The pandects were one part of the Corpus Juris Civilis, the body of civil law issued under Justinian I. The other two parts were Institutiones, and the Codex Constitutionum. A fourth part, the Novels (or "Novellae Constitutiones"), was added later.
The pandects were divided into fifty books, each book containing several titles, divided into laws, and the laws into several parts or paragraphs. The number of jurists from whose works extracts were made is thirty-nine, but the writings of Ulpian and Paulus make up quite half the work. The work was declared to be the sole source of non-statute law: commentaries on the compilation were forbidden, or even the citing of the original works of the jurists for the explaining of ambiguities in the text.