France's Law. Rather than legal theories and principles, it is based largely on common sense rules. Five major codes comprise it: (1) Civil code, (2) Civil procedure Code, (3) Penal code, (4) Criminal procedure Code, and (5) Commercial code. In 1804 the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) instituted it, distinguished by its religious tolerance and land emancipation. It is derived from Roman law. Also known as Napoleonic code.