Jean Domat

Jean Domat

Domat, Jean, 1625-96, French jurist. His Les Loix civiles dans leur ordre naturel [civil laws in their natural order] (3 vol., 1689-94) is a restatement of Roman law considered as a system derived from ethical theory and natural theology. It is believed to be the earliest work on the subject to depart from the arrangement of the 6th-century Corpus Juris Civilis. His name is also spelled Daumat.

See H. F. Jolowicz, Roman Foundations of Modern Law (1957).

Jean Domat, or Daumat (November 30, 1625 - March 14, 1696), French jurisconsult, was born at Clermont in Auvergne.

He was closely in sympathy with the Port-Royalists, was intimate with Pascal, and at the death of that celebrated philosopher was entrusted with his private papers.

He is principally known from his elaborate legal digest, in three volumes, under the title of Lois civiles dans leur ordre naturel (1689), an undertaking for which Louis XIV settled on him a pension of 2000 livres. A fourth volume, Le Droit public, was published in 1697, a year after his death.

This is one of the most important works on the science of law that France has produced. Domat endeavoured to found all law upon ethical or religious principles, his motto being "L'homme est fait par Dieu et pour Dieu."

Besides the Lois Civiles, Domat made in Latin a selection of the most, common laws in the collections of Justinian I, under the title of Legum delectus (Paris, 1700; Amsterdam, 1703); it was subsequently appended to the Lois civiles. His works have been translated into English. Domat died in Paris on the 14th of March 1696.

In the Journal des savants for 1843 are several papers on Domat by Victor Cousin, giving much information not otherwise accessible.


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