write his book. The article then discusses some implications of Moreau’s preferred mode of exegetical interpretation of the Civil Code for legal education and on the identification of those with the authority to interpret and critique the Civil Code.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.