As to the expression jus canonicum, it implies the systematic codification of ecclesiastical legislation, and had no existence previous to the labours which resulted in the Corpus juris canonici.
In the Corpus juris canonici the Decretum (pt.
Gregory did good service, moreover, by his reform of the calendar which bears his name, by his emended edition of the Corpus juris canonici and by the creation of nunciatures.
Laurin, Introductio in Corpus juris canonici (Freiburg, 1889); Tardif, Histoire des sources du droit canonique (Paris, 1887).
Among his noteworthy achievements are the reform of the calendar on the 24th of February 1582 (see Calendar); the improved edition of the Corpus juris canonici, 1582; the splendid Gregorian Chapel in St Peter's; the fountains of the Piazza Navona; the Quirinal Palace; and many other public works.
On the other hand, the Decretum actually enjoys a certain public authority which is unique; for centuries it has been the text on which has been founded the instruction in canon law in all the universities; it has been glossed and commented on by the most illustrious canonists; it has become, without being a body of laws, the first part of the Corpus juris canonici, and as such it has been cited, corrected and edited by the popes.
According to the medieval canon law, based on the decretals, and codified in the 13th century in the Corpus juris canonici, by which the earlier powers of metropolitans had been greatly curtailed, the powers of the archbishop consisted in the right (i) to confirm and consecrate suffragan bishops; (2) to summon and preside over provincial synods; (3) to superintend the suffragans and visit their dioceses, as well as to censure and punish bishops in the interests of discipline, the right of deprivation, however, being reserved to the pope; (4) to act as a court of appeal from the diocesan courts; (5) to exercise the jus devolutionis, i.e.
Perhaps his edition of the Leges Visigothorum (1579) was his most valuable contribution to historical science; in the same line he edited the Capitula of Charlemagne, Louis the Pious, and Charles the Bald in 1588, and he also assisted his brother Francois in preparing an edition of the Corpus juris canonici (1687).
The authorities upon the common law in South Africa are: the Dutch commentators upon the civil law, the statute law of Holland, the decisions of the Dutch courts, and, failing these, the corpus juris civilis itself.
Walter, Corpus juris germanici antiqui (Berlin, 1824); Monumenta Germaniae historica, Leges.