Civil law is known as European Continental law or Romano-Germanic law. It is the principal legal system in the world that was inspired by Roman law and derived from Code of Justinian in addition to other sources such as Germanic, ecclesiastical, feudal, and local practices; as well as doctrinal strains like natural law, codification, and legislative positivism.
The purpose of civil law is to provide an accessible and written collection of laws that judges must follow. This legal system is the most widespread and effective in about 150 countries. In some countries have not resorted to the method of codifying law, but they have retained elements of Roman legal construction, "as a written reason", to be considered associated to the civil tradition. On the other hand, there are countries in which Roman influence was feebler but whose law, codified or not, rests on the concept of legislated law that in many ways resembles the systems of countries with a "pure" civil tradition.
In civil law, the authoritative sources are legislation and codifications in constitutions or statutes passed by government, and custom. In some countries, legal systems are established around one or various law codes that set the most important principles to conduct the law. For example, the most famous is the French Civil Code, even though the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch and the Swiss Civil Code are considered landmark events in legal history.
The civil law systems are different from the common law systems in the following aspects: