Trade Law and its sources

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The Trade Law was created due to the need for a separate standardization of professional civil law trade. Its regulation is subject to the status and organization of entrepreneurs, as well as trade activities carried out between them. In order to be able to distinguish trade law from economic law, you need to understand certain concepts. What is economic trade and who are its participants? What does the concept of commercial activity mean?

The sources of trade law are to be found in the classic Roman contract law, while trade law itself began to emerge in the Middle Ages. This process was associated with the growth of trade activities. The growth was mainly seen in Italian cities. This is how the ius mercatorum, the customary law of the merchant state, was created. In the 17th century, legislation on trade law was created. The first significant codification was Ordonnance sur le commerce de ferre, which was created in 1673 in France. The importance of trade law increased significantly in the 19th century. The reason was the dynamic economic development, which was influenced, among others, by the industrial revolution. Other types of economic activities than trade began to be subject to the standards of trade law, and in many countries trade codes were created. The majority was based on the Napoleonic Trade Code of 1807.

In Poland, the legislation on economic turnover was formed only in the pre-war period. The basic legal act was modelled on the German Trade Code (Handelsgesetzbuch) Trade Code – a regulation of the President of the Republic of Poland of June 27, 1934. It was based primarily on the concept of a buyer. The provisions of the Commercial Code practically ceased to apply after the war. The reason for this were the political changes in Poland, with which the issue of special regulations concerning trade between the units of the socialized economy could be connected. In 1964, the Civil Code, which is still in force today, was passed. It introduced the rank of a code regulation for the entire civil law trade. The Civil Code repealed the majority of the provisions of the Trade The codification of the trade law only included fragments concerning general partnerships, limited liability and joint stock companies. The introduction of the Civil Code brought into force the concept of unity of civil law at the expense of a dualistic regulation – trade law, which is an independent, separate field from civil law. The Commercial Companies Code issued in 2000 repealed the remaining provisions of the Trade Code.