the most widespread type of legal system in the world, applied in various forms in approximately 150 countries. Also referred to as european continental law, the civil law system is derived mainly from the roman corpus juris civilus, (body of civil law), a collection of laws and legal interpretations compiled under the east roman (byzantine) emperor justinian I between a.D. 528 and 565. The major feature of civil law systems is that the laws are organized into systematic written codes. In civil law the sources recognized as authoritative are principally legislation - especially codifications in constitutions or statutes enacted by governments - and secondarily, custom. The civil law systems in some countries are based on more than one code.